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The multi-million rand development of a linear park along a 1.2-kilometre stretch of De Villiers Street, due to start later this year, is set to transform the face of Turffontein, south-east of the city centre.

Artist's impression of the Rotunda Park Precinct development
Artist's impression of the Rotunda Park Precinct development.

The Linear Park project, announced by the City of Joburg earlier this month, forms part of a four-year, R4.1 million development of the Rotunda Park Precinct. The precinct will define the future shape of the Turffontein Corridor, one of three priority corridors under the City's Corridors of Freedom programme.

The Corridors programme, which is being implementing in line with the City's Growth and Development Strategy 2040, envisages a future Johannesburg shaped by well-planned transport arteries linking high-density nodes characterised by mixed-use development.

Parks and green spaces will form an integral part of these developments.

In March, signalling the start of the new precinct development, the 10-hectare Rotunda Park received a R200 000 makeover from Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo, transforming it into a modern outdoor recreational space complete with new picnic and braai facilities, a state-of-the-art children's play area with rubberised surfaces, a skateboarding court, astroturf mini-soccer field, revamped netball and tennis courts and a running track.

The first phase of the precinct development will involve public environment upgrades of Park Crescent, the road encircling Rotunda Park, and other streets and intersections in the area. New paving will be laid, street lighting upgraded, street furniture and artwork installed, and cycle lanes added to some sections. Work on this phase is under way, and is due to be completed by the end of this year.

The second phase, the Linear Park project, will start later this year after consultations with the public. As it is currently envisaged, the project will involve creating a new green public space along a 1.2-kilometre stretch of De Villiers Street linking up with Rotunda Park.

The third phase, scheduled to start in 2017-18, will involve the extension of the De Villiers Parkway/Linear Park towards various landmarks in the area.