Susan Parnell’s early academic research was in the area of urban historical geography and focussed on the rise of racial residential segregation and the impact of colonialism on urbanisation and town planning in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1994 and democracy in South Africa her work has shifted to contemporary urban policy research (local government, poverty reduction and urban environmental justice). By its nature this research is not been purely academic, but has involved liasing with local and national government and international donors. Sue is also on the boards of several local NGOs concerned with poverty alleviation, sustainability and gender equity in post-apartheid South Africa. She serves on a number of national and international advisory research panels relating to urban reconstruction.


My undergraduate teaching is primarily in the area of urban geography. I also taught geography methodology to training teachers for 8 years. While at Wits I supervised 6 masters students. At UCT I have supervised 16 masters, 6 PhDs and 4 post doctoral fellows. I am currently supervising 2 masters and 5 PhD candidates and have 1 post doctoral fellow.

In addition to leading a major departmental curriculum reform, I have been extensively involved in Faculty and University wide quality assurance processes, post graduate review and interdisciplinary forums.



Chapters in Scholarly Books


        • In Press: The politics of urban poverty, exclusion and institutional violence in Johannesburg, in Megacities, K. Koonings and D. Kruijt (eds.), Zed.


        • In Press: Cities, concepts, ideals, in S. Parnell, (ed) Key Issues in the 21st Century: Urban Studies – Society, Sage, London (ISBN 978 1 84787 257 9).


        • In Press: The Emergence of a British Colonial Policy for Urban Africa, 1939-1945, in F. Demissie (ed.) Colonial Architecture and Urbanism in Africa: Intertwined and Contested Histories, London, Ashgate (With R, Harris). (ISBN 978-0-7546-7512-9).


        • In Press: Regional development: a new pathway to a more equitable and resilient Cape Town? In E. Pieterse ed.) Counter Currents: Experiments in Sustainability in the Cape, Jacana, Cape Town, (with G. Clark).


        • 2008: Une utopie urbaine nécessaire: les droits socio-économiques pourtous dans la ‘bonne ville, Dubresson, A. Jaglin, S. (eds). Le Cap après l’apartheid :Gouvernance, aménagement et gestion urbaine. Karthala, Paris, 251-273.


        • 2008: Consolidating Developmental Local Governmentin M. van Donk E. Pieterse and M. Swilling and S. Parnell (eds.) Consolidating Developmental Local Government: Lessons from the South African Experience, University of Cape Town Press, Cape Town, 1-24. (ISBN: 978 1 919 8904 8).


        • 2007: Urban governance in the South: the politics of rights and development, in Cox, K., Louw, M and Robinson, J. (eds.) A Handbook of Political Geography, Sage, London, 595-608. (ISBN: 10 0761943277, ISBN: 13 987 07619432 73).


        • 2007: The politics of transformation: Defining city strategy in Johannesburg, in (ed. K. Segbers) The Making of Global City Regions: an Exploration of Johannesburg, Mumbai/Bombay, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai, John Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 139-167. (ISBN 13-9780-8018-8515-0, ISBN 190 0 8018 8515 9).


        • 2005: A matter of timing: African urbanisation and access to housing in Johannesburg, in Brycson, D. and Potts, D. (eds.) African Urban Economies: Viability, Vitality or Vitiation?, Palgrave Macmillan, 229-251. (With J. Beall and O. Crankshaw). ISBN: 1-4039-9947-3.


        • 2004: Victims, Villains and Fixers: the Urban Environment and Johannesburg’s Poor in Human Resource System Challenge VII: Human Settlement Development, edited by Saskia Sassen and Peter Marcotullio, in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK, [] (With J. Beall and O. Crankshaw). Reprinted from Journal of Southern African Studies.


        • 2004: Race, Inequality and Urbanisation in the Johannesburg Region, 1946-1996′, in J. Gugler (ed.) World Cities Beyond the West: Globalisation, Development and Inequality, Cambridge University Press, 348-370. (With O. Crankshaw). (ISBN: 0-521-53685-5).


        • 2003: Social Differentiation and Urban Governance in Greater Soweto: A Case Study of Post-Apartheid Meadowlands, in R. Tomlinson, B. Beauregard, L. Bremner, X. Mangcu (eds.). Emerging Johannesburg, Routledge, 197-21 (with J. Beall and O. Crankshaw). (ISBN: 0-415-93559-8).


        • 2002: Urban Water Supply and Sanitation and Social Policy: Lessons from Johannesburg, South Africa, in Townsend P. and Gordon D. (eds.): World Poverty, Policy Press, Bristol, 251-270. (With J Beall, and O. Crankshaw). (ISBN: 1-86134-395-7).


        • 2002: Developmental Local Government for post-apartheid reconstruction, in S. Parnell, E. Pieterse, Mark Swilling, and D. Wooldridge (Eds.) Democratising Local Government: the South African Experiment, University of Cape Town Press, (With E. Pieterse), 83-96. ISBN 0-620-22-848-2


        • 2002: The value of indicators as a tool for local government, in S. Parnell, E. Pieterse, Mark Swilling, and D. Wooldridge (Eds.) Democratising Local Government: the South African Experiment, University of Cape Town Press, (With M. Poyser), 259-270. ISBN 0-620-22-848-2


        • 2001: Reconstruction/disaster planning: South Africa, International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume: 5.3 Article: 65, Elsevier Press.


        • 1999: Comprendre le passe: une condition essentialle pour la reconstruction des villes de l’apres apartheid, in Rennes, J-M. (ed.) La Rechereche sur la Ville en Afriqu du Sud, Anthropos, Paris, 50-62, (With O.Crankshaw).


        • 1999: Local government’s delivery challenge, in FCR (ed.) Making your IDP Work, FCR, Cape Town, 25-32.


        • 1998: Confronting the legacies of urban poverty and inequality, in SANGOCO (ed.) ‘Speak Out’ Poverty and Inequality Hearings, SANGOCO, Johannesburg.


        • 1998: Interpreting the 1994 African Township Landscape, in Judin, H. and Vladislovic, I. (eds.) Blank: State of Architecture and Urban Planning, NaiMaker, Rotterdam, 438-443. (With O. Crankshaw). Translated and reprinted in Japanese and French


        • Ten Plus One: Special Issue of Urban Architecture Chronicle 1990-2000, Vol.19, 2000, 204209 and Les Annales de la Recherche Urbaine 85, 1999, 126131).


        • 1996: Gender discrimination in the post-apartheid state’s housing budget, in Budlender, D. (ed.) Women’s Budget, IDASA, Cape Town, 121-147.


        • 1992: Slums, segregation and the poor whites in Johannesburg, 19201934, in R., Morrell, (ed.), White but Poor, University of South Africa, Pretoria, 115129.


        • 1992: State intervention in housing provision in the 1980s, in D. Smith (ed.), The Apartheid City and Beyond: Urbanisation and Social Change in South Africa, Routledge, London, 5364.


        • 1992: Geography education in South Africa: colonial roots and prospects for change, in C. Rogerson and J. McCarthy (eds.) Geography in a Changing South Africa, Oxford University Press, Cape Town, 194209. (With H. Wesso).


        • 1991: Mafeking, in A. Lemon, (ed.), Homes Apart, Paul Chapman, London, 162173 (With J. Drummond).


        • 1991: Johannesburg, in A. Lemon, (ed.), Homes Apart, Paul Chapman, London, 129145 (With G. Pirie).


        • 1990: Upgrading ‘matchboxes’: urban renewal in Soweto, 19761986, in D., DrakakisSmith, (ed.), Economic Growth and Urbanisation in Developing Areas, Routledge, London. 238250 (With C. Mather).


    • 1987: Land and finance under