The Vaal Triangle is in a state of transition

Annette Willemse -- Thu, 11/19/2015 - 15:50

The Vaal Triangle is in a state of transition

The Vaal Triangle region is in a state of transition and herein lies the key to unlocking the attainment of sustainable local economic development. This is according to Prof Edward Blakely, an extraordinary professor in the School of Economic Sciences on the North-West University´s (NWU´s) Vaal Triangle Campus, and the leading global authority on urban planning and development.


Prof Edward Blakely


Professor Blakely shared his views on economic development of the Vaal Triangle Region via a video message to attendees of the second Vaal Local Economic Development (LED) Workshop that was hosted on the Campus on Wednesday. The Vaal LED Workshop was presented by the Applied Local Economic Development research group (AppLED).

According to Prof Blakely – who has over 40 years of international experience in all aspects of urban and regional planning, disaster management and sustainable development, the Vaal Triangle region finds itself in a cycle of transition. What started out as an agricultural region has developed into a mining region followed by a strong impetus on industry and is currently moving towards region based in tourism. “The first step is to take stock of the existing asset base, and from there the challenge lies in creating and developing new ideas and processes”. In his presentation he referred to the region’s wealth in terms of skills and technical know-how, the existing industrial infrastructure and the many possibilities linked to its demographical positioning next to the Vaal River.

“I believe that an exciting future awaits the Vaal Triangle region and that through forums such as the Vaal LED Workshop the community will take hands and create not only a sustainable future for future generations but also an economically robust region.”

More about Prof Edward Blakely

Professor Edward Blakely is an Honorary Professor of Urban Policy at the US Studies Centre, having previously served as Executive Director of the Office of Recovery and Development Administration, for New Orleans following the devastation of hurricane Katrina.

He is furthermore a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Public Administration, a Guggenheim, Fullbright and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Fellow and the 2008 Elliot Richardson Award Winner for Ethics in Government from the American Society for Public Administration.

As one of the world's leading scholars and practitioners of urban policy, Prof Blakely has been Dean of the School of Urban Planning and Development at the University of Southern California and Dean of the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, New School University in New York City. He has also held professorial appointments at the University of California Berkeley, the University of Southern California and the University of Sydney.

Prof Blakely's extensive record of public service includes advising the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, state and federal governments in Australia and the United States, as well as governments in Korea, Japan, Sweden, Indonesia, New Zealand and Vietnam.