It’s probably safe to say that very few city-makers start out with a plan. This was certainly the case for Jonathan Liebmann of Propertuity, who started with a small collection of abandoned warehouses in inner-city Joburg. This was 2007 and at that time, his city was a no-go zone – crime ridden, filthy and all but forgotten. Transforming them into what is now known as Arts on Main, these warehouses have become the cultural cornerstone of the Maboneng precinct.
Propertuity have now delivered over 1,000 apartments, a hotel designed by David Adjaye, 300 office spaces in the neighbourhood and created a network of streets that support independent retailers and arts organisations. Knowing that a great city is about more than just offices and apartments they’ve also commissioned over 30 large-scale public artworks, planted thousands of trees and opened innovative education and community centres.
Following a week-long immersion in Maboneng, Right Angle worked with Jonathan and his team to develop the 2020 Vision document for Maboneng, which would help them grow the community to 20,000 people and achieve the necessary scale to become a truly remarkable neighbourhood. Drawing upon our experience as urbanists, retail strategists and business owners, we developed a document that spoke to investors, owner-occupiers and businesses, not just about their past success, but about their ambition and core values of balancing social impact and profitability. Titled ‘The Unfinished City’ it was part prospectus, part rally-cry to work together to bring the city back.
“As Maboneng has developed, so has the need for a masterplan to guide its growth and maintain its character. At the heart of this plan is connectivity, to the neighbourhood, the city and the world. These connections improve quality of life and enable cultural and commercial exchange, ensuring a brighter future for both residents and businesses.”
Maboneng 2020 Vision