Books


New Urban Worlds

New Urban Worlds: Inhabiting Dissonant Times

Polity Books has just published New Urban Worlds: Inhabiting Dissonant Times by AbdouMaliq Simone and Edgar Pieterse, which explores the emerging epicentres of global urbanisation. (more…)

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Book Review: The Art of Public Space

Kim Gurney

Kim Gurney takes readers through Johannesburg via three arts projects. It is a journey that gives a unique insight into the potential of public art to fashion new public imaginaries of common space says LSE’s Kate Dawson. Read the full book review  by Kate Dawson here.    

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Mean Streets: Migration, Xenophobia and Informality in SA

Caroline Skinner

Mean Streets, edited by ACC partners Jonathan Crush, Abel Chikanda and Caroline Skinner, demonstrates powerfully that some of the most resourceful entrepreneurs in the South African informal economy are migrants and refugees. Yet far from being lauded, they take their life into their hands when they trade on South Africa’s “mean streets.” Thirteen chapters draw […]

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Cityscapes #7: Futurity

Tau Tavengwa, Edgar Pieterse, Sean O' Toole

The seventh and latest edition of Cityscapes is framed around the rubric of “futurity”. What will tomorrow be like? It will be more urbanised. It will also, agree various contributors, bear the imprimatur of China. “Whatever the case, China has, for now, become a far more prominent actor than others in the future-making of Africa,” […]

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The Art of Public Space: Curating and Re-imagining the Ephemeral City

Kim Gurney

A journey through Johannesburg via three art projects raises intriguing notions about the constitutive relationship between the city, imagination and the public sphere–through walking, gaming and performance art. Amid prevailing economic validations, the trilogy posits art within an urban commons instead. Imagination counts, says the author, even when it cannot be counted.

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Cityscapes #6: Cape Town: A City Desired

Tau Tavengwa

One city, eleven people, ten ideas. This, in a nutshell, is what this issue is about. In a departure from past issues of this magazine, we pause to look at one city in detail. The city: Cape Town, home to nearly 4 million inhabitants

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Cityscapes #5: Design will not save the city

Tau Tavengwa

Where past issues of Cityscapes have looked east, particularly to the Indian subcontinent, issue five shifts the focus decisively west. Inaugurating our collaboration with USP Cidades, a research centre at the University of São Paulo, architectural critic Fernando Serapião recapitulates the history of social housing design in Brazil. “Heirs of an architectural school with deep […]

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A Comparison of Three SA Municipalities

Anna Taylor, Anton Cartwright

Cape Town and Durban are both large metropolitan municipalities where climate change adaptation is being championed from within the environment departments. However, embedding these plans into municipal budgets and operations to progress implementation is proving difficult.

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The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South

The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South, Edited by Susan Parnell and Sophie Oldfield engages the twenty-first-century city through a ‘southern urban’ lens to stimulate scholarly, professional and activist engagements with the city.

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Africa’s Urban Revolution

Drawing on the expertise of scholars and practitioners associated with the African Centre for Cities, and utilising a diverse array of case studies, Africa’s Urban Revolution provides a comprehensive insight into the key issues – demographic, cultural, political, technical, environmental and economic – surrounding African urbanisation.

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Cityscapes #4: After informality

Tau Tavengwa

In the fourth issue: a grouped series of reports, essays and interviews tracing a zigzag path connecting Tel Aviv to Naples to Berlin to Guangzhou, all cities where African migrants are a feature of the urban matrix.

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Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities

Rogue Urbanism is the outcome of a research exploration by the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town. It arises from the need to push forward a debate on how we can think and theorise the specificity of African cities. Its unique ambition is to produce new and relevant theoretical work […]

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Working in Warwick

Caroline Skinner, Richard Dobson

Working in Warwick offers a fresh look at street traders’ lives, the role they play in city life and their contribution to its economy; and shows that it is possible to include street trading in urban plans in a way that adds to the vibrancy and attraction of cities.

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Urbanisation Imperatives for Africa: Transcending Policy Inertia

Edgar Pieterse, Susan Parnell, David Simon, AbdouMaliq Simone

Urbanization in Africa is real. Most political and policy leaders remain in denial about its centrality and urgency. Urbanization in Africa represents the most complex and intractable policy questions and as long as Africans do not take responsibility to shift the contemporary situation of policy failure, we are in for a crisis. This publication by […]

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Cities and Development

Prof. Jo Beall, Sean Fox

Cities and Development brings into conversation debates from urban and development studies. It grapples with both the challenges and opportunities associated with rapid urban change and provides a critical assessment of current policy and planning responses to the contemporary urban challenge.

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City Futures: Confronting the Crisis of Urban Development

Edgar Pieterse

This book is a powerful indictment of the current consensus on how to cope with the hundreds of “mega-cities” of the developing world. These cities are the future, and the problems surrounding this influx of people–slums, poverty, unemployment and lack of governance–have been well-documented.

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City Life from Jakarta

AbdouMaliq Simone

City Life from Jakarta to Dakar examines the potentials of urban life through reflections on cities in Africa and Southeast Asia. It shows how much of what is considered peripheral to urban life is actually critical to it and thereby opens up new ways for understanding what it is possible to do in cities from […]