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Voices of the City: Interview with Sharon Lewis




Voices of the City is a new, weekly feature that spotlights the everyday lives of our citizens, living and working in the city. By asking the same five questions to all our interviewees, we discover not only how our experiences of differ, but also what we share. It is a daunting task to try and capture the diverse experiences of our city’s inhabitants, but we feel that it is a worthy, and necessary, endeavor, in order to better understand the present and future of our city. This week, we interview Sharon Lewis, Executive Manager for Planning and Strategy at the Johannesburg Development Agency.

Sharon Lewis, Executive Manager for Planning and Strategy at the Johannesburg Development Agency

Sharon Lewis, Executive Manager for Planning and Strategy at the Johannesburg Development Agency

Future Cape TownWhat about Johannesburg inspires you the most?

Sharon Lewis: The optimistic and impatient spirit that characterises this city.

FCT: Do you have a secret space or place that you enjoy in the city?

SL: My favourite quiet place is the park in Braamfontein where you can watch the Joburg Ballet Theatre dancers practicing in their studios.

Q: What was the last exciting event you attended in the city?

A: I recently experienced Critical Mass for the first time (a monthly night-time cycling event that follows a route through the inner city). It was a festive, fun evening in the city.

Q: What frustrates you about the city?

A: Joburg’s climate is so temperate that there is hardly any need for space heaters and air-conditioners: very warm and very cold boardrooms and offices make me grumpy because of the unnecessary coal smoke in Mpumalanga where the electricity is produced.

Q: You can have dinner with one person living or dead. Who is it and why?

A: Leonard Woolf (1880 – 1969; British civil servant, political theorist, writer, publisher and husband of Virginia Woolf). I have read most of his books and would love to chat to him about his life and work.

Check out our website next week for the next Voices of the City interview. 

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Anna Brown

Writer from New York with a passion for all things urban.