I wanted to kick off the first post of this blog with something fun. I’ve been living in Johannesburg for almost two years now, and moving here was a big adjustment. Before Johannesburg I lived in Hatfield for a number of years, which is basically a small town in Pretoria. Before that I lived in an actual small town. So to launch City Chronicles, in the year that Joburg turns 130, here are 10 really cool things about living in Johannesburg:
We are living in a forest. A really big forest
With over 10 million trees Joburg is the biggest man-made urban forest. Johannesburg City Parks grows up to 10 000 seedlings each year to plant trees, and the extras are given to other communities to help them go green too!
The young are among us
40% of Johannesburg’s population is younger than 24. Kind of makes me feel old.
We are close to a lot of shiny stuff in Egoli
40% of the world’s gold comes form the greater Johannesburg area.
We are not far from nature
There are 17 nature reserves in Johannesburg, covering about 1569 hectres or 15,7 square kilometers.
We are quite Highbrowed
The Hillbrow tower, standing at 270meters tall is the tallest tower in Africa. It features prominently in Johannesburg’s skyline, and is therefore synonymous with Johannesburg. It even features in the logo of City Chronicles.
We drive. A lot. But not very far
The average commute in Johannesburg is 72 minutes according to Johannesburg tourism.
We live in a dry port
Johannesburg is the largest city in the world not located on the banks of a river or lake, or next to the ocean. This is despite the 12 river systems that flow through our city.
Johannesburg was rebuilt four times in the space of 100 years. First it was a town of tents, then informal homes. This was followed by four-story brick Edwardian buildings, and lastly the skyscrapers we see today were built.
We are surrounded by history
Our city is home to 150 heritage sites. About half of these sites are national monuments.
We drink our coffee a little cooler
The boiling point of water at the coast is 100°C because atmospheric pressure is the same as standard pressure in cities like Cape Town. But in Johannesburg water boils at 91°C due to the high altitude. This is why you burn your tongue on your first cup of coffee at the sea.
If you know any other cool facts about living in the city of gold, leave a comment and let me know!
And just in case you city slickers were wondering, I still talk about going to ‘town’ when I mean the shops or the mall…