Johannesburg is a very different City today from what it was during the past era. Every part of our society is undergoing change and we recognize that this holds true in the development of parks when understanding the vast diversity of environmental and community expectation. For many years environmental management was never seen as an important compo-nent of the urban management programmes that originated as a result of the "Group Areas Act" under the apartheid regime. Even with transformation and the dawn of the new South Africa, many socio economic issues enjoyed precedence over the environ-ment.
Years of neglect and environmental exploitation by industries bordering these areas have left the environment in need of urgent attention for socio economic and aesthetic reasons. The Soweto River catchment areas represents a typical example of a neglected ecosystem.
The dawn of investment into these areas has seen a shift in the mindset of governments ap-proach to addressing social disparities by incorporating environmental management and eco-system restoration as a delivery channel to support social development has gained momen-tum. The City of Johannesburg has embraced this concept as part of its development frame-work to the extent that the Mayor has identified the rehabilitation of the environs of Soweto as one of the mayoral legacy projects, aimed primarily at positively influencing the lives of com-munities and restoring the bio-diversity.
The term "A Community of Parks" is based on addressing the imbalances of the past, Com-munity needs, Protection and development of the environment, Healthy Communities, Sus-tainable Natural Environment, Economic Vitality, the Johannesburg 2030 vision, Johannesburg Metropolitan Open Space System and the Mayoral Priorities. Within this is the objectives relating to enhancement, protection and securement of the existing environment.
In part these changes are due to the globalization of many significant aspects of life; that are the changes from the past-restricted confines to a free democracy. Johannesburg City Parks the custodians of designated open spaces has since its inception in 2001 being addressing the imbalances of the past to such that over the last 10 years has developed 198 new Parks and cemeteries, with a total coverage of over 700 ha and substantially upgraded and re-furbished 125 a fete that within 10 years has superseded what the former City of Johannesburg and surrounding 10 municipalities, which make now the CoJ, accomplished in the first 50 years of their existence