This working paper was prepared by the African Centre for Cities. It was developed in partnership with the Coalition for Urban Transitions, which is a major global initiative to support national governments to accelerate economic development and tackle dangerous climate change by transforming towns and cities. (more…)
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 […]
The challenges of transdisciplinary knowledge production: from unilocal to comparative research by David Simon, Henrietta Palmer, Jan Riise, Warren Smit, Sandra Valencia, reflects on the work done through the Mistra Urban Futures (MUF) research centre and its local interaction platforms in Sweden, the UK, South Africa and Kenya. The paper surveys the lessons learnt and […]
ABSTRACT Considering the ongoing global proliferation of the urban ‘creativity fix’ and its inclination to further push local governments towards entrepreneurial governance logics and market-led development imperatives, there is a sustained need to understand how the creative city paradigm is being grounded, renegotiated and put into practice in so-called ‘Southern’ cities. To analyse Cape Town’s […]
ABSTRACT This paper examines African urban infrastructure and service delivery as an entry point for connecting African aspirations with the harsh developmental imperatives of urban management, creating a dialogue between scholarly knowledge and sustainable development policy aspirations. (more…)
ABSTRACT A burgeoning literature looks into the processes and actors involved in the adoption and emulation of best practices and models of urban policy and development across the globe, often with the aim of attracting investment and making cities more competitive. (more…)
ABSTRACT The understanding of food security has seen major shifts since the original conceptualisations of the challenge. These changes in understanding have been accompanied by different food security measurement approaches. (more…)
In sub-Saharan Africa, the food system impacts on a number of urban development issues such as poverty, unemployment and poor health. Informal traders meet the food needs of many poor urban households. However, supermarket chains are changing this, demanding particular policy and planning responses, writes Jane Battersby and Vanessa Watson in their latest paper for Nature, […]
Tanzania’s urban population is projected to grow from less than 15 million people in 2012 to more than 60 million people by mid-century. This rapid urban population growth offers the potential for structural transformation, as well as scale and agglomeration economies that can accelerate human and economic development. Planning and investment decisions made today will […]
The South African, and wider African, food system is undergoing a rapid transformation, with an associated transformation in nutrition. (more…)
A new report The 2030 Agenda: Issues for the G20, authored by Edgar Pieterse, Susan Parnell and Sylvia Croese of the African Centre for Cities has just been released.
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 […]