From 25-27 March 2015, the ACC will co-host a meeting to debate efforts to re-locate the center of urban theory-making southward through a comparative analysis of urbanization policies and patterns in South Africa and eastern China. The workshop, titled China-Africa Urban Studies Workshop: Starting from the South, is the result of an initiative by professors Xiangming Chen and Garth Myers in collaboration with Gordon Pirie and Susan Parnell of the African Centre for Cities.
The workshop aims to draw participants together to focus on three specific empirical themes which feature strongly in research in both contexts and which will bear comparative examination:
- the role of the state in orchestrating development, and civil society responses to this. Contrasts may be drawn between adaptive and nuanced state interventions, with wider support and consent; and forms of conflict and contestation
- comparative examination of the impacts on contemporary urban development of migration to cities under the hukou system in Chinese cities and the legacy of influx controls during the apartheid regime in South Africa
- comparative examination of the growth of peri-urban settlements (e.g. informal and satellite cities); fostering cross-cultural global South comparative urban studies to develop in-depth, nuanced accounts of contemporary urbanization.