The Sustainable Human Settlement CityLab explores the vexing challenge of housing the urban poor in the Western Cape. In 2012, the CityLab was established with the purpose of providing ad hoc and strategic support to the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements. The research programme for the Lab is coproduced with the officials in the Department’s Policy and Research Unit. The Lab platform allows the Department to access rigorous academic work which draws insights from a diversity of quarters. For the ACC, the Lab offers incredible insight into the workings of the state, of particular interest, the question of how institutions consume knowledge and change their practices.


The current projects which the Lab supports are the Western Cape Human Settlements Framework, the Western Cape Demand Study, and the Informal Settlement Strategy and Toolkit. Recent ad hoc projects include a review of Cape Town’s serviced site release programme, research on the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme in the Western Cape, a Situational Analysis of the Western Cape, and a short study of Multistorey RDP Housing Provision in Johannesburg.