Cycling Cities: Johannesburg Experience

Bringing Johannesburg’s history of everyday cycling from the archive into the present Johannesburg today is synonymous with the automobile: highways, robots, the minibus taxi and the 4×4 are emblematic of southern Africa’s economic heart. Challenging a future locked in to these spatial patterns is a key policy goal today, reflected in the efforts of the city, province and civil society to offer more and better alternatives to car dominance. Yet other mobility cultures once beckoned – such as the forgotten history of Johannesburg’s working-class commuter cycling culture. Njogu Morgan’s pioneering archival research has brought this very different Johannesburg to light – one where bicycle lanes crept along the Rand before the first motorway. Cycling Cities: The Johannesburg Experience brings this important and challenging history to a new public, and starts a dialogue between Johannesburg and the cycling histories of a growing number of cities worldwide. It provides a historical context for future discussions about cycling and shows the dynamics behind the governance of cycling in the past. The book tells the human story of how the mobility that bicycles afforded people of color, and particularly black working-class men, challenged Apartheid dreams of control.
Njogu Morgan
Stichting Historie der Techniek