Laura Nkula-Wenz

Role/Position: Lecturer and student affairs coordinator Email:

Laura Nkula-Wenz is a lecturer and student affairs coordinator for the MA in ‘Critical Urbanisms’, a joint program between the ACC and the University of Basel, Switzerland. Laura is an urban geographer with a keen interest in postcolonial urban theory, African urbanism and public culture. Her research focuses on the transformation of urban governance and the construction of local political agency, on questions of urban experimentation and knowledge networks, as well as the nexus of cultural production and urban change.


She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Münster/Germany, where she also completed a degree in Human Geography, Communication Studies and Political Science. Prior to joining ACC’s ‘Critical Urbanisms’ program, Laura completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Pôle de recherche pour l’organisation et la diffusion de l’information géographique (Prodig) in Paris, funded by the Laboratory of Excellence “Territorial and Spatial Dynamics” (Labex DynamiTe).


NKULA-WENZ, L. (2018): Worlding Cape Town by design: Encounters with creative cityness. Environment & Planning A ,18(2), DOI: 10.1177/0308518X18796503


NKULA-WENZ, L. (in print, 2018): A Closer Look at the Role of International Accolades in Worlding Cape Town’s Urban Politics In: Bassens, D., Beekman, L. & B. Derudder (eds.) The City as Global Political Actor, Routledge. [peer-reviewed]


NKULA-WENZ, L. (accepted, 2018): Of ‘godziners’ and ‘designer citizens’: The emergence of designers as political subjects in Cape Town. Journal of Urban Cultural Studies. Special issue edited by Simone Kalkman and Carolyn Birdsall.


WENZ, L. (2015): The local institutional dynamics of international accolades: Cape Town’s designation as World Design Capital 2014. In: Haferburg, C. & Huchzermeyer, M. (eds.): Urban Governance in Postapartheid Cities. Stuttgart: Schweizerbart; Durban: UKZN Press, pp. 251-270 [peer-reviewed]


WENZ, L. (2015): Worlding – Zwischen theoretischer Annährung, kritischer Intervention und gelebter (Forschungs-) praxis. Kommentar zu Stephan Lanzs “Über (Un-) Möglichkeiten, hiesige Stadtforschung zu postkolonialisieren”. Sub/urban Zeitschrift für Kritische Stadtforschung, 3(1), pp. 97-102


WENZ, L. (2013): Changing Tune in Woodstock: Creative industries and local urban development in Cape Town/ South Africa. Gateways – International Journal of Community Research & Engagement, 5, pp. 16-34


NKULA-WENZ, L. (2017) „Dekolonisieren wir unsere Köpfe“…und unsere Städte! Rezension zu Zwischenraum Kollektiv (eds.) Decolonize the city. Zur Kolonialität der Stadt. Münster: Unrast Verlag. Sub/urban Zeitschrift für Kritische Stadtforschung, 5(3), pp. 172-175


NKULA-WENZ, L. (2016) Christine Hentschel 2015: Security in the Bubble: Navigating Crime in Urban South Africa. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 40(3), pp. 714-16

  • Sophie Oldfield, Laura Nkula-Wenz

    Urban Immersions

    Laura Nkula-Wenz’s and Sophie Oldfield reflect on the cutting-edge urban studies teaching in the innovative collaboration between the University of Basel’s Masters in Critical Urbanisms and the African Centre for Cities’s University of Cape Town-based Masters in Southern Urbanism, in ‘Urban Immersions’ published in the European Association of International Education’s winter issue of Forum, focused […]

  • Laura Nkula-Wenz

    Worlding Cape Town by design: Encounters with creative cityness

    ABSTRACT Considering the ongoing global proliferation of the urban ‘creativity fix’ and its inclination to further push local governments towards entrepreneurial governance logics and market-led development imperatives, there is a sustained need to understand how the creative city paradigm is being grounded, renegotiated and put into practice in so-called ‘Southern’ cities. To analyse Cape Town’s […]