Liza Rose Cirolia is a researcher at the African Centre for Cities. Her work is largely focused on the social, political, technical and institutional dimensions of sustainable human settlements and urban infrastructure in African cities.
Liza Rose has worked extensively on housing policy in South African cities. She has conducted in depth research and policy development on the Emergency Housing Programme and temporary relocation areas, the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme and the Gap Market, township residential market development, and the upgrading of informal settlements. Since 2012, Liza Rose has coordinated the Sustainable Human Settlements CityLab. The Lab is a partnership between the ACC and the Provincial Department of Human Settlements. The Lab aims to ‘coproduce knowledge’ on complex issues of policy and practice. The Lab team is currently co-writing a guiding document for the Western Cape government entitled, ‘The Living Cape: A Human Settlements Framework’.
Liza Rose is also working on a PhD entitled ‘Financing the Just City: a Socio-technical Study of Public Finance Configurations in Cape Town and Kisumu’. She aims to use grounded cases of public finance practice in both cities to speak into the impasse between conventional public finance thinking, on the one hand, and financialization, on the other. In doing so, she draws on urban socio-technical and techno-political frameworks, with the aim of being propositional and stimulating critical debate about the future of public finance in African cities.
Liza Rose received an undergraduate degree in Development Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She received a Master in City and Regional Planning from the University of Cape Town.
Amin, A. and Cirolia, L. R. (2017). Politics/Matter: Governing Cape Town’s Informal Settlements. Urban Studies DOI: 10.1177/0042098017694133
Cirolia, L. R. and Berrisford, S. (2017). ‘Negotiated planning’: Diverse trajectories of implementation in Nairobi, Addis Ababa, and Harare. Habitat International, 59 (1), 71-79.
Croese, S., Cirolia, L. R., and Graham, N. (2016). Towards Habitat III: Confronting the disjuncture between global policy and local practice on Africa’s ‘challenge of slums’. Habitat International, 53, (1), 237-242.
Cirolia, L. R. (2015). Reframing the ‘gap market’: Lessons and implications from Cape Town’s gap market housing initiative. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment.
McGaffin, R., Cirolia, L. R., and Massyn, M. (2015). Overcoming the Challenge of Vertical Consolidation in South Africa’s Low-Income Settlements: a Case Study of Du Noon. Urban Forum, 26(1), 59-75.
Cirolia, L. R. (2014). South Africa’s Emergency Housing Programme: A prism of urban contest. Development Southern Africa, 31(3), 397-411.
Cirolia, L. R. (2014). (W)Escaping the challenges of the city: A critique of Cape Town’s proposed satellite town. Urban Forum, 25(3), 295-312.
Edited Books and Book Chapters
Cirolia, L. R., Görgens, T., van Donk, M., Smit, W., and Drimie, S. (Eds.) (2016). Pursuing a partnership based approach to incremental informal settlement upgrading in South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: University of Cape Town Press.
Pieterse, E. and Cirolia, L. R. (2016). Shaping the urban horizon in South Africa: reflections on the Integrated Urban Development Framework process. In L. R. Cirolia, T. Görgens, M. van Donk, W. Smit, & S. Drimie, (Eds.) Pursuing a partnership based approach to incremental informal settlement upgrading in South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: University of Cape Town Press.
Cirolia, L. R., Görgens, T., van Donk, M., Smit, W., and Drimie, S. (2016). Introduction. In L. R. Cirolia, T. Görgens, M. van Donk, W. Smit, & S. Drimie, (Eds.) Pursuing a partnership based approach to incremental informal settlement upgrading in South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: University of Cape Town Press.
Cirolia, L. R., Smit, W., and Duminy, J. (2015). Grappling with Housing Issues at the City Scale: Mobilizing the Right to the City in South Africa. In P. Herrle, A. Ley, & J. Fokdal (Eds.), From local action to global networks: Housing the urban poor (pp. 161-176). London, UK: Ashgate.
Cirolia, L. R. (2012). Recasting the development agenda for informal land and housing markets in Nairobi: a critical examination of actors, claims, and urban governance in Kibera. In L. Herzer (Ed.) Changing Cities: Climate, Youth and Land Markets in Urban Areas (pp. 119-141). Washington DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Publication.
Conferences papers and presentations
African Sub-Urbanisms. Presentation entitled: Financial drivers of urban peripheries. October 2016 in Johannesburg. Funded by SSHRC.
Realising Just Cities. Presentation entitled: Just finance: viewing public finance as a socio-technical system. September 2016 in Gothenburg. Funded by MISTRA Urban Futures.
Association of American Geographers. Presentation entitled: Contested planning practices in Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Harare. April, 2016 in San Francisco.
Urban Labs: a tool for integrated and participative urban planning. Presentation entitled: The African Centre for Cities experience with coproduction and urban labs. February 2016 in Barcelona. Funded by UN-Habitat.
China –Africa Symposium. Paper entitled: Overlapping narratives on South Africa’s upgrading agenda. April 2016 in London. Funded by the Urban Studies Foundation.
Doing Global Urban Research Workshop. Paper entitled: Competing discourses and co-producing knowledge: can we build a coherent informal settlements agenda in South Africa?. March 2015 in Loughborough. Funded by the Urban Studies Foundation.
Regionalizing African Civil Societies Conference. Paper entitled: Collective identity, collective action: exploring the potential of new geographies of citizenship in civil society movements in South Africa. October 2014 at the Nordic Africa Institute. Funded by NAI.
Sustainable Human(e) Settlements Conference: Paper entitled: Transforming human settlement delivery in South Africa: a paradigm shift. October 2012 at the University of Johannesburg.
Cirolia, L. R. (2014).The architect can’t save the slum: reflections on design fix housing solutions. In SLUMLab, Issue 9.
Cirolia, L. R. (2012). The logistics corps: a city study on Colombo’s urban militarization and slum clearance. In CityScapes – Rethinking Urban Things, Volume 3.
Lead -Authored Reports
City of Cape Town’s “Gap-Market” Assistance Initiative (for the WC DHS), 2014.
Incremental Housing: Research Paper (for the WC Department of Human Settlements), 2013.
The Implementation of Emergency Housing Case Studies (for Housing Development Agency), 2012.
The Implementation of Emergency Housing Guidelines (for Housing Development Agency), 2012.
Liza Cirolia November 6, 2014
Liza Cirolia of the Sustainable Human Settlements Citylab joined a group of 20 scholars, activist, and practitioners in Uppsala to partake in the Nordic Africa Institutes workshop entitled ‘Regionalizing African Civil Societies: Lessons, Opportunities and Constraints’ on October 30th-31st, 2014. Cirolia and her co-author Ella Sheepers of the Open Society Foundation presented the paper titled […]
Liza Cirolia June 23, 2014
Liza Cirolia June 23, 2014
Mercy Brown-Luthango August 27, 2013
Mercy Brown-Luthango August 21, 2013
Liza Cirolia, Stephen Berrisford, Ian Palmer September 11, 2018
ABSTRACT Decentralization reforms and rapid urbanization place increasing pressure on African urban authorities. In response, land-based finance has been gaining popularity within development discourses as a method of increasing local autonomy and financing local government infrastructure provision. This paper discusses the conceptual basis for land-based finance, the instruments that form part of this approach, and […]