Caroline Skinner was the lead editor for the October 2016 Environment and Urbanization Special Issue on Urban Livelihoods. The launch of the issue coincided with the recent Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador.
A United Nations conference seeks urban sustainability. But the agenda will fail without input from researchers, warn Timon McPherson Sue Parnell, Aromar Revi and colleagues.
Abstract: Using collective efficacy as a lens, the paper tries to understand high levels of violence and crime within an urban settlement in Cape Town, which has recently undergone an upgrading process from an informal into a formal settlement. Theory and evidence from North America are that collective efficacy (social cohesion and informal control) has […]
Abstract: Informal settlement dwellers are disproportionately affected by ill health, violence and many other socio-economic challenges. These are largely connected to the unhealthy and unsafe physical conditions within which they live. Interventions in the built form through the provision of physical infrastructure have been proposed as a strategy to improve economic, social and health outcomes for […]
Value articulation as sociomaterial narrative practice Based on empirical work in Cape Town, New York and London the article expands on an existing narrative framework for value articulation (see Ernstson 2013; Ernstson and Sörlin, 2009; Sörlin 1998). Above all they emphasise the sociomateiral character of narrative practice and the role role of designers: [T]his framework pays attention to […]
Urban food systems have increasingly been recognised as a topic that needs to be better understood, in order to address issues of urban food security and urban poverty. This is particularly so in Africa, which has high rates of urban population growth and high levels of urban food insecurity. There has, however, been surprisingly little work on examining […]
In this paper, we examine how economic, social and political forces impact on NCDs in Khayelitsha (a predominantly low income area in Cape Town, South Africa) through their shaping of the built environment. The paper draws on literature reviews and ethnographic field work undertaken in Khayelitsha. The three main pathways through which the built environment […]
In Africa, urbanization and urban growth are dramatically restructuring the nature of cities. The growing majority of urban dwellers now live in informal conditions that, without access to basic services or public amenities, expose residents to greater health risk, and health-care systems are unable to provide affordable or comprehensive cover. The differential exposure to these urban conditions is compounded […]
While increasing attention is being paid to the drivers and forms of entrepreneurship in informal economies, much less of this policy and research focus is directed at understanding the links between mobility and informality. This report examines the current state of knowledge about this relationship with particular reference to three countries (Mozambique, South Africa and […]
The Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS) is designed to provide in-depth understanding of how informal workers are affected by and respond to economic trends, urban policies and practices, value chain dynamics, and other economic and social forces. In Durban, WIEGO partnered with Asiye eTafuleni to carry out this study. This report outlines key findings and […]
For its 2013 World Development Report (WDR) on Jobs, the World Bank team commissioned WIEGO to produce a set of case studies with a synthesis report on representative voice and economic rights of informal workers. This background paper includes annexes of case studies written by WIEGO Team members and partners. This paper can be viewed […]
This paper uses actor-network theory (ANT) to study a grassroots’ ecological rehabilitation project in a marginalized area of Cape Town. By tracing the stabilization of relations between residents, authorities, plants and green areas, the paper demonstrates how ANT can be enfolded into the study of African cities as an attentive way to rethink agency, empowerment […]
Principles of Social Ecological Design combines ten years of social-ecological research in Stockholm with a concrete intervention on how to design the Albano campus, an extension of Stockholm University. The book develops social-ecological urbanism as a second generation discourse after the dominance of the smart growth and sustainable urbanism paradigms. It deals not only with designs for mitigation of carbon emissions, but […]
This paper provides a selected reading of the strongly emergent studies of African urbanism and develops two contribution that this literature can bring to the wider understanding of cities and urbanisation. These contributions focuses on new modes of making theory in collaboration and engagement with activists and practitioners, where African scholars have a long experience. […]
The paper represents our first effort to develop and extend Urban Political Ecology as a framework for analysing power and materiality in cities. The paper merges or reads across three strands of literature, being political ecology (with origins in rural developing country research, but with important extensions using feminist theory etc), Urban Political Ecology (with […]
This paper combines ecological field work, including soil sampling and pollinator studies, with theories of knowledge practice to better understand how expert-led and civic-led greening and indigenous plant rehabilitation efforts differ in social and ecological outcomes. The focus on ecological outcomes has often been neglected in urban Natural Resource Management theory. This paper can be […]
This paper develops an “internal” critique of the Ecosystem Services approach (ESS) to understand the contested role of ecosystems in urban landscapes. By using studies from Cape Town and Stockholm, it brings together three wider strands of literature, from Social-Ecological Systems and resilience theory (SES), Urban Political Ecology (UPE) and Environmental Justice (EJ) it develops […]
This paper develops an “external” critique of the Ecosystem Services approach (ESS). It argues that the contemporary emergence of ecosystems series as a tool for policy and decision-making, has to be viewed as part of a wider historical shift in how cities and societies are being governed. This shift has since the 1980s been part […]
Here we show how social movement scholarship can help to understand underpinning systemic features of urban areas and their relation to growing food in times of crises. Its a contribution to the discussions around food security. This paper can be viewed or downloaded here.
Departing from common property theory based on Ellinor Ostrom, this paper compare different case studies and experiences of who urban green commons have been managed in cities of Europe and Cape Town. This paper can be viewed or downloaded here.
This paper develops, juxtaposes and interprets quite different understandings of a conservation area in Cape Town. The history of colonialism and apartheid, racialized readings and notions of identity, influences how different stakeholders, from poor residents and slum-dwellers to conservation managers, understand the space of Macassar Dunes and what it means to ‘conserve’ it as a […]