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On tactical planning

11 May, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm SAST

African Centre for Cities hosts visiting scholar Marco Di Nunzio for a seminar entitled On tactical planning, on Thursday, 11 May 2023, from 13:00-14:00, in the EGS Library, Upper Campus, UCT.

This paper looks at the work of planners by exploring the relations between strategic and tactical planning. By documenting the case of Addis Ababa’s construction boom, he discusses how the overlapping between strategies and tactics in planners’ work embodies both the relative privilege of planners, as experts and agents of vested interests in the city, and the conditioned agency of planners, as themselves are acted upon by the courses of action of more powerful agents. In this context, strategic planning does not only fail. It is meant to fail, or at least implemented partially, because its purpose is to catalyse action, not direct it. Instead, tactical planning, while being situational and contingent, is not the realm of weak. Planners’ tactical agency contribute to further embed dominant orders of priority, and hierarchies of entitlement into the spatial fabric of the city.

Marco Di Nunzio is an Assistant Professor in Urban Anthropology at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of The Act of Living (Cornell University Press) and the director of award-winning documentary A Day in Arada. Since February 2020, he is the founding editor of OtherwiseMag, a magazine of ethnographic storytelling. He is currently a Leverhulme Research Fellow, writing a book on Addis Ababa’s construction boom, provisionally entitlement Conspiracies to Build.

WHEN | Thursday, 11 May 2023
TIME | 13:00-14:00
VENUE | EGS Library, Environmental and Geographical Sciences Building, Upper Campus, UCT


11 May, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm SAST
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, Marco Di Nunzo