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Posted 02.24.11 | PERMALINK | ESSAY

Dorothy Tang & Andrew Watkins: Ecologies of Gold: The Past and Future Mining Landscapes of Johannesburg

Ecologies of Gold: slide 4

This image from the 1950s offers a view to the west across the mining belt and illustrates the scale and enormity of the landscape transformation. Deep shaft gold mining and associated mine dumps across the 80-kilometer mining belt altered the topography, hydrology and ecology. Toxic chemicals from mine dumps polluted groundwater and soils. Mining companies created numerous dams and reservoirs to prevent polluted water from entering the rivers. Rich neighborhoods were located north of the mining belt, on the right side of this photo, to avoid the dusty wind blown to the southeast. The historically black township of Soweto was located across the mining belt from downtown Johannesburg in the only area to the south that was not affected by the dust. [Image courtesy of AOC Geomatics]

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ABOUT THE ESSAY

Ecologies of Gold: The Past and Future Mining Landscapes of Johannesburg
On Places, Dorothy Tang and Andrew Watkins explore the ecological rehabilitation of the defunct gold mines of central Johannesburg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dorothy Tang is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the University of Hong Kong.
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Andrew Watkins is an architect and urban designer at SWA in Southern California.
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