Papers


Photo credit: Visty Banaji

Working Paper: Developing Prosperous and Inclusive Cities in Africa – National Urban Policies to the Rescue?

Anton Cartwright, Edgar Pieterse, Ian Palmer, Anna Taylor, Susan Parnell

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…)

Land-based financing in sub-Saharan African cities

Liza Cirolia, Stephen Berrisford, Ian Palmer

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

Warren Smit

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 […]

Worlding Cape Town by design: Encounters with creative cityness

Laura Nkula-Wenz

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 […]

Addressing food security in African cities

Jane Battersby, Vanessa Watson

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, […]

Better Urban Growth in Tanzania: A Preliminary Exploration of the Opportunities and Challenges

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 […]

Informal settlement upgrading and safety: experiences from Cape Town, South Africa

Mercy Brown-Luthango

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 […]

Narrative and value articulation of contested green spaces in Cape Town, New York and London

Henrik Ernstson

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 governance and urban food systems in Africa: Examining the linkages

Warren Smit

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 […]

Urban Health Research in Africa: Themes and Priority Research Questions

Warren Smit

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 […]

Informal Migrant Entrepreneurship and Inclusive Growth in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique

Caroline Skinner

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 […]

City Report – Informal Economy Monitoring Study: Street Vendors in Durban

Caroline Skinner

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 […]