Unlocking Land for Urban Agriculture: Lessons from Marginalised Areas in Johannesburg, South Africa

Doctor S. Nkosi, Thembani Moyo, Innocent Musonda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Amidst the global discourse on the identification of strategic land, there has been a growth in planning support systems aimed at assisting policymakers in unlocking the value of strategic land. Despite planning support systems’ immense benefit of aiding planning, there are limited planning support tools to aid communities in marginalised areas to unlock the value of land. Therefore, this study adopts a GIS-based approach to develop a planning support system to identify, quantify and visualise an index for urban agricultural land in a marginalised area. The proposed solution utilised Greater Orange farm, a marginalised area in the City of Johannesburg, as a case study to inform spatial planning for emerging economies. Using the Charrette visioning process, indigenous knowledge systems were incorporated in formulating the criteria, weights, and rulesets. The results reveal spatial sites ranked through an index where sustainable investment in urban agriculture infrastructure should be targeted. The developed index identifies suitable locations for urban agriculture infrastructure and supporting programs. Furthermore, the solution builds from the existing reservoir of PSS in Southern Africa by demonstrating the potential for planning support systems as sustainable data-based decision-making tools to inform spatial planning. Lessons emerging from this study are that there is an inseparable existential connection between indigenous knowledge systems and contemporary sustainability planning, which is critical for ensuring sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1713
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Johannesburg
  • emerging economies
  • marginalised area
  • planning support system
  • sustainable
  • urban agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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