Cities & Development

This lecture was delivered by Professor Manuel Castells during his visit to Cape Town in 2009.

Conflict and State Fragility

Cities have long been connected with processes of bureaucratisation and state-building, as indeed they have long been linked to conflict and war. In bringing these two associations together we engaged with the historical sociology of Charles Tilly and research in the CAFS programme confirmed that the intersection of cities, states and violent conflict remains significant, […]

Entering the City

Patricia Anahory on returning to Cape Verde after 2 decades away

Bad Buildings

So called bad buildings in the Inner City of Johannesburg reflect the complex processes of city formation in Africa.

Crafting Our Own African Story

Edgar Pieterse

We need to tell the story of the African city in our own way and on our own terms, only this way can we begin to unravel the stereotype that is widely held about them.


Uckechukwu James Iroha’s images reflect the diverse realities of people who form the mix of cultures and influences in the mega city of Lagos.

Densification, Quartering & Culture

Making the most of Cape Town’s limited urban space is the goal of densification. With increased density will come opportunities and challenges to create distinctive urban spaces that provide the locus for the symbolic framing of Cape Town’s many cultures.

Driving Density Higher: Challenges for Central Cape Town

Ivan Turok

Cape Town’s Central City Development Strategy aims to boost the area’s population by 100,000 within 10 years, an almost three-fold increase from the current 55,000. Here, Professor Ivan Turok discusses this bold aspiration and examines the rationale for increasing densities in the central city. What challenges will this initiative face?