Cities in the Global South are characterised by the presence of marginalised areas with inadequate housing, inadequate infrastructure and inadequate security of tenure. Known by a variety of terms, such as informal settlements, slums and precarious neighbourhoods and settlements, it essential that we better understand these types of settlements and potential ways in which the lives of residents can be improved.

The African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) invite you to a symposium on 17 May 2017 where we will be presenting and discussing a number of strands of related work, including the recent AFD book Rethinking Precarious Neighbourhoods edited by Professor Agnès Deboulet, the work of ACC’s Urban Violence, Safety and Inclusion CityLab coordinated by Dr Mercy Bown-Luthango, and the work of the Sustainable Human Settlements CityLab coordinated by Liza Cirolia.


10:00-10:10        Welcome and introduction

10:10-10:40         “Rethinking precarious neighbourhoods” – Professor Agnès Deboulet (Professor of Sociology at the University of Paris 8 and Associate Director of the  Laborotoire Ville, Architecture, Urbanisme Environment, LAVUE-CNRS)

10:40-11:10         “Informal settlement upgrading and safety: Four cases from Cape Town” – Dr Mercy Brown-Luthango (ACC)

11:10-11:40         “’Upgrading informal settlements in South Africa: Understanding the disjunctures between policy   and practice” – Liza Cirolia (ACC)

11:40-12:30         Questions and discussion

Where: Studio 3, EGS Building, Upper Campus, University of Cape Town

Time: 10:00 – 12:30 (followed by lunch)

Date: Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Please note: Space is limited.

Please RSVP to Maryam Waglay at by 12:00 on 15 May 2017.