Publishing


The Covid-19 crisis and the South African informal economy: ‘Locked out’ of livelihoods and employment

Caroline Skinner

Caroline Skinner and Michael Rogan co-authored The Covid-19 crisis and the South African informal economy: ‘Locked out’ of livelihoods and employment, as part of the working papers that accompany the NIDS-CRAMS reports. ABSTRACT There is widespread recognition, both internationally and in South Africa, that the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 have impacted particularly […]

Cultural policy and just cities in Africa

Rike Sitas

ABSTRACT In the vastly unequal contexts typical in African cities and amidst the poly crisis of rapid urban development, it is vital to understand how cultural heritage intersects with urban planning, design and development. Although integrating cultural heritage into the urban agenda is crucial to developing sustainable cities, the ways in which culture is being […]

Cover image of nourishing spaces policy brief

Urban Food Security in Kisumu in light of COVID19

Jane Battersby

ABSTRACT This policy brief is informed by the findings of two research projects done in Kisumu over the last four years: 1) the ESRC/DfID-funded ‘Governing Food Systems to Alleviate Poverty in Secondary Cities in Africa’ (Branded Consuming Urban Poverty); and 2) the IDRC-funded ‘Urban Food Systems Governance for Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention in Africa’ (Branded Nourishing […]

Methodological considerations for researching corruption and building urban integrity – a Qualitative Action Experiment in Zambia

Laura Nkula-Wenz

The first contribution (Zinnbauer 2019) to the Cities of Integrity working paper series put forward two key messages: first, that tackling corruption in urban development is a key policy challenge of our time; and second, that activating the professional integrity of the urban planning community is a particularly promising and underexplored response to this challenge. (more…)

Routledge Companion to Public Space out now

Rike Sitas

The Routledge Companion to Public Space, published at the end of May, draws together an outstanding multidisciplinary collection of specially commissioned chapters that offer the state of the art in the intellectual discourse, scholarship, research, and principles of understanding in the construction of public space. ACC’s Rike Sitas contributed a chapter entitled Public space, publicness […]

New book on urban reform and innovation

James Duminy, Susan Parnell

African Centre for Cities has just published a new book Supporting City Futures: The Cities Support Programme and the Urban Challenge in South Africa by James Duminy and Susan Parnell.  In 2018 the Cities Support Programme (CSP), an initiative of the South African National Treasury, approached ACC to assist with the production of a book […]

LAUNCH: 2020 Global Nutrition Report

Jane Battersby

The Global Nutrition Report, released on 12 May 2020, calls on governments, businesses and civil society to step up efforts to address malnutrition in all its forms and tackle injustices in food and health systems. (more…)

Situating sexuality: An interconnecting research agenda in the urban global south

Andrew Tucker, Neil R. Hassan

Andrew Tucker and Neil R. Hasan have published a new paper entitled Situating sexuality: An interconnecting research agenda in the urban global south in GeoForum, volume 109, February 2020. Abstract Significant opportunities exist to connect more directly sexuality research to urbanisation research in the global South. This article considers such connections in relation to the […]

Comparative Urban Research from Theory to Practice – Co-Production for Sustainability

Warren Smit, Rike Sitas, Sylvia Croese

Comparative Urban Research from Theory to Practice – Co-Production for Sustainability edited by David Simon, Henrietta Palmer, and  Jan Riise reflects on the research and experience of the Mistra Urban Futures (MUF) programme, which concluded at the end of 2019.  Reporting on the innovative, transdisciplinary research on sustainable urbanisation being undertaken by Mistra Urban Futures, the […]

Urbanisation Lab delivers co-produced policy guidance for Ghanaian government

Anton Cartwright

To deliver on the Coalition for Urban Transitions‘ project — a major global initiative to support national governments to accelerate economic development and tackle dangerous climate change by transforming towns and cities — the African Centre for Cities applied versions of the ‘citylab’ model that have been used elsewhere (see Anderson et al. 2013) in […]

Becoming Otherwise: Artful Urban Enquiry

Rike Sitas

Becoming Otherwise: Artful Urban Enquiry by Rike Sitas for Urban Forum draws together conceptual threads from public space, public art and public pedagogy literature in order to ‘deepen and widen the analytical and political edge’ of artful forms of urban enquiry as discussed by Pinder International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32(3), 730–736, (Pinder 2008, […]

Step, Step, Breathe

Sophie Oldfield

Step, Step, Breathe by Sophie Oldfield is a film contribution to Volume 2 Spring 2020 of AGITATE!, an online, open access journal which provides a platform for knowledges that seek to unsettle the dominant politics and practices of experts. AGITATE! explores the possibilities and challenges of interweaving scholarship, creative writing, art, journalism, and activism. Step, Step, Breathe tells […]

Critical Methods for the Study of World Politics

Anna Selmeczi

Critical Methods for the Study of World Politics, edited by Shine Choi, Anna Selmeczi and Erzebet Strausz, develops an approach to both method and the socio-political implications of knowledge production that embraces our embeddedness in the world that we study. It seeks to enact the transformative potentials inherent in this relationship in how it engages […]

Cities as a Strategic Resource: Guideline for Ghana’s National Urban Policy Revision

Anton Cartwright

How can Ghana’s cities promote social inclusion, climate resilience and fiscal capacity all at once? Cities as a Strategic Resource: Guideline for Ghana’s National Urban Policy Revision, based on the work of the Ghana Urbanisation Think Tank, provides a guideline to the National Urban Policy revision being undertaken by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in […]

Unpacking the Cape Town Drought: Lessons Learned

Gina Ziervogel

The severe drought experienced by Cape Town between 2015 and 2018 and the imminent threat of “Day Zero” should serve as a warning for other cities as to what climate impacts might look like in future. This paper, Gina Ziervogel, unpacks the governance of the drought in Cape Town, in order to understand what conditions […]

Green Infrastructure in South African Cities

Urban green infrastructure plays a vital role in providing ecosystem services to cities. These services benefit urban residents directly but are also key to cities’ adaptation and mitigation strategies, given the increase of climate change-related risks within cities. It is therefore critical for local governments to consider green infrastructure solutions, especially ones that can cater […]

Climate information for building resilient South African cities

Anna Taylor

For cities to develop in ways that are sustainable, climate resilient and equitable, considerations of climate variability and change must factor into planning, investment and management decisions. To do so requires robust, actionable climate information. In addition to having such information, capacities and mechanisms are needed to factor it into complex technical and political urban […]

The Macro-Economic Impact of Two Different Industrial Development Pathways in Ghana

Cities have historically played an important role in driving the industrialisation and development of countries. In Africa, however, this has largely not been the case. If cities in Africa can be made more efficient and productive, this could have a significant impact on the development trajectory of countries like Ghana. This background paper The Macro-Economic […]

Building Houses Bit-by-Bit: The stories of Hazeldean-Ekupumleni

Sophie Oldfield

The City Research Studio (CRS) is a year-long course presented as part of the newly launched MPhil in Southern Urbanism as well as part of the Masters in Critical Urbanisms (University of Basel) semester at UCT. The CRS is a three-part experimental space for students, and faculty, to engage in the city, to learn to walk, see, smell, touch, embrace, explore […]

Mainstreaming Climate Change in Urban Development

Anna Taylor, Anton Cartwright, Di Scott, Gina Ziervogel, Liza Rose Cirolia

Cape Town’s drought crisis grabbed global headlines in 2018 and its causes and solutions were – and continue to be — hotly debated. But managing water shortages and other climate change impacts have been integrated into the city’s urban policy-making for some time, in response to rapid urbanisation and uncertainty about the exact nature, timing […]

A Systematised Review of the Health Impact of Urban Informal Settlements and Implications for Upgrading Interventions in South Africa, a Rapidly Urbanising Middle-Income Country

Amy Weimann

Amy Weimann co-authored A Systematised Review of the Health Impact of Urban Informal Settlements and Implications for Upgrading Interventions in South Africa, a Rapidly Urbanising Middle-Income Country with Tolu Oni in the special issue Housing and Health, of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  (more…)

Launch of Tanzania’s Urbanisation Roadmap

Anton Cartwright

For Tanzania, rapidly growing cities could either become a national liability or the springboard towards global competitiveness, sustainability and middle-income status. Tanzania has both a growing economy and an urbanising population, but the two trends are not currently mutually reinforcing. (more…)

NEW ARTICLE: Effecting cultural change from below? A comparison of Cape Town and Bandung’s pathways to urban cultural governance

Laura Nkula-Wenz and Zayd Minty examine how different cultural policy approaches have been locally mobilized and reworked in Bandung and Cape Town in response to situated realities and in partnerships between cultural, academic, business and local government actors, in this article for Cultural Trends. ABSTRACT This article compares the cultural governance pathways of two UNESCO […]

New ACC paper argues for strengthening integrity within the planning profession to combat corruption in urban development

by Christian Alexander The scourge of corruption in urban development has corrosive and far-reaching effects that can hardwire injustice into the fabric of cities and undermine social cohesion and trust within communities. Staggering figures reflecting the prevalence and impact of corruption in urban development demonstrate that tackling this issue is a key policy challenge of […]

NEW PAPER: The Potential for Sustainable Urbanisation in Africa

Edgar Pieterse

“…from a political, economic, military, and cultural point of view, […] Africa has to become its own center. It has to become its own force. Not as a way of separating itself from the rest of the world, but as a precondition for it to exercise its weight among other forces in the world.” It […]

IN THE PRESS: Cape Town drought a lesson for SA

Gina Ziervogel

During National Water Week this week, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) African Centre for Cities (ACC) released a new paper which warns that the Cape Town drought has powerful climate-change adaptation lessons for other South African municipalities. (more…)

The Walk

Mercy Brown-Luthango

What can a banana tell us about socio-spatial transformation along the Voortrekker Road Corridor Integration Zone, in Cape Town? An anecdote in The Walk tells us that a single banana sold along the route can double in price depending on where you buy it. (more…)

Cape Town drought delivers powerful lessons to cities on climate adaptation

Gina Ziervogel

African Centre for Cities (ACC) has released a new paper Unpacking the Cape Town Drought Lessons Learnt by Associate Professor Gina Ziervogel. The research was commissioned by the Cities Support Programme, within National Treasury in the South Africa National Government, to ensure that lessons learned from the Cape Town drought experience would serve to inform […]

Unpacking the Cape Town drought: Lessons learned

Gina Ziervogel

African Centre for Cities (ACC) has released a new paper Unpacking the Cape Town Drought Lessons Learnt by Associate Professor Gina Ziervogel. The report was commissioned by the Cities Support Programme, within National Treasury in the South Africa National Government, to ensure that lessons learned from Cape Town drought experience would serve to inform other municipalities when […]