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22

Oct, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Democracy disconnected: Participation and Governance in a City of the South

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Democracy disconnected: Participation and Governance in a City of the South

Laurence Piper and Fiona Anciona, University of the Western Cape

22 October 2019
16:00-17:30 
First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building

RSVP: thammy.Jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract:  Through in-depth empirical work in Hout Bay over seven years, Democracy Disconnected demonstrates that neither City Hall nor the state as a whole is in full command of governance in the city of Cape Town. Confronted by shortcomings in meetings key needs of city life such as livelihoods, housing, security, transport and environmental well-being, non-state actors including groups of residents step into the governance gap. This takes the forms of both conscious partnership to co-govern the city, but also the contest of city rule by disaffected groups. Furthermore, this proliferation of forms of governance follows logics in tension with democratic citizenship, such as market co-governance, developmental governance and informal governance. Illustrated through the example of security provision, the reality that multiple actors impact on urban rule in contending ways has parlous consequences for democratic rule and democratic citizenship. Rather than producing democratic citizens, city rule also turns both wealthy and poor residents into consumers, clients or those marginalized from formal rule altogether.

Biography: Laurence Piper is a Political Scientist at the University of the Western Cape interested in urban governance, democracy, and informality in the urban South. He is the previous President of the South African Association of Political Studies (SAAPS) 2016-8. His current work focuses on the governance of informality and how this intersects with the informalisation of governance. Fiona Anciano is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Studies, University of the Western Cape. Fiona does research in Democracy and Politics, Urban Politics and Comparative Democratization.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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15

Oct, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Co-production: between service delivery strategy and urban governance transformation approach: experiences from Metro Manila

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Co-production: between service delivery strategy and urban governance transformation approach: experiences from Metro Manila

Jakub Galuszka, Habitat Unit, Technical University of Berlin

15 October 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building

RSVP: thammy.Jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: Social movement-initiated co-production has been increasingly described as an approach that enables urban poor communities in the South to gain wider access to urban governance. However, with a predominant focus on project-level interventions, the case studies in which movements truly affect governance matters on a metro scale are rare. One of the examples involving such an achievement is the activism of civil society organisations and urban poor groups in Metro Manila, Philippines, which have succeeded to have a major impact on the housing and resettlement programme; the Oplan LIKAS. This lecture discusses how the civil society was able to gain such a position and the way it utilised it. The documentation of the challenges experienced by the civil society reflects the nature of co-productive engagement in the South and shows that it may easily reach its limits in an exclusionary governance setting.

Biography: Jakub Galuszka is an urban planner and sociologist currently working as a researcher at the Habitat Unit, Technical University of Berlin. Before joining the Habitat Unit he worked and conducted research in Poland, the Philippines, Georgia and South Africa. This work has spanned monitoring and evaluation, project coordination, formulation of funding applications and policy recommendations in the fields of urban governance, upgrading of informal areas and community-based development.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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10

Oct, 2019
Thu @ 02:00

Urgency in the Anthropocene

The Global Change Institute and the Gauteng City Region Observatory are please to invite you to a seminar dealing with some of the wicked challenges we are currently facing.

Urgency in the Anthropocene

Professor Amanda H. Lynch, Lindemann Distinguished Professor of Society and Environment, Brown University, USA

10 October 2019

14.00 – 15:30

Venue: GCRO (6th Floor University Corner)

The need to respond to crisis and disaster caused by anthropogenic climate change is challenging human values. Systems of sovereignty and law are being stretched in an attempt to meet the onrushing challenges. This discourse of urgency emboldens impulsive policy and governance responses. The once unacceptable, such as geoengineering solutions or totalitarian governance, have become anticipated and even demanded. But the ages of humans in the world have unfolded as nuanced and multi-faceted journeys; the Anthropocene offers but one framing of the world among many, in which human agency prevents, prepares for, and responds to change. In this talk, I will examine the interplay between the unfolding state of urgency and the means by which this urgency is identified and addressed. My aim is to pose the questions that Anthropocene urgency is raising and propose a response. This proposition is that the commons is not a tragedy, but rather the opportunity for a -- difficult and uncomfortable -- coexistence. Through this approach to coexistence, we may map a path through the fragmentation that Anthropocene urgency invites, to invoke a sense of commonality in purpose.

RSVP: Please RSVP to Nadine Abrahams at nadine.abrahams@gcro.ac.za by no later than the 7th October 2019.

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30

Aug, 2019
Fri @ 08:30

State of the Art: Gender and Urban Research colloquium

Friday, 30 August 2019

08:30-16:00

Humanities Graduate Centre, South West Engineering Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Gender and the City have been an important area of investigation through a number of disciplines over the last few decades. Feminist Geography, gendered planning approaches and some of the urban anthropologies to name a few sub-disciplines have dedicated substantive time, theoretical reckoning and imagination to the questions of urban space and gender. In South Africa, there is a sense that much work has been undertaken from a range of disciplines and perspectives. However, it has infrequently been brought together with most researchers, students and interested parties working within their academic silos. The Network for Gender and Urban Research, co-convened between the Gauteng City Region Observatory and the NRF Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning wants to invite abstracts (250 words) to reflect and discuss the research that has been and is being undertaken on questions of gender and the urban; look at the gamut of studies that are or have been undertaken and bring them into dialogue with each other.

Click here for the detailed programme with abstracts.

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27

Aug, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

The art of resistance: Contesting gentrification and displacement in South Africa

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

The art of resistance: Contesting gentrification and displacement in South Africa

Delia Ah Goo, Geography and Environmental Studies, North-West University

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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20

Aug, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Water security in Gauteng

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Water security in Gauteng

Gillian Maree, Gauteng City-Region Observatory

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: Gauteng can never take its water security for granted. Recent water crises in Cape Town and other parts of South Africa has given focus to water and the need for water to be a regular item on urban planning agendas.

The geography of the Gauteng City-Region (GCR), architecture of a hidden water infrastructure and governance structures set the context for urban water security. As Gauteng’s population expands and the economy grows, we must continually review the security of water if it is to continue to sustain society and economic growth. Cape Town has demonstrated how quickly a large city can enter a crisis if it is not prepared.

The GCRO has an ongoing area of work that looks to unravel water security challenges and has developed a Water Security Perspective for the GCR. The presentation will aim to engage a discussion on the importance of water in planning and decision-making and will touch on a range of water challenges that exist in Gauteng, how they affect the city-region and likely future impacts.

Bio: Gillian Maree is a Senior Researcher with the Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO). She is an Urban Environmental Planner with 19 years’ experience in sustainability, urban environmental planning and water governance. Gillian has worked extensively in both the public and private sector in South Africa and contributed to numerous policy documents, national and regional environmental assessments and research reports. Her current research work includes water security and water governance in the Gauteng City Region, Green Infrastructure and the governance of environmental issues.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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13

Aug, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Accounting for the C/city: Analyzing fiscal configurations in Kisumu, Kenya

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Accounting for the C/city: Analyzing fiscal configurations in Kisumu, Kenya

Liza Rose Cirolia, African Centre for Cities, UCT

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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06

Aug, 2019
Tue @ 04:30

Book launch: Race for education: Gender, white tone, and schooling in South Africa, Cambridge University Press

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Book launch: Race for education: Gender, white tone, and schooling in South Africa, Cambridge University Press

Mark Hunter, Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

16:30 for 17:00

WISER, 6th Floor, Richard Ward Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Mark Hunter will discuss the book (published by Cambridge University Press) with Sarah Nuttall and Hlonipha Mokoena.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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30

Jul, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Shifting in the city: Transgender refugee experiences of being and longing in Cape Town

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Shifting in the city: Transgender refugee experiences of being and longing in Cape Town

B Camminga, African Centre for Migration & Society, Wits

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

South Africa is unique on the African continent in relation to refugee regimes in that it is the only country that recognises and constitutionally protects transgender refugees and asylum seekers. For many of those who come to So h Africa seeking refuge from other countries within Africa, it is the city of Cape Town – as the ‘Pink Capital’ – that has arguably come to stand for a kind of queer utopia. Drawing on research carried out between 2012 and 2015 this paper unpacks the narratives of several transgender-identified refugees and asylum seekers or ‘gender refugees’ as they move to and through the city. Gender refugees are those who can make claims to refugee status, fleeing their countries of origin based on the persecution of their gender identity. ‘Gender refugees’ are different from sexual refugees in that their issues pertain to a perceived incongruity between their gender identity and birth-assigned sex. For people who are transgender identified and asylum seekers, navigating the city is inherently precarious, is often met with violence and frequently requires furtiveness as a tactic of survival. Through mapping their lived experiences, this paper troubles the assumption that the city is accessible in its ‘Pinkness’ for all kinds of bodies and that it will evince a sense of belonging. Instead for gender refugees, their navigation of the city, their shifts, suggest hitherto unexplored complexities to gender and belonging concerning space, place and marginality as they animate both the dream and the reality of Cape Town.

Bio

B Camminga is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the African Centre for Migration & Society, Wits University, SA. Their research interests include: transgender rights particularly in relation to migration and asylum; the bureaucratisation of sex/gender; and transgender history in South Africa. Their first monograph Transgender Refugees & the Imagined South Africa: Bodies over Borders & Borders over Bodies was published by Palgrave in 2018. Their current book project, Beyond the Mountain: Queer Life in Africa’s ‘Gay Capital’ (Unisa 2019) with Dr Zethu Matebeni, explores the conflicting iterations of race, sex, gender and sexuality that mark the city of Cape Town.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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23

Jul, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

JDA’s Jozi Walks initiative, showcasing Hillbrow Youth Tours, the Maboneng Township Arts Experience (Alex) and Noordgesig ‘Historical’ Arts Alive

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

JDA’s Jozi Walks initiative, showcasing Hillbrow Youth Tours, the Maboneng Township Arts Experience (Alex) and Noordgesig ‘Historical’ Arts Alive

Douglas Cohen; Lesley Mosweu; Siphiwe Ngwenya; Nadia Naudee (JDA; Hillbrow Youth Tours; Maboneng Township Arts Experience in Alex; Noordgesig ‘Historical’ Arts Alive)

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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04

Jun, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Development in the Gauteng City Region: macro-trends and implications for policy and governance

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Development in the Gauteng City Region: macro-trends and implications for policy and governance

Michael Sachs, Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, Wits

Tuesday, 4 June 2019 (Postponed from 7 May)

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: The Gauteng City Region is one of the largest urban agglomerations in the world. Extreme inequality and mass unemployment are entrenched and remain a fetter on development. Despite this, multitudes are drawn to the city region in their quest for a better life and as South Africa urbanises, Gauteng is home to a rising share of the nation’s population.

The presentation summarises key macro trends in the society and economy of the Gauteng City-Region since the dawn of democracy, drawing extensively on the work of Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO). It reflects a synthesis report prepared for policy-makers, which is organised around the following themes:

People, economy and resourcesPublic services, society and inequalitySpatial development and settlement patterns

From this synthesis, broad conclusions are drawn in respect of the sustainability of development, the character of new urban forms and the governance challenges facing the Gauteng City-Region.

Biography: Michael Sachs is Adjunct Professor at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies at Wits University. He has worked for over twenty-five years in public policy, politics and government in South Africa. He is former head of National Treasury’s budget office. He spent nine years at the national headquarters of the ANC, working on research and economic policy. During 2018 he worked in the office of the Premier of Gauteng, where he was responsible for monitoring and evaluation.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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28

May, 2019
Tue @ 12:30

Faces of the City: Curating knowledge of, and policies for, smart cities and climate change

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Curating knowledge of, and policies for, smart cities and climate change

Richard Tomlinson, University of Witwatersrand and University of Melbourne

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

12:30-14:00 (special lunchtime seminar)

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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14

May, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: City-to-city learning in urban strategic planning in southern Africa

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

City-to-city learning in urban strategic planning in southern Africa: insights from the UCLG mentorship program between Durban, Mzuzu City and Otjiwarongo Councils

Sogendren Moodley, Urban Futures Centre, DUT

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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07

May, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Development in the Gauteng City Region: macro-trends and implications for policy and governance

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Development in the Gauteng City Region: macro-trends and implications for policy and governance

Michael Sachs, Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, Wits

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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30

Apr, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Managing security in the residential neighbourhoods of Johannesburg

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Managing security in the residential neighbourhoods of Johannesburg: neoliberalism, neo-Communitarianism, or something else?

Martin Murray, Taubman College, University of Michigan

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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23

Apr, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Participatory public art and the city: from JDA commissions to on the ground realisation

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Participatory public art and the city: from JDA commissions to on the ground realisation

Yasmeen Dinath, Johannesburg Development Agency; Myer Taub, Wits School of the Arts; Tamara Guhrs, Flying House; Stephen Hobbs, Trinity Session

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: In 2018 Myer Taub and Tamara Guhrs collaborated on "Birds of the Grove", a participatory public art and theatre intervention as part of the Johannesburg Development Agency’s #ArtMyJozi place-making through art initiative. The work fell within the Trinity Session’s commission by the JDA for #ArtMyJozi in Orange Grove. Taub and Guhrs found their participatory performance and Applied Theatre methods valuable in generating critical reflection on the power dynamics at play in engaging with place-making in any give context. This panel discussion uses their findings through “Birds of the Grove” as a case study for considering the hopes for participatory public art engagement at a city level (JDA); the structures, intentions and experiences of the arts project managers receiving City commissions (Trinity Session) and the on-the-ground realisation of participatory public art works (Guhrs and Taub). How do these three levels interact? Where are their intentions shared, where do they differ and what are their relative satisfactions/dissatisfactions with a public art project’s realisation? How might a robust dialogue between all three levels of public art work commissions further a nuanced, complex approach to place-making in Johannesburg?

Biographies:

Pauline Borton is a fourth year Bachelor of Visual Arts Student (HONS) at UNISA. Her research is founded in concepts that explore the construction of social space, including the role of the imagination in defining and affirming a sense of belonging and identity. Pauline is the senior project manager for The Trinity Session and manages the curation and coordination of The Trinity Session public art/place-making projects in South Africa.

Tamara Guhrs is a freelance consultant who has used participatory performance practices in a variety of contexts, from high schools in Joburg's inner city to conservation in rural Zambia. She is a facilitator on the core team of ASSITEJ's Kickstarter programme, working to embed creative arts into the primary school curriculum, as well as a founding member of Flying House, an organisation aimed at connecting artists with business opportunities, and business with creative and cultural capital. She has worked as a theatre designer, writer and educator.

Stephen Hobbs co-directs the artist collaborative and public art consultancy, The Trinity Session, and since 2004 has co-produced a range of multi-medium urban and network-focused projects with Marcus Neustetter, under the collaborative name Hobbs/Neustetter. In 2017 Hobbs joined the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, as Unit Leader and resident critic. Hobbs’ near 10 year relationship with David Krut Projects has broadened his artistic repertoire through print making, book making and publishing.

Dr Myer Taub teaches in the theatre and performance division (TAP) at the Wits School of Arts. He is an academic, performer, director, dramatist and theatre maker. His most recent works include: "Florence", (as playwright) at The Market Theatre, August 2018, "Birds of the Grove" as theatre-maker for The Trinity Session and Johannesburg Development Agency, " Time Flies and the Spruit of BraamsFountain" for JoziWalks (May 2018) and "Tracing the Spruit" for Watershed, (September 2018). He is a working group member of the Performance as Research working group affiliated to the International Federation for Theatre Research.

Liana Strydom is Assistant Director in City Transformation, Dept. of Development Planning with decades of experience in urban planning CoJ. Liana has been the force behind securing city funding for sustaining commitment to the ArtMyJozi art programme through the JDA. She has passionately defended the funding of functional public art and placemaking initiatives and has personally guided the methods and outcomes of the programme.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the Centre for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies (CUBES) and the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (SA&CP) in the School of Architecture and Planning; the Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO); and the Wits City Institute (WCI).

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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16

Apr, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Modes, mechanisms and modalities of middle class suburban governance

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Modes, mechanisms and modalities of middle class suburban governance

Margot Rubin and Alexandra Appelbaum, SARchi Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, Wits School of Architecture and Planning

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: The middle-class communities of Johannesburg have been and remain key role-players in shaping the urban landscape of the City. Through a wide variety of modes of engagement, and utilising a plethora of tactics, these communities have been instrumental in influencing how the city looks. Litigation; the use of built-environment professionals; aggressive engagement; as well as moments of co-operation, characterise the engagement of these communities with the state. The paper argues for an expanded notion of “NIMBY-ism” whereby the desired outcomes are a set of urban visions regarding what the “City” and their small portions thereof should look like. These are highly differentiated and include: historical nostalgia about an idealised past, as can be seen in the older middle-class southern suburbs; tropes of international cosmopolitan lifestyles promoted in Norwood and Orange Grove; and a new form of democratic community that is based on notions of new media and a “green community” in Parkhurst. Thus, drawing on a wide variety of cases, from across the city, the paper traces the tactics of resistance to many state supported projects. It offers empirical accounts of the underlying visions that motivate and mobilise collective action within these communities and, in turn, which shape their urban environments, as well as a clear sense of the ability of these actions to affect spatial change. We argue that although the cases are localised to Johannesburg, the middle class is growing across African cities, and understanding the governance dynamics of the South African middle classes arguably, the most established on the continent, is important in gaining insights for other contexts.

Biography: Margot Rubin is a senior researcher in the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning at Wits. She has worked as a researcher, and policy and development consultant focusing on housing, urban development issues, inner city regeneration, and is currently engaged in work around mega housing projects and issues of gender and the city.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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09

Apr, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Shifting in the city: transgender refugee experiences of being and longing in Cape Town

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Shifting in the city: transgender refugee experiences of being and longing in Cape Town

B. Camminga, African Centre for Migration & Society, Wits

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: South Africa is unique on the African continent in relation to refugee regimes in that it is the only country that recognises and constitutionally protects transgender refugees and asylum seekers. For many of those who come to So h Africa seeking refuge from other countries within Africa, it is the city of Cape Town – as the ‘Pink Capital’ – that has arguably come to stand for a kind of queer utopia. Drawing on research carried out between 2012 and 2015 this paper unpacks the narratives of several transgender-identified refugees and asylum seekers or ‘gender refugees’ as they move to and through the city. Gender refugees are those who can make claims to refugee status, fleeing their countries of origin based on the persecution of their gender identity. ‘Gender refugees’ are different from sexual refugees in that their issues pertain to a perceived incongruity between their gender identity and birth-assigned sex. For people who are transgender identified and asylum seekers, navigating the city is inherently precarious, is often met with violence and frequently requires furtiveness as a tactic of survival. Through mapping their lived experiences, this paper troubles the assumption that the city is accessible in its ‘Pinkness’ for all kinds of bodies and that it will evince a sense of belonging. Instead for gender refugees, their navigation of the city, their shifts, suggest hitherto unexplored complexities to gender and belonging concerning space, place and marginality as they animate both the dream and the reality of Cape Town.

B Camminga is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the African Centre for Migration & Society, Wits University, SA. Their research interests include: transgender rights particularly in relation to migration and asylum; the bureaucratisation of sex/gender; and transgender history in South Africa. Their first monograph Transgender Refugees & the Imagined South Africa: Bodies over Borders & Borders over Bodies was published by Palgrave in 2018. Their current book project, Beyond the Mountain: Queer Life in Africa’s ‘Gay Capital’ (Unisa 2019) with Dr Zethu Matebeni, explores the conflicting iterations of race, sex, gender and sexuality that mark the city of Cape Town.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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09

Apr, 2019
Tue @ 08:00

Faces of the City: Clash of meanings and unfulfilled ideals in Johannesburg post-apartheid public spaces

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Clash of meanings and unfulfilled ideals in Johannesburg post-apartheid public spaces

Ilaria Boniburini, independent scholar

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

8:00-9:30 (Special breakfast seminar)

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: The presentation explores the role built forms have in mediating social transformations in post-colonial cities, through the production of public spaces in Johannesburg’s city centre since 1994. Johannesburg inherited parks and squares, important places for the reproduction of the colonial regimes. In post-apartheid, urban planning has attempted to challenge the socio-spatial structure of segregation, supporting ideals of integration and social justice. The objective of favoring propinquity among people of different classes and ethnicity clashes with a complexity of issues, which in the making of public spaces appear paradoxical. The physical segregation inherited from Apartheid is accompanied by the retreat into private spaces by affluent classes, who desire to separate themselves, either from crime, fear of crime or from avoiding contact with poverty. In urban spaces, colonial and neoliberal capitalist powers are celebrated, the former in the name of cultural heritage and the latter legitimized by economic regeneration and securitization imperatives. Public spaces are where decolonization is urgently needed, but also where it tends to be ignored by design practices, often biased towards a repetition of theoretical debates and models based on the archetypes of the European public space and embedded in Western cultural practices. The result is an atomisation of public life carved by divisions on the basis of class and race, creating a landscape of public borders.

Biography: Ilaria is a registered architect working on community design and public spaces, a scholar in urban studies, with research interests in African urbanism, the right to the city and the politics of architecture, and an educator.
She gained twenty years of experience as an architect, while completing a Masters and a PhD in urban planning, both with case studies in Sub-Saharan Africa. She was a senior lecturer in urban design at the University of Rwanda, a postdoc fellow at the University of Witwatersrand and an adjunct professor at the La Sapienza University of Rome, teaching urban and regional policy. Ilaria is the co-founder of two Italian not-for-profit organizations, Zone Onlus and Associazione Eddyburg and the coordinator of the environmental and planning committee of a new Italian political party. Her voluntary work includes advocacy planning, the direction of the award winning Italian website eddyburg.it, writing articles, teaching, and giving talks on environmental justice, the right to the city and urban planning.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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02

Apr, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: 1 Billion litres of water per year: putting communities at the centre of development

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

1 Billion litres of water per year: putting communities at the centre of development

Jennifer van den Bussche, Sticky Situations

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: Since its founding in 2009, WASSUP (Water, Amenities, Sanitation Services, Upgrading Program) Diepsloot, a community-based organization, in collaboration with Sticky Situations, a Johannesburg based organisation, has worked against extraordinary odds to improve water and sanitation services in Extension 1, Diepsloot. For over ten years, WASSUP has been repairing and maintaining communal toilet facilities in Extension 1. Working with limited resources, the co-operative has not only developed a sustainable and accountable repair and maintenance model, it has also developed a water tracking system that has helped to generate important data around water use and huge potential cost savings for the City of Johannesburg. WASSUP’s processes and practices provide scope for innovative best practice. The methodology developed is an easily adoptable model that can be applied at scale to existing City infrastructure. On the 28th March a report about the work and research undertaken by WASSUP will be launched in Diepsloot, wrapping up 10 years of community development, 5 years of data capturing, and a final push to local/national government to embed this type of program into existing systems – the findings are clear: it cost R20 million to maintain the status quo, or R1.3 million to fix it and stop the water loss. This session will present the work undertaken by WASSUP, highlighting and reinforcing the important findings and the pressing need for both governmental and private support so as to continue expanding the essential programme both within Diepsloot and to other parts of Johannesburg more broadly.

Biography: Jennifer van den Bussche is the founder and director of Sticky Situations, a Johannesburg-based collaborative organisation with a special focus on participatory and community development. A project manager with more than twenty-five years’ experience, she has strong facilitation skills complemented by a background in construction and architecture and extensive experience in community development, and uses these skills to create successful outcomes to a range of projects, including public art, public space and sanitation upgrades and multimedia exhibitions. van den Bussche studied architecture and completed a master’s degree in international and community development at Deakin University, Melbourne, and is also a research affiliate of the Earth Institute at Columbia University’s Centre for Sustainable Urban Design (CSUD), New York.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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19

Mar, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: The World Urban Forum and Summitry as a Lens on Modes of Grassroots Representation at the Global Level

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

The World Urban Forum and Summitry as a Lens on Modes of Grassroots Representation at the Global Level

Marie Huchzermeyer, School of Architecture and Planning, Wits

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: Analyses and debates on global summitry (or inter-regional political gathering) have focussed almost exclusively on sustainable development summits. These analyses help explain the trajectory of human settlements summitry and within this the positioning and strategising of international ‘grassroots’ NGOs. Summitry in the human settlements sector began with Habitat I in 1976. In subsequent decades, the nature of human settlements summits changed significantly, and with it the role of NGOs within them. At the turn of the millennium, a new urgency in the urban and socio-environmental agenda brought about apex level campaigns, targets and dedicated agencies, as well as a new rhythm of bi-annual human settlement summits. This context propelled one particular international ‘grassroots’ NGO into global prominence. Its role came to be defined by new trends in global summitry: civil society participation, theatricality, the construction of responsible subjects, alongside professionalization and a new role for data. This paper gives a brief trajectory of this international NGO, its approaches to grassroots or more specifically ‘slum/shack’ dweller representation and its pathway to the global stage. It then identifies and discusses four recent modes of representation which the NGO has adopted for the global stage: gathering and display of standardised ‘slum’ or informal settlement data; state of the art rebranding; framing of responsible subjects through a website-fundraising campaign; and fashioning of the grassroots global expert. In using summitry as a lens on grassroots representation, the paper explains (but does not justify) considerable distance between the messaging in these four modes of representation and reality at the ‘grassroots’ level. It therefore raises questions of international NGO legitimacy, which in turn present a challenge to scholars working in this terrain.

Biography: Marie Huchzermeyer teaches in the School of Architecture and Planning, where she also convenes the Master of Urban Studies with its five fields of study including Housing and Human Settlements, and Urban Management (the latter being launched with a panel discussion on Thursday 14 March at 18:00 as announced in the Faces of the City Seminar postings). She is a Principal Investigator, alongside Prof Fana Sihlongonyane, for the Wits TUB Urban Lab Programme, an intensive and onerous five year postgraduate studies collaboration with Technical University of Berlin. This programme falls under the German funder DAAD’s SDG-Schools initiative, and its overall theme is to build capacity for SDG and New Urban Agenda implementation. The programme has involved participation in SDG-related global forums such as Habitat III and the World Urban Forum. Marie currently combines her longstanding research interest and experience in informal settlements, policy directed at informal settlements, and their treatment in wider urban agendas, with dynamics at the global level. In 2018, she conducted interviews during and after the 9th World Urban Forum on questions of ‘slum’ dweller representation at the global level. She has used this in attempts to understand in particular the global dimension of the international NGO Slum Dwellers International (SDI or more recently sdi.), a dominant player in global policy forums and at national and local level in several African countries.The seminar series is an interdisciplinary forum focusing on all areas of urban interest. We welcome presentations from fields such as urban planning, architecture, sociology, geography, anthropology and cultural studies. If you would like to motivate for a particular speaker or topic, email us on the rsvp email address below for consideration by the committee.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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12

Mar, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Trickle out urbanism: are gated communities in Johannesburg good for poor neighbours?

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Trickle out urbanism: are gated communities in Johannesburg good for poor neighbours?

Richard Ballard, Gauteng City-Region Observatory; co-authors: Gareth Jones (LSE), Makhale Ngwenya (Cape Town municipality)

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: In 2015, the insurance billionaire Douw Steyn launched a major new urban project 30 km north of downtown Johannesburg. Steyn City, as it is called, is planned for 10 000 high end units along with private hospitals, schools, golf courses and a 3 meter perimeter wall. The launch attracted some critique in the media for the exclusive environment it sought to create, an ambition that seemed particularly incongruous given the development’s close proximity to the poor township of Diepsloot. In response, the developer argued that the project had created more than 11 000 jobs and that the doorstep of Diepsloot was exactly the right place for wealthy people to be investing their money. This paper is based on interviews with 20 workers who live in Diepsloot and travel each day into Steyn City to work for subcontractors building various elements of the development. Following Barchiesi’s injunction to consider how workers understand ‘their own precariousness’ as workers in relation to their own ‘life strategies’ (Barchiesi, 2011, p. 12) we unpack the way in which these labourers navigate the social and economic gradient between their home and their place of work.

Biography: Richard Ballard is a principal researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory. Prior to this he trained in the field of Geography and taught in Development Studies at UKZN. His research interests include race and urban desegregation, social cohesion, urban politics and housing policy.

The seminar series is an interdisciplinary forum focusing on all areas of urban interest. We welcome presentations from fields such as urban planning, architecture, sociology, geography, anthropology and cultural studies. If you would like to motivate for a particular speaker or topic, email us on the rsvp email address below for consideration by the committee.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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05

Mar, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Narratives of the City: Decolonising Architectural Education

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Narratives of the City: Decolonising Architectural Education

Sechaba Maape; Ariane Janse Van Rensburg; Anita Szentesi; Mike Dawson, School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: The narrative of the city can be read in the dialogue between formal spatial design and (often) less formal repurposing by the users of spaces. The architectural profession has long been in the service of those with capital to invest, and architectural education has tended to entrench elitism and individualism, widening the disconnect between designers and users of spaces. Transforming cities = transforming designers = transforming how they are taught to think at university. This team, teaching first year Design in the Bachelor of Architectural Studies degree, took on the challenge of shifting gear from a competitive individual focus to collaborative learning, from physical form to social structure to start the design process, and from technical drawings to enacted narratives to communicate design ideas to a wider audience. In the process, a diverse class transformed into a learning collective, gaining awareness and understanding of different ways of living and meaning-making. The pedagogy drew on principles of sustainable adaption, embodied learning and the collective as an empowering space, derived from indigenous knowledge systems. The teaching team modelled this in their own design and learning process as they developed the course for which they won the 2018 Vice Chancellor’s team teaching award, and they will be sharing some of their explorations in the unchartered field of decolonising architectural education.

Biographies:

Dr Sechaba Maape is a lecturer at the WITS School of Architecture and Planning. He convenes the first year architecture design course, teaches and convenes first year theories and history of architecture as well as supervising in the Masters in Sustainable and Energy Efficient Cities MArch (SEEC) programme as well as the Masters in Architecture Professional MArch (Prof). Sechaba’s research interests are in architecture and archaeology, deep history, sustainable architecture and resilience.

Mike Dawson is the youngest in the team teaching first year design. Eight years ago he was enrolled as student in the same course. Mike completed his undergraduate programme at WITS and completed his Honours and Masters at UCT. This developed an interest in responsive architectural design that was informed by broad urban research. Mike is currently practicing as an architect in Johannesburg.

Ass Prof Ariane Janse van Rensburg qualified at UCT, practiced countrywide as an architect, glass artist and teacher before moving to an academic career in Johannesburg. Her focus is architectural education, bridging between academia and the profession to facilitate epistemological access, via a Wits PhD. She is currently the Wits Architecture programme director, founder of the Architectural Education Forum, a teaching mentor and learning from the team.

Anita Szentesi qualified at Wits University and the Bartlett, UCL, and practiced in Johannesburg and London as an architect, before moving to an academic career at Wits University. Her focus is interdisciplinary teaching considering the relationship between architecture and film. Rich narratives and the human-place connection are developed in the design process to manifest a meaningful architecture. Visual communication and presentation is another aspect of her teaching methodology, where the accessible medium of film and its techniques produces character-driven spatial experiences of architecture.

The seminar series is an interdisciplinary forum focusing on all areas of urban interest. We welcome presentations from fields such as urban planning, architecture, sociology, geography, anthropology and cultural studies. If you would like to motivate for a particular speaker or topic, email us on the rsvp email address below for consideration by the committee.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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26

Feb, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Urban Autonomy in South African Intergovernmental Relations Jurisprudence

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Urban Autonomy in South African Intergovernmental Relations Jurisprudence - Are Cities Making the Most of their Legal Powers?

Marius Pieterse, School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: As cities around the world increasingly assert themselves against national or regional governments, and as it becomes clear that effective urban governance is essential for achievement of goals expressed, for instance, by SDG 11 and the New Urban Agenda, the scope of the formal powers of urban local government is increasingly contentious. This is so especially in resource strapped and politically divided contexts, where turf wars over control of the urban form and function are increasingly commonplace. While urban autonomy and independence depends on various factors, they are importantly shaped by the law. This paper analyses the judgments of South African courts in intergovernmental disputes involving local government, in an effort to ascertain the legal parameters of urban autonomy, and the scope for independent urban governance, in South African constitutional law. It shows that courts have been prone to siding with cities in disputes with "higher-level" governments over controlling the urban form and asserting their own developmental vision, and argues that South African cities have inadequately grasped the opportunities presented by this.

Biography: Marius Pieterse is a professor in the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he mostly teaches constitutional and human rights law. His research focuses on urban governance, local government law and the realisation of socio-economic rights, specifically in an urban context. Marius holds a B2 rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. He is the author of Rights-based Litigation, Urban Governance and Social Justice in South Africa: The Right to Joburg (Routledge, 2017); Can Rights Cure? The Impact of Human Rights Litigation on South Africa's Health System (PULP, 2014) as well as a large number of peer reviewed academic journal articles on different aspects of rights-based litigation, socio-economic rights, urban governance, the right to health, the right to equality and the relationship between law and urban space. He is joint global coordinator of the International Research Group of Law and Urban Space (IRGLUS).

The seminar series is an interdisciplinary forum focusing on all areas of urban interest. We welcome presentations from fields such as urban planning, architecture, sociology, geography, anthropology and cultural studies. If you would like to motivate for a particular speaker or topic, email us on the rsvp email address below for consideration by the committee.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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05

Feb, 2019
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Pentecostal Capital? On the Pentecostal Worlding of Lagos

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Pentecostal Capital? On the Pentecostal Worlding of Lagos

Obvious Katsaura, Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

16:00-17:30

Postgraduate Seminar Room, Basement, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: This paper mobilizes the designation and concept of ‘Pentecostal capital’ to characterize Lagos as a worlding city, owing to its prominence as a global hub of Pentecostalisms. ‘Pentecostal capital’, understood as a religious currency, refers to the value assigned to Pentecostal spaces, signages, objects, organizations, anointings, prophecies, prayers, practices, miracles, healings, faiths and doctrines; amongst other ‘Pentecostal treasures’. As a city designation a ‘Pentecostal capital’ is an urban space that is loaded with Pentecostal treasures, more than other urban spaces. Lagos in this case is analysed as a concentration of Pentecostal capital and as a global site of Pentecostal seductions and fluidities – a city of global Pentecostal productions, invitations and circulations. This paper charts a new sociology of transnational Pentecostal urbanism by drawing on ethnography conducted in Lagos and through reworking the Bourdieusian concept of ‘capital’.

Biography: Obvious Katsaura is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand and a senior fellow in the Volkswagen Foundation’s funding initiative: Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities in Sub-Saharan and North Africa – Knowledge for Tomorrow. He is an urban sociologist whose current research interests are in, and at the intersections of, the fields of transnational urbanism, transnational religiosity, religious urbanism, urban politics and urban violence. Some of his works have been published in the following journals: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Culture and Religion, Urban Forum, African Identities, and Social Dynamics.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute. Attached is the schedule for the entire 1st Quarter seminar series as arranged by the the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies.

The seminar series is an interdisciplinary forum focusing on all areas of urban interest. We welcome presentations from fields such as urban planning, architecture, sociology, geography, anthropology and cultural studies. If you would like to motivate for a particular speaker or topic, email us on the rsvp email address below for consideration by the committee.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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13

Nov, 2018
Tue @ 10:00

GCRO's 5th Quality of Life survey 2017/18 launch

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) will be launching the 5th Quality of Life Survey (2017/18) on 13 November 2018.

The GCRO’s Quality of Life survey, run every two years, provides up to date insights into the quality of life of Gauteng residents, covering their levels of access to a wide range of public services, socio-economic circumstances, levels of satisfaction with services and with government, socio-political attitudes and values, and other characteristics.

The results of the 2017/18 survey will be launched by GCRO Executive Director Dr Rob Moore, and responded to by the Premier of Gauteng, the Honourable David Makhura.

Please note that the launch event will be followed by a media briefing.

Date

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Time

09:30 for 10:00 - 12:30

Registration and tea from 09:30

A finger lunch will follow the launch.

Venue

UJ Arts Centre Theatre

Kingsway Campus (Main Kingsway Entrance)

Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

RSVP

Wednesday 7 November 2018

RSVP is essential. Please confirm your attendance with Sandiswa Sondzaba at sandiswa.sondzaba@gcro.ac.za.

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30

Oct, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: 'Dobadobas’ as actors in the production of the postcolonial city of Lilongwe, Malawi

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

'Dobadobas’ as actors in the production of the postcolonial city of Lilongwe, Malawi

Evance Mwathunga, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Malawi’s Chancellor College

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: This paper seeks to understand the production of urban space in Malawi’s postcolonial city of Lilongwe, focusing on exploring urban residents’ perceptions of space and their attendant practices of claiming and defending urban spaces. In the paper an analysis of perceptions and spatial practices of residents of Area 49 in Lilongwe, Malawi, is based on one of the three elements of Lefebvre’s (1991) spatial triad, namely, spatial practice. A survey conducted among 115 residents investigated the perceptions regarding the role of the state in land control and which spatial strategies and tactics the residents of the area employed to claim and defend their spaces. It can be noted that invading groups of residents are not ignorant of the state’s potential strategies to repossess the land, but the majority believe that the state would not repossess the land they have invaded. Five specific themes of spatial practices and tactics employed by the invaders were identified: (1) spatial strategies (2) temporary farming (3) use of temporary shelter (4) mimicking the state (5) deliberation setting. The study has shown that the land invaders probably have more respect for traditional leaders as owners of the land as opposed to the state. By willingly disregarding the law, land invaders acted based on their perceptions as opposed to their knowledge, in this case that of urban planning. The knowledge of planning does not seem to serve the people being planned for. The apparent trust in chiefs as legitimate owners (but not legal owners) and custodians of the land effectively means chiefs and the so-called encroachers are on one side while the state as an institution is on the other side.

Biography: Evance Mwathunga is a lecturer in geography and planning and former Head of the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi. He holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University and a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from Heriot-Watt University (Scotland). His research interests are in the production of urban spaces, urban informality and urban governance. Outside teaching and research, he also serves as a planning commissioner in the high-level national planning commission for Malawi - an independent institution mandated to identify the national socio-economic development vision, policies, plans, strategies and priorities.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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25

Oct, 2018
Thu @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Missing Urban Data - Documenting everyday lives in urban Tanzania

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Missing Urban Data - Documenting everyday lives in urban Tanzania

Millicent Akaateba, Technical University Berlin

Thursday, 25 October 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: Very often and for far too long, discourses on land governance in sub-Saharan Africa have focused on debates for the replacement of customary land tenure systems vs debates for their continuity. Contemporary land policy trends are however shifting towards an ‘adaptation paradigm’ where statutory and customary tenure systems are merged. Using a case study of neo-customary land delivery practices in two secondary cities in Ghana, the presentation will analyze state and non-state actor interactions in peri-urban land delivery and examine the extent to which such practices contribute to urban justice - particularly in terms of customary land rights and access to land for the poor. In reflecting on the wider implications of the findings to the call for more situated and bottom up planning practices from the global south; Millicent asks the question: who wins and who loses from integration?

Biography: Dr. Millicent Awialie Akaateba is an Affiliate Researcher of the Habitat Unit of the Technical University of Berlin, Germany and a Lecturer at the Faculty of Planning and Land Management of the University for Development Studies, Ghana. Prior to joining the University for Development Studies as a lecturer, she worked in private planning consultancy on a range of projects on urban governance, transportation, land management and pro-poor development. She is interested in co-production practices between state and non-state actors in urban governance processes and how formal and informal systems can synthesize in African cities. Dr Akaateba is hosted in the School of Architecture and Planning through the Wits-TUB Urban Lab programme, see: https://www.wits.ac.za/wits-tub-urban-lab/_

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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23

Oct, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Missing Urban Data - Documenting everyday lives in urban Tanzania

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Missing Urban Data - Documenting everyday lives in urban Tanzania

Nathalie Jean-Baptiste, Institute of Human Settlement Studies, Ardhi University, Tanzania

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: From the perspective of the user, urban services are much more than a service. Water provision and access to sanitation are part of people's daily lives and have multiple dimensions. To better understand these dimensions, we explore livelihoods strategies, opportunities and risks and everyday responses to existing and non existing infrastructure in three Tanzanian cities: Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Mwanza. Based on the assumption that opportunities to overcome urban service deficiencies reflect both individual and household behaviour, our work focused on collective organization and survival as well as trade-offs through which community residents receive and act on available urban services. We found that shared facilities are not residents's choice, women play an important role in the provision of improved sanitation, utility providers with pro-poor attitude are more willing to explore alternative technological options and participatory infrastructure planning (involving utilities, community, local government authorities) is crucial for enabling a viable environment for investments in urban Tanzania.

Biography: Dr. Nathalie Jean-Baptiste is a Marie Curie Global Fellow and Senior Researcher at the Institute of Human Settlements Studies (IHSS) at Ardhi University in Tanzania. She is also associated with the Technical University of Darmstadt where she currently teaches and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany. She is an architect and urban expert on development and infrastructure at risk in low-income countries. Her international experience includes vulnerability assessments in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Tanzania as well as environmental education in Mexico and Australia. She is the Team Leader of the Climate Change and Environmental Risk Cluster at IHSS, Board member and Coordinator of the Housing Network of the International Association People-Environment Studies (IAPS) and Lead Coordinating Author of the chapter on Housing and Informal Settlements of the Second Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities: ARC3-2 (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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16

Oct, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: On the peripheries of citizenship: protest and public goods in Africa

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

On the peripheries of citizenship: protest and public goods in Africa

Marcus Walton, Political Affairs Research Institute

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

Protests over public goods (i.e. basic goods provided or subsidized by the state) have been an integral part of African politics in recent decades. While several studies have identified this trend, there has been little consensus on the reasons for these protests. In this article, I use interviews and archival research from three prominent cases to identify protestors’ motives for mobilization over public goods. Using the cases of bread in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, fuel in the 2012 Occupy Nigeria Movement, and housing in the recent service delivery protests in South Africa, I ask: why do people protest over public goods? Against the rational choice, social contract, and moral economy literature, I argue for an understanding of protest motivated by citizenship, or the ‘right to have rights.’

Biography

Marcus Walton is a post-doctoral fellow at the Political Affairs Research Institute (PARI). He recently defended his PhD dissertation in Political Science entitled, "Resources and Recourses: The Origins of Entitlement in Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa" from Brown University. Marcus' research focuses on the history and norms of claims-making in several African countries, particularly in regards to public goods and social protection. He will be presenting a paper developed from part of his dissertation, on protests, resources, and popular conceptions of rights.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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09

Oct, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Building the nation: architecture and planning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after 1960

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Building the nation: architecture and planning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after 1960

Johan Lagae, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Ghent University

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

On June 30th, 1960, Congo gained its independence, making an end to Belgian colonial rule that had started with King Leopold II’s venture of taking possession of Central-Africa in 1885. Colonialism left an important physical legacy of infrastructures, buildings and urban landscapes that still make up a large part of Congo’s image today. Yet, significant developments in terms of architecture and urban planning did take place in the post-independence years, especially from 1966 onwards when the then president Mobutu launched a project of “nation building” under the label of a “Recours à l’authenticité”, and until 1973 when he installed the regime of “zaïrianisation” in order to make an end to all foreign interest in Congo’s economy. While some construction work and urban planning did continue throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s, among others in the context of development aid, it would take until the early 2000s before the building industry again gained momentum, resulting in the rapid transformation of the urban landscapes of Congo’s cities that we witness today. In this lecture, I will sketch out this evolution and present a series of projects that illustrate how both foreign and Congolese architects and planners made and shaped the new nation of the DRC over time.

Biography

Johan Lagae is Full Professor at Ghent University, where he teaches 20th Century Architectural History with a focus on the non-European context. He holds a PhD on colonial architecture in the former Belgian Congo and has published widely on the topic (full bibliography: https://biblio.ugent.be/person/801000945809), and co-curated several Congo-related exhibitions, such as Le mémoire du Congo. Le temps colonial (2005), Congo. Paysages urbains. Regards croisés (2007), Congo belge en images (2010), Congo Far West. Arts, Sciences & Collections (Tervuren, 2011 – Lubumbashi, 2013), and, most recently, A chacun sa maison. Housing in the Belgian Congo 1945-1960 (Brussels, 2018). He has also collaborated with several artists from DR Congo, in particular with photographer Sammy Baloji and curator/writer Patrick Mudekereza, both of whom are based in Lubumbashi. From 2010 till 2014 he co-chaired a European research group devoted to the theme “European Architecture beyond Europe” (COST-action IS0904). He is co-founder and editorial member of ABE-Journal (https://journals.openedition.org/abe/ ). Currently he acts as external advisor for the multidisciplinary research project of the CCA, Montréal, entitled “Centring Africa: Postcolonial Perspectives on Architecture”.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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02

Oct, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Operating Model of the new Human Settlements Development Bank (HSDB)

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Operating Model of the new Human Settlements Development Bank (HSDB)

Vuyisani Moss, Strategy and Planning, National Department of Human Settlements

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

The Human Settlements Development Bank (HSDB) will be established through the consolidation of the NHFC, RHLF and NURCHA. The core rationale for the establishment of the HSDB resides in the need to provide effective government financing and other support to the human settlements development value chain in the face of market failure and significant need. These challenges require a housing finance strategy that responds on a number of levels if the overall human settlements needs are to be met. In particular:

I. A need to substantially mobilise increased private secured credit for housing to households;

II. The provision of increased unsecured housing finance and the mobilisation of household savings and contributions;

III. The facilitation and support of credit extension and finance innovation; and

IV. The need to maximise leverage of government housing finance assets.

In order to meet these human settlements finance needs in a sustainable manner, a coordinated and integrated financial institutional structure is required that is able to effectively leverage government grants, wholesale and investment funding so as to maximise private sector funding, as well as household contributions.

Biography

Vuyisani Moss is an experienced and trained development economist with a Master’s Degree in Policy and Development (cum laude) from Fort Hare University, by dissertation, “The Role of Spatial Development Initiatives (SDIs) towards Promoting a Broader Regional Economic Cooperation in Southern Africa: A Case of the Maputo Development Corridor”. He obtained his Diploma in Housing Finance in 2008 at the Wharton School and his PhD in Town and Development Planning at Wits in 2012, thesis entitled, ‘The Relationship between Borrower Education and the Risk of Default among Low Income Homeowners: a Case Study of Protea Glen, Soweto’. He worked at the NHFC for 15 years as a Research Analyst and Market Analyst. He had a brief stint at UN Habitat as a Consultant. He was part of the NDHS FSC negotiating team with BASA, tasked to lead the Consumer/Borrower Education Workstream in 2005. He has published extensively and joined the NDHS in 2015 as a Director of Human Settlements Strategy. Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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25

Sep, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Down by the river: park dwellers, public space and the politics of invisibility

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Down by the river: park dwellers, public space and the politics of invisibility in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs

Sarah Charlton, CUBES, School of Architecture and Planning, with the Homeless Writer’s Project

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

Household poverty in Johannesburg continues to be identified with particular localities, such as informal settlements, former townships and the inner city. In the same vein Johannesburg’s northern suburbs are associated with considerable affluence. But in these neighbourhoods, shifting the gaze beyond property ownership to public space opens up a different view, of largely unrecognised poverty that has penetrated the suburbs. Parks and public open spaces are intermittently or permanently being used as shelter and sometimes working space by a much poorer cohort. This paper builds on fieldwork undertaken at points along the Braamfontein Spruit, a linear public space traversing multiple neighbourhoods. Qualitative interviews by members of the Homeless Writer’s Project explored the situations and motivations of people living in the open along the river. Findings show diverse circumstances, which include both people eking out an existence in the margins of suburban life as well as those more directly connected to the formal economy. The paper contests notions of this as a population of vagrants largely dislocated from society as is often assumed, depicting instead multi-faceted lives and forms of agency. The paper considers the ‘politics of invisibility’ evident in the situation: in the way park dwellers manage their lives and in the way they are viewed by property owners and the state.

The Homeless Story Project began in 2009. The group consists of David Majoka, Tshabalira Lebakeng, Anthony Mafela and Madoda Ntuli, who have all known and experienced homelessness. The group, run and co-ordinated by Harriet Perlman, meets once a week and provides a space for people to share and tell stories. The project aims to give a voice to the voiceless by creating opportunities for stories to be developed into films or published media. Together with director Akin Omotoso, script writer Craig Freimond and co-writer and producer Robbie Thorpe, the project recently developed Vaya – a feature film about coming to Johannesburg. Vaya was inspired by the lives of David, Madoda, Tshaba and Anthony and took 6 years to develop. The Homeless Writer’s Project together with photographer Mark Lewis, and Sarah Charlton also produced an accompanying book called – Vaya: Untold Stories of Johannesburg. The Homeless Writer’s Project have most recently worked with Sarah on the research project: Down by the river: park dwellers, public space and the politics of invisibility in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs. Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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18

Sep, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: "The pig eats but doesn't know what makes it fat“

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

"The pig eats but doesn't know what makes it fat“: absence, anthromorphism and applied theatre in the adaptation of Aristophones "The Birds", an urban arts project in place making commissioned by The Trinity Session and The Johannesburg Development Agency

Tamara Guhrs, Flying House, and Myer Taub, Theatre and Performance Department, Wits School of Arts

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract: When worlds collide: reflections on power, performance and participation in "Birds of the Grove", a place-making through public art and theatre intervention. Using participatory performance and Applied Theatre methods necessitates a critical reflection on the power dynamics at play in any given context. This brief reflection collates ideas drawn from Paolo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed and bell hook's Engaged Pedagogy to examine the relationship between trust, control, creative process and power. The presentation focuses on the role of the artist-facilitator in a project where visual and performing arts were used to generate and synthesise ideas and prototypes for public space artworks.

Dr Myer Taub teaches in the theatre and performance division (TAP) at the Wits School of Arts. he is an academic, performer, director, dramatist and theatre maker. His most recent works include: "Florence", (as playwright) at The Market Theatre, August 2018, "Birds of the Grove" as theatre-maker for The Trinity Session and Johannesburg Development Agency, " Time Flies and the Spruit of BraamsFountain" for JoziWalks (May 2018) and "Tracing the Spruit" for Watershed, (September 2018). He is a working group member of the Performance as Research working group affiliated to the International Federation for Theatre Research.

Tamara Schulz (Guhrs) is a freelance consultant who has used participatory performance practices in a variety of contexts, from high schools in Joburg's inner city to conservation in rural Zambia. She is a facilitator on the core team of ASSITEJ's Kickstarter programme, working to embed creative arts into the primary school curriculum. In March 2018 she collaborated with Alex Halligey and the Kwasha! Drama Company to create Ngale KweNdlu, a site-specific theatre activation on history and memory at the Windybrow Arts Centre in Hillbrow. In July she was commissioned by Frankfurt Zoological Society to create a participatory theatre programme to create awareness about the illegal bushmeat trade. Tamara is a founding member of Flying House, an organisation aimed at connecting artists with business opportunities, and business with creative and cultural capital. She has worked as a theatre designer, writer and educator.

Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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11

Sep, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Inclusive cultural governance: integrating artistic and cultural practices into national urban frameworks

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Inclusive cultural governance: integrating artistic and cultural practices into national urban frameworks

Avril Joffe, Cultural Policy and Management, Wits School of Arts

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

This paper develops an argument for a collaborative multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary research agenda on inclusive, urban cultural governance to incorporate culture and cultural expressions into existing urban development frameworks in South Africa. It takes as its starting point the SDGs, particularly goal 11 ‘make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’, the 2005 Unesco Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the AU Agenda 2063. It offers four propositions to locate the argument and build the research agenda: first, that the integration of culture and cultural expressions at the urban level are necessary to both underpin and to animate processes of democracy, active citizenship, equitable access across a range of services, infrastructure and inclusion strategies and therefore critical to fully understand how a country approaches development overall; second, that collaborations among and contributions from public officials, artists, cultural practitioners and citizens can strengthen both municipalities and communities and generate significant economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes; third, that the intersection of culture, creativity and economy at the level of the urban provides for the important fusion between the symbolic and the expressive, between cutting edge cultural expressions and the culture of everyday life (inclusive of tradition, indigenous and contemporary culture); and fourth, that we need to move with speed to build on the separate initiatives coalescing around the urban environments. The purpose of this research agenda then is to provide a set of framing devices to surface questions about the critical components of local cultural policy and urban cultural practice both to support the development of a culturally sensitive urban development framework and to explore the tensions that are likely to emerge in so doing.

Avril Joffe is an economic sociologist with experience in the field of cultural policy, culture and development and the cultural economy. She is the head of the Cultural Policy and Management Department at the Wits School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Avril is an active member of UNESCO’s Panel of Experts for Cultural Policy and Governance undertaking missions to support African governments in developing cultural policies, cultural industry strategies, reporting on their implementation of the UNESCO Convention, writing and editing training manuals and recently contributed to the Global Monitoring Report 2018 on the ‘Integration of Culture in Sustainable Development’. Avril is a member of the South African Ministerial Review Panel to draft a revised cultural policy for South Africa. She is also on the board of the National Arts Council and chairs the Audit and Risk Committee for the NAC.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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28

Aug, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Security at the Margins

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

SeaM Workshop Closing Panel

with

Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock, Jo Vearey and the SeaM Team

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

Security at the Margins (SeaM) is a three-year partnership between the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Edinburgh, drawing in partners from policy and practice. The partnership is based on the premise that we can design better urban interventions if we develop more methodologically innovative and conceptually nuanced research on security at the urban margins. This Faces of the City Seminar draws together members of the SeaM collective to critically explore the premises of the project: Is ‘innovation’ in methods a buzzword or a reality? Does nuance help or obstruct the honing of urban interventions? Can research fundamentally shape urban policy? Or will research be reduced to rhetoric, leaving the substance of policies to be shaped by political expediency and economic constraints?

For more information on SeaM, go to:

WEBSITE: https://theseamproject.org/

TWITTER: @SeaM_project

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute. Attached is the schedule for the entire 3rd Quarter seminar series as arranged by the Gauteng City Region Observatory.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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26

Aug, 2018
Sun @ 01:00

Metropolis Annual meeting

GCRO is proud to be participating in the Metropolis Annual Meeting taking place in Gauteng from 26-29 August 2018.

Please join us in the following spaces during the meeting:

  • GCRO's stand at the exhibition (26-29 August 2018)
  • Monday, 27 August, 13:00-15:00:
    • Gillian Maree is presenting in Parallel Session 3 on Environmental Justice
    • Dr Rob Moore is facilitating Parallel Session 6 Adaptive Approaches to Governance
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21

Aug, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Of bodies and phones – merchant behaviours in sustaining market access to Chinese apparel in Johannesburg’s inner city

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Of bodies and phones – merchant behaviours in sustaining market access to Chinese apparel in Johannesburg’s inner city

Tanya Zack, City planner and author

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

What are the merchant behaviours and networks that fuel the fast-fashion hub that services sub-Saharan Africa from thousands of small shops in Johannesburg’s inner city? This research paper probes the intricate social, digital and physical networks that characterise the merchandising component of the global production network related to the cross border sale of Chinese apparel. It maps the behaviour of 400 cross border shoppers (who resell in their home countries) and 400 inner city shopkeepers (who retail and wholesale to cross border shoppers), who are enabling market access to emerging economies. It complements this with findings from case studies of cross border shoppers and retailers, with a particular emphasis on the local and transnational business networks that they exploit to be active agents in the customising of products and in influencing product lines. Their behaviours, both through social media and through their physical labour, product selection and transactions, deepen supplier capabilities, and sustain market reach by affecting and attending to an exquisitely precise choice offering to customers in distant locations. The reliance on a combination of first person movement across borders, on relationship trading and on social media is probed. The findings illuminate the efficiencies and inefficiencies of information flows, trade logistics, and transactions in a network of bodies and digital messaging. It also surfaces the diverse behaviours adopted by shoppers and retailers navigating an environment where competition is local, regional and global as new physical markets open elsewhere, and the immediacy of social media services a fickle and demanding consumer market.

Tanya Zack is an urban planner and writer who holds a PhD from University of Witwatersrand for her work on Critical Pragmatism in Planning. She is the author of a series of photobooks entitled, ‘Wake Up, This Is Joburg’ (with photographer Mark Lewis). Her core skills and work experience include writing, policy development, research, and project management. Her clients have included the City of Johannesburg, the Department of Housing (now Human Settlements) and South African Cities Network. She has operated as an independent consultant since 1991 and straddles academic research and practice. Tanya's recent consulting work, research, publication and creative writing centres on the inner city of Johannesburg. This includes work on migrant spaces and in particular on the spatial and economic shifts in an Ethiopian entrepreneurial location in the inner city. In 2014 she was awarded a writing residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center to work on a book she is writing about the Ethiopian quarter.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute. Attached is the schedule for the entire 3rd Quarter seminar series as arranged by the Gauteng City Region Observatory.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list, please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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14

Aug, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Where do we draw the line?: Graffiti in Maboneng, Johannesburg

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Where do we draw the line?: Graffiti in Maboneng, Johannesburg

Alexandra Parker and Samkelisiwe Khanyile, Gauteng City-Region Observatory

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

This paper uses photographs of graffiti to trace Maboneng’s development and locate graffiti within the precinct. The research shows the extent to which the Maboneng precinct is branded through urban aesthetics including graffiti. Through visual and spatial analysis, we show the ambiguities of defining both graffiti and place. The research demonstrates that graffiti has aesthetic value in the urban environment. This aesthetic value signifies the redevelopment of a neighbourhood, distinguishing the area at a local level but also signifying a global aesthetic and approach. Using the case study of Maboneng we also show that graffiti is leveraged in nurturing urban development, creative economies and tourism. Graffiti continues to contest the production and ownership of public space even as it becomes increasingly commodified in the urban environment.

Alexandra Parker’s research explores the intersections of people, their cultures and identities, and urban and suburban environments. Her current research is diverse and examines the roles of motherhood identity, graffiti, streets as public spaces and school feeder zones in shaping the Gauteng city-region. Exploring personal identities, cultural practices and social experiences offers alternative insights into the functions and dysfunctions of city spaces. Alexandra has a growing enthusiasm in the work of visually disseminating research findings through exhibitions, data visualisations, explainer videos and exploiting social media platforms.

Samkelisiwe ‘Sam’ Khanyile holds a MSc in GIS and Remote Sensing. Sam’s academic and research interests are positioned between investigating the impact of mining on surrounding communities (both human and natural) and access to mining-related information. Her current research is focused on looking at how green infrastructure can be incorporated into urban planning practices and investigating how legacies of past activities shape urban landscapes. Sam also has a particular interest in experimenting with different ways of mapping and visualising spatial data.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute. Attached is the schedule for the entire 3rd Quarter seminar series as arranged by the Gauteng City Region Observatory.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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08

Aug, 2018
Wed @ 08:30

Network for gender & urban research workshop

Network for gender & urban research

Workshop

Wednesday 8 August

08:30-13:00

PLEASE NOTE THE VENUE CHANGE

Venue: Postgraduate seminar room, John Moffat basement, University of the Witwatersrand

There is increasing awareness in urban studies and geography disciplines that a feminist approach to research is required or should at the very least be considered.

The intention of this workshop is to establish a research network of scholars exploring gender in urban research or scholars who are using feminist methodologies in their work. The workshop is an opportunity to understand what work is being done in this domain and to explore ways that this work can be supported and taken forward.

We propose two areas of focus for the workshop: 1) Brief presentations and discussion on current urban research on gender or urban research with a feminist approach; 2) urban research employing feminist, gendered or queer methodologies.

Please get in touch by 30 July if you are currently working in this area and have insights to share (send us a 200-300 word description or expression of interest) but also if you are simply interested in attending and engaging.

Margot Rubin – margot.rubin@wits.ac.za

Alexandra Parker – alexandra.parker@gcro.ac.za

Joint workshop with SARChi in Spatial Analysis and City Planning and GCRO

Photo by Mark Lewis

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07

Aug, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Social Surveys Community Tapestry: The importance of understanding the distinctiveness and dynamism of townships

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Social Surveys Community Tapestry: The importance of understanding the distinctiveness and dynamism of townships

Lebogang Shilakoe and Sandile Zwane, Social Surveys

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

This talk addresses three key issues in the South African planning environment, particularly relating to areas classified as townships/ peri-urban areas:

  • • Are all townships the same?
  • • How can planning be done in a way that generalises plans to ward and municipal level, but still maintains and addresses the specificity of each community’s distinct needs and priorities?
  • • Are townships static? How can we track changes in the township landscape?

The Community Tapestry is a spatially represented segmentation of communities based on their socio-economic standing, level of infrastructure and the extent of their diversity. This provides a refined understanding of the types of communities found in South Africa and the varied needs of their assorted populations. With the right application, this can enable the appropriate allocation of financial resources for greater impact.

Sandile Zwane and Lebogang Shilakoe are representatives of Social Surveys Africa, a leading development and social research organization established in 1987. Over the years, Social Surveys’ research has focused on social justice advocacy that gives voice to marginalised and often ignored communities, across a range of sectors including education, housing, illegal evictions, education, mining, health and the civil society ecosystem among others. Social Surveys’ key mandate is to provide nuanced understanding of communities around the country and continent. To date, over 300 research studies in 10 African countries have been conducted by Social Surveys, reaching hundreds of thousands of respondents and impacting the lives of many more through the policy recommendations derived from the research findings.

Sandile is a seasoned Field Manager with over 10 years of experience travelling and negotiating access into different communities in South Africa. He has over nine years Field Management experience with SSA, two years with Ask Africa and three years as a Researcher for the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation (CERT) at the University of Johannesburg. Sandile has managed several projects including gender-based violence, national education study, evaluation of the Sesame street's Takalane sesame, PATH's Windows of Opportunity and Soul City's Kwanda TV programme, to name just a few. At UJ, he served as a Researcher for The Centre for Education Rights and Transformation (CERT), in the Education Policy Consortium where he led a 3-year Post-schooling research project commissioned by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Currently he travels into different towns, townships and villages documenting changes, improvements and uniqueness of South African communities.

Lebogang Shilakoe is an Assistant Researcher and holds a degree in Cognitive Psychology and Neuro Sciences. She has played a key role in the development of the Community Tapestry. She also has a strong interest in development planning and the co-creation of public data for enhancing co-governance and accountability.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing list please visit https://www.wits.ac.za/sacp/faces-of-the-city-/ or http://eepurl.com/dqIyj5

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31

Jul, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Informal Transaction processes in RDP housing: An entanglement of customary and Western practices

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Informal Transaction processes in RDP housing: An entanglement of customary and Western practices

Sandile Mbatha, Academy for African Urban Diversity

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

This paper is part of my PhD research project exploring the extent, nature and character of informal transactions in RDP housing in South Africa. The paper focuses on how RDP beneficiaries engage in informal transactions processes using both customary and western practices. There is a clear customary-western entanglement in how they transact their properties. In-turn, this entanglement highlights limitations in both forms of practice in the context of the post-apartheid city. It challenges how property relations are understood by both urban governance institutions and practitioners. Further highlighted by these informal transactions processes are deep seated urban citizenship challenges experienced by RDP beneficiaries. Through navigating customary-western entanglements, RDP beneficiaries claim their right to the city and thereby challenge the status quo of post-apartheid urban citizenship. The paper advances the argument that post-apartheid urban governance has not adjusted to the changing socio-cultural and economic dynamics of its citizens. I make a further proposition that the manner in which the urban poor transact their RDP houses should be understood within a broader framework of their struggle to lay claim to the post-apartheid city.

Bio

Sandile Mbatha is the Director and founder of Ulwazi NS Research Consulting, an organisation focused on human-centric solutions to human settlements; informal land markets; urban planning; local economic development; water; food and energy issues in urban and peri-urban contexts. He holds a PhD in Architecture and Town Planning from the University of Stuttgart, with a focus on informal transactions in low income housing in South Africa. He has more than a decade of working with public and non-governmental sector through developing and implementing programmes for low income urban and peri-urban communities. He has also participated in various urban development programmes aimed at fostering development partnerships between the municipality and communities, particularly conducting research on urban renewal and driving stakeholder coordination and engagement. He has vast experience as consultant across various sectors. Key clients include: UN Habitat and UK FCO Future Cities Programme as well as the eThekwini Municipality. He is also a 2017/18 fellow for the Academy for African Urban Diversity, a joint project of the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of Witwatersrand, the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town, and the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute. Attached is the schedule for the entire 3rd Quarter seminar series as arranged by the Gauteng City Region Observatory.

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24

Jul, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Federal Consolidation of Power at the Center Or Fragmentation from the Provinces/States

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Federal Consolidation of Power at the Center Or Fragmentation from the Provinces/States: A Paper Drawn from Excerpts From Architecture and Politics in Nigeria

Nnamdi Elleh, Wits School of Architecture and Planning

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

The premise of this presentation is the plan for the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Federal Capital City (FCC) which stemmed in part from British colonialism when the country’s external boundaries were established in 1900, and after two separate regions that were operating independently, Northern and Southern Nigeria, were amalgamated into one nation in 1914, and in part from the national reconstruction and modernization projects after the country’s Civil War that lasted from 1967 to1970. This premise has two corollaries: The first corollary is in 1975, the main architect who designed the Master Plan of Abuja, Thomas Todd, envisioned capital city building as a communicative, instructional, instrument on the principles of democracy in the public sphere in Nigeria (Architect of the Capitol and Todd et. al. 1981: 1). The second corollary is a capital city encompasses civic and public spaces where the principles of democracy can be put into practice and experienced in the “lifeworld.” On the surface, the intentions of the city envisioned by the Nigerian authorities and the problems caused by its realization appear unique to the crisis of the nation’s postcolonial aspirations. However, a careful study of the production of the city and the dissenting voices it has mobilized against the government of Nigeria suggest that civic and public spaces around and within the FCC have become a quagmire where access, uses, and meanings are under threat and are heavily contested. Keeping in mind that Nigeria and South Africa have different political histories, albeit with colonial foundations, what can we learn from the former’s center of national unity building experience in the discourse of contemporary “hot button” topics in South Africa?

Bio

Nnamdi Elleh is the new Head of the Wits School of Architecture and Planning. He was Professor of Architecture, History and Theory at the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), University of Cincinnati, from 2002 to 2017. Prior to leaving the University of Cincinnati to join Wits, he served as the coordinator of the Master of Science in Architecture Program in the School of Architecture and Interior Design, and he established and headed the Doctor of Philosophy program from 2010 to 2016. He trained as an architect at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and received his Ph.D. in art history from Northwestern University. Elleh was a Fulbright Teaching-Research Scholar at the University of Cape Town; Architectural Historian at the same university in 2008; a recipient of the Samuel Kress, and Graham Architectural Foundation grants; a Samuel Littleson Pre-Doctoral Fellow (2000-2002) at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art (CASVA), Washington, D.C.; and recipient of the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award at the University of Cincinnati in 2003. His publications include African Architecture, Evolution and Transformation (McGraw Hill, 1996); Architecture and Power in Africa (Praeger, 2001), and Reading the Architecture of the Underprivileged Classes (2014). Research interests include modern and contemporary architecture understood as diverse, multi-centered, regional and localized experiences in different parts of the world; art, architecture, public space, and politics as examined in his forthcoming book Architecture And Politics in Nigeria (2017). He also studies vernacular modernism(s), architecture, tourism, and environmental resources.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute. Attached is the schedule for the entire 3rd Quarter seminar series as arranged by the Gauteng City Region Observatory.

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17

Jul, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Climate Change in Urban Ghana: The Spatial Planning Dimension

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Climate Change in Urban Ghana: The Spatial Planning Dimension

Paper by Daniel K. B. Inkoom and Patrick B. Cobbinah, Department of Planning, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana, presented by Dan Inkoom

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

The paper reviews the change in emphasis of local governments’ planning policies towards climate change adaptation in Ghana since 2010. The paper indicates that while climate change is becoming pronounced with evidences of flood risk, unpredictable rainfall patterns and gradual warming temperatures in Ghana, the broader implications for human survival, biodiversity and water resources are yet to be assimilated into spatial plans. The paper examines the difficulties in appreciating climate change adaptation at the local levels­­ due to short-term perspectives of local plans, attitude of planners, and government action among others.

Key words: Climate change, spatial planning, adaptation, Ghana.

Bio

Daniel K.B. Inkoom is a Head of the Department of Planning, and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi (KNUST). He holds a Bachelor's degree in Planning from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana after which he pursued further studies in Germany, Finland, Norway and the USA.

Daniel is currently external examiner to the Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and the University of Zimbabwe. He has examined PhD thesis for the Chalmers University in Sweden, and the University of Pretoria. He was external moderator at the School of Architecture and Planning, the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg from 2015-2017. He is a reviewer for several international journals including Urban Studies, Planning Theory, Land Use Policy and Regional Development Studies.

A Fellow of the Ghana Institute of Planners (FGIP), he is the Current Chair of the Steering Committee of the Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS). He has consulted extensively in his areas of expertise for Action Aid, Cities Alliance, DanChurchAid, ECOWAS Commission, GIZ, IITA, KfW, Newmont Ghana Gold Ltd, TEARFUND (UK), UNDP, UNCDF, The World Bank Institute (WBI) and the World Bank.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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04

Jul, 2018
Wed @ 11:00

Joint PARI - GCRO Seminar - Embedded Cohesion: Governing Public Goods in São Paulo, 1989-2016

Embedded Cohesion: Governing Public Goods in São Paulo, 1989-2016

Seminar presented by Benjamin Bradlow

Wednesday 4 July, 11:00-12:30

GCRO Boardroom

Abstract

Dominant theories of urban political economy predict convergence in material and institutional outcomes in large cities across the globe: growing inequalities of income, wealth, and standards of living, and the political dominance of business elites in real estate, construction, and finance. If there are limits to the convergence of urban inequalities and governance across cities, then we need tractable concepts for comparative analysis of this variation. I draw on nine months of fieldwork in São Paulo in 2016 and 2017, to construct a historical explanation of why relationships between state and society in São Paulo’s recent democratic era have made it possible to generate surprisingly effective redistribution of public goods across multiple policy spheres — housing and public transportation. Dominant explanations of the social bases of state action have focused on the autonomy of single bureaucratic agencies to achieve their goals, and degrees of “embeddedness” of the state in other social sectors, such as business elites and working class organizations. The distribution of public goods at the city scale is conditioned by unique conditions for which these explanations do not suffice. In particular, the city is a subsidiary institutional authority and institutional action at this scale therefore requires coordination across multiple scales of bureaucratic agencies. Furthermore, the distribution of public goods in cities often involves coordination across multiple line agencies at the municipal level. Finally, because public goods often rely on networks of infrastructure across space, coordination across the geography of the city is required. In order to capture these unique dynamics of institutional intervention in the case of São Paulo, I introduce a new pathway for how states achieve redistributive outcomes: “embedded cohesion”.

Bio

Benjamin H. Bradlow is a PhD candidate in sociology and an NSF-IGERT fellow in development and inequality at Brown University. His current research compares urban governance of public goods (housing, public transportation, and sanitation) in São Paulo and Johannesburg after transitions to democracy. This dissertation is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright, and the Brazilian Studies Association. He has been a visiting researcher at the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the University of São Paulo and the Public Affairs Research Institute at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. His research interests are in political economy of globalization and development, comparative urban sociology, and state-society relations. He holds a Masters in City Planning from MIT and a BA in history from Swarthmore College.

Photo by Jonathan Olsson.

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15

May, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: The making and implications of the Global-African imaginary

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

The making and Implications of the Global-African Imaginary as a Discourse for African Urbanism

Mfaniseni Sihlongonyane

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

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08

May, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Leveraging the housing asset through trade

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Leveraging the housing asset through trade

Kecia Rust

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

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24

Apr, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Global perspectives on densification

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Global perspectives on densification

Alison Todes, Garth Klein & Philip Harrison

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

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17

Apr, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: TBC

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Cities for Human Development: A capability perspective to city-makingDr Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Senior Lecturer, University College London

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

This presentation discusses the book project entitled: Cities for Human Development: A capability perspective to city-making. The book intends to establish links between literature on Human Development and Capability Approach with critical urban theory debates, exploring the interface between justice and urban development. An analytical framework drawing on Amartya Sen’s work is proposed in its introduction, and then each element of the framework is examined in the following chapters through the use of eight different case studies. The book focuses on civic-led practices of city-making, and explores their role in expanding the capabilities of marginalised urban dwellers. This seminar will introduce the book's objectives and structure, with a focus on the tensions and challenges the author is facing in addressing the book’s proposed objectives.

Bio

Alexandre Apsan Frediani is a Senior Lecturer at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) of University College London. He co-directs the MSc in Social Development Practice and he is DPU’s Director of Communications. His research interests include the application of Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach in development practice; participatory planning and design; as well as housing and informal settlement upgrading. Alexandre has collaborated with academics and grassroots collectives in Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya and South Africa. Recently, Alexandre has been coordinating a project establishing the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC) within Njala University and leading the work package on 'Translating Research into Practice' of the 4-year action research project called 'Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality'. Alexandre is in the board of Habitat International Coalition and an associate of Architecture Sans Frontières–UK.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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10

Apr, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Rogue Economies: Revelation and Revolution

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Rogue Economies: Revelation and Revolution

Thireshen Govender, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

Housed within two year-long modules at University of Johannesburg’s Graduate School of Architecture’s Unit System, this combined first and second year Master’s level course supports original and critical thinking in the field of architecture and urbanism. It seeks to cultivate a high degree of professionalism, independent research and creative speculation. Unit 14 focuses its interests in Rogue Economies - those subversive economic practices, tactics and transactions that shape contemporary Johannesburg in bewilderingly dramatic ways. We look to understand these dynamics to build a relevant architectural literacy around emergent economic practices that are defining our African cities. As such, we investigate everyday-lived conditions such as billboards, trust, banking, immigrant economic enclaves, crime scenes, parking spaces, cross border busses, by-laws and bananas! We demonstrate its value and consequence in architecture and urbanism through rigorous analysis and experimental representation.

Bio

Thireshen Govender is an architect and urban designer practicing in Johannesburg, South Africa. His deep curiosity in emergent spatial patterns, particularly in new democracies, informs the nature of projects he undertakes through his practice and investigations in teaching. As a creative, he seeks to find alternative and relevant ways for space to meaningfully represent South African values whilst simultaneously speculating towards its democratic aspirations. A strong belief in the reciprocity between space and society drives his work. He founded UrbanWorks in 2008 in Johannesburg to critically engage with these themes through projects of varied scales, agencies and disciplines. He also teaches in at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg (Unit 14).

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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03

Apr, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Street level bureaucrats and the weapons of the weak

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series:

Street level bureaucrats and the weapons of the weak

Dr Margot Rubin, Senior Researcher at the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, Wits University

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

16:00-17:30

1st Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

In 2014, Minister Lindiwe Sisulu announced the move away from small infill housing projects and the desire for a national new policy direction of mega projects of 10000 and more units located in new towns on the periphery. The new direction was welcomed politically at the provincial level but found resistance by provincial and local bureaucrats who did not agree or approve of the new direction. However, faced with towering national political and official support and the weight of provincial big political hitters, it seemed at first that there was little that could be done to resist and oppose this new programme. On closer inspection and through a deeper analysis it became apparent that officials within the state at the provincial and local spheres were finding ways to subvert and move against these forces. This paper looks at two elements: the political reasons and drivers of policy and locates them within national and provincial party politics, structures and processes; and second, the utilising the conceptual framing of De Certeau’s tactics, strategies and making do and Scott’s notion of the weapons of the weak to understand how officials in relative weaker positions are able to subvert and resist national and provincial interference into the built environment over which they are supposed to have sovereignty. The analysis continues and notes that these actions do not go unnoticed and is in turn checked, challenged and in some cases uncomfortably accommodated by those in power.

Bio

Margot Rubin, is a senior researcher in the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, in the School of Architecture and Planning and a Research Associate with the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP). Since 2002 she has worked as a researcher and policy and development consultant, focusing on housing and urban development issues, and has contributed to a number of research reports on behalf of the National Department of Housing, the Johannesburg Development Agency, SRK Engineering, World Bank, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, and Urban LandMark. Her PhD in Urban Planning and Politics interrogates the role of the legal system in urban governance in India and South Africa and its effect on the distribution of scarce resources and larger questions around democracy. She also holds a Masters degree in Urban Geography from the University of Pretoria, an Honours degree in Geography and Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Philosophy. In her work at the Research Chair, Margot has been writing about inner-city regeneration and housing policy and is currently engaged in work around mega housing projects and issues of gender and the city.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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20

Mar, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Cycling Cities: the Johannesburg experience

Please join us for the Faces of the City seminar:

Cycling Cities: the Johannesburg experience

Njogu Morgan

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

Writing in 1935, a champion cycling racer turned automobile proponent argued that the transportation history of Johannesburg would be incomplete without examining the role of bicycles. He was of the view that bicycles once played the role that cars were increasingly assuming in Johannesburg and across the Witwatersrand reef. This presentation bridges the gap in Johannesburg’s transportation history by providing an overview of everyday cycling in Johannesburg from the late 1880s, to 2016. It provides a trajectory of utility cycling in Johannesburg through five interrelated lenses drawn from the cycling literature and transitions studies. Using this framework, it shows that while oft-cited transport determinants such as urban form, land use and allocations in traffic policy can shed light on the story of the bicycle in Johannesburg, alone they provide limited insights. To complete the narrative, more attention is paid to the changing social appraisal of bicycles and cars, activities of social movements, and nature of other transport alternatives within the changing social, economic and political context of South Africa.

Bio

Njogu Morgan is currently a post-doctoral researcher based at the South Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning through the support of the Life in the City project at the Wits School of Governance. His current research investigates how cycling experiences and spaces interact to influence the adoption of utility cycling in Johannesburg. Recently completed publications and in progress address formation and decay of cycling cultures in cities in South Africa and the US. His PhD thesis examined how contexts shape the embedding of everyday cycling from a historical comparative perspective.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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13

Mar, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Just sustainability: Juggling trade-offs in urban decision-making

Please join us for the Faces of the City seminar:

Just sustainability: Juggling trade-offs in urban decision-making

Christina Culwick

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

Despite the theoretical alignment between environmental sustainability and social justice, marrying the two agendas has proved difficult in reality. The inability to achieve justice and sustainability imperatives has been partially attributed to an insufficient understanding of the complex interplay between social, economic and environmental factors. However, there is a paucity of research that explores the role of knowledge and how decisions are made at the boundary between these imperatives. In South Africa, the provision of social housing has been linked explicitly to the attainment of the social justice imperatives of access to shelter and basic services, as well as redressing inequality and unsustainability in cities. However, there is no consensus regarding how government should balance the immediate need for housing within the context of existing unsustainable and unjust urban form, resource constraints and high inequality. This presentation will explore potential for building a better understanding of these trade-offs, by using urban metabolism as an analytical framework.

Bio

Christina Culwick is a researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), focusing on urban sustainability and social justice. Her research extends across multiple disciplines, specifically focusing on research to inform policy and decision-making. Christina completed both undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Wits University, and is currently a PhD student at UCT. She is a qualified teacher and previously worked as a SABC broadcasting meteorologist.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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06

Mar, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Pathways out of homelessness: solidarity action research in the City of Tshwane

Please join us for the Faces of the City seminar:

Pathways out of homelessness: solidarity action research in the City of Tshwane

Stephan De Beer

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

In this paper I attend to a specific research agenda, seeking to discern sustainable pathways out of street homelessness. I also discuss our attempt to engage street homelessness methodologically through solidarity action research. Considering the function of the activist scholar or liberation theologian – in liminal spaces between academy and the city, between different disciplines, and in our fractured and spatially segregated urban contexts – I / we seek to develop a clear agenda in partnership with, and shaped by, the voices and aspirations of the homeless poor, who become our primary interlocutors. I outline a process that started in 2014, but that really dates back to the early 1990s, to discern, discover, design, develop and document possible pathways out of homelessness. This is now expressing itself in research with a clearer advocacy agenda, seeking to influence policy, strategy and budgetary commitments that will impact street homelessness in South Africa. The joys, progressions, surprises, challenges, and frustrations of this process are reflected upon.

Bio

Stephan de Beer is the Director of the Centre for Contextual Ministry in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria. He is the co-convener of the Pathways out of Homelessness Research Project in the City of Tshwane. Stephan has worked for more than 25 years with issues related to inner city housing, street homelessness and vulnerable urban communities.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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27

Feb, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Writing about City politics – the making of How to Steal a City

Please join us for the Faces of the City seminar:

Writing about City politics – the making of How to Steal a City

Crispian Olver

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

In March 2015, I was assigned to lead an intervention to root out corruption in theadministration of the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan municipality in the Eastern Cape. I minutely documented the intervention and wrote it up as an insider account which exposed how the metro administration was captured and bled dry by a criminal syndicate, abetted by factional politics within the ANC. In the process of conducting the intervention and ultimately writing the book I relied on an intelligence network to map out the web of corruption, as well as following paper trails, conducting aggressive interviews, and turning key witnesses. These methods are difficult to replicate within the bounds of ethical academic research. The seminar will explore different ways or perspectives for analysing city dynamics, and discuss some of the thorny ethical issues that confront researchers, including the role of the researcher as an actor within the city space. The book paints a world in which both heroes and villains share human frailties, questionable motives and endearing characteristics, and moral boundaries are not as clearly delineated as I initially expected.

Bio

Crispian Olver is a public policy expert and social activist with a particular interest in local government and urban governance. He spent a decade in Mandela and Thabo Mbeki’s government (1994 – 2005), ending up as Director General of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. He crafted most of the current local government legislation in South Africa, and was responsible for the process of setting up the post-‘94 local government system in South Africa. For the last few years he has been working on turning around distressed municipalities in South Africa. This has taken him right up to close to the mechanics by which municipalities get governed and the way that good governance can be eroded. His last big assignment was managing the process of building institutional capacity and rooting out corruption in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, about which he has recently published book titled ‘How to Steal a City’.

In the last decade he has also worked on a diverse range of other projects, including the World Bank’s Public Sector Capacity Building Programme in Ethiopia, the World Wildlife Fund’s global climate change programme and the UN’s Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) review of global carbon markets. He is a medical doctor by training and hold BSc (Med) (1983), Psychology Honours (1984) and MBChB (1988) degrees from UCT. He is currently registered for a PhD at WITS in the Politics Department, and is a research fellow at the Public Affairs Research Institute.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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20

Feb, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Reflecting from the pothole: South African exceptionalism and urban middle-class anxiety

Faces of the City seminar: Reflecting from the pothole: South African exceptionalism and urban middle-class anxiety

Alexandra Appelbaum

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

South Africa’s belief in its own exceptionalism within the African continent has a long history, and South African (white) middle-class identity has been, at least partially, constructed in relation to Africa as the ‘Other’. A large part of the binary construct between South Africa and the rest of Africa, in the eyes of the South African middle class, is the ‘modern’ infrastructure that typifies South Africa’s cities, as opposed to the perceived rural and chaotic Africa. This is most clearly articulated in the South African middle class outrage and panic about potholes.

Middle-class concerns about flaws in the South African road surface are so great as to shape the governance strategies for local municipalities. In catering to its predominantly middle-class constituents, the Democratic Alliance explicitly inculcates pothole repair into its campaigns and strategies – prominently so in Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s R80 million #waronpotholes. A pothole is an indicator of a structural failure in the road infrastructure; as a fixation of the urban middle-class imaginary, potholes are a tangible embodiment of precarity and perceived insecurity. This is fundamentally linked to the precarity of modernity and the perceived encroachment of the African ‘Other’. A key argument of the paper is that the predominantly white middle class hysteria about potholes is driven by fear that the white diasporic modern vision for South Africa, inculcated under apartheid, is crumbling.

Tracing the historical and contemporary discourse of potholes in South African media, this paper demonstrates how potholes have been understood and anxieties expressed, particularly in relation to the meaning of the urban. The paper uses potholes as a lens to explore the relationship between the middle class and the state, as well as the way in which the South African middle class construct their identity; express anxiety, and understand their position in South Africa.

Bio

Alli Appelbaum is a researcher at the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (SA&CP) at the University of the Witwatersrand. She holds an MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies (with distinction) from the London School of Economics, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar, and a Bachelor of Arts and Honours (both in the first class) in History from the University of Cape Town. Much of her recent work at SA&CP has focused on middle-class suburban governance, and the socio-spatial relationships between this group and local government in Johannesburg.

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13

Feb, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City - Taking Streets Seriously: the politics of public space in Johannesburg

Please join us for the Faces of the City seminar:

Taking Streets Seriously: the politics of public space in Johannesburg

Jesse Harber, Mamokete Matjomane, Alexandra Parker – Gauteng City-Region Observatory

13 February 2018

Tuesday

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

AbstractIn many parts of Gauteng, streets are congested with cars, trucks, minibus taxis, pedestrians, and informal traders. In other parts, streets are quiet, underutilised and frequently underserviced. In some parts of Gauteng, streets have become privatised or heavily securitised. In busy areas, informal traders sell their wares on the pavement or at traffic lights, adding to the congestion on narrow sidewalks. These presentations, based on the research report ‘Taking Streets Seriously’ interrogate how what is considered good urban design and liveability of streets may shift in different contexts. The studies unearthed a complex interplay of actors on Gauteng streets, with street users, property owners and the state each operating according to their own, diverse agendas, contingent on the particular street in question. The result is streets that are chaotic, contested, and changing over time. With this research, we hope to prompt a re-imagination of our streets, not least as streets rather than roads, but also as public spaces. Ultimately, we hope to correct an official urban discourse that overlooks the many uses to which streets are and could be put.BioJesse Harber has been a Researcher with the GCRO since September 2016 focusing on transport and urban governance. Previously, he worked with the Cities Support Programme and the Government Technical Advisory Centre, both of the National Treasury as well as a freelance urban and sustainable development consultant focusing on monitoring & evaluation, project and programme management, and organisational development. Before that he was a professional paella cook.Mamokete Matjomane is a junior researcher at GCRO and a PhD candidate in the school of Architecture and planning at Univ. of the Witwatersrand. She is affiliated to CUBES and PSUG programme. Mamokete’s research interests include street trading policy making and implementation in cities of the South, township economies and landscapes of peripheral urbanisation.Alexandra Parker joined the GCRO in late 2016 after a long and fruitful association with the University of the Witwatersrand as an undergraduate and postgraduate student and most recently, a postdoctoral research fellow. Her research explores the intersections of people, their cultures and identities, and urban and suburban environments.The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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12

Feb, 2018
Mon @ 09:00

GCRO at World Urban Forum: Multi-scalar governance for urban sustainability in resource constrained urban regions

Monday 12 February 2018, 09:00 - 11:00

Room 305
MODERATOR: Dr. Rob Moore (Gauteng City-Region Observatory)LEAD ORGANIZATION: Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO)PARTNERS: Gauteng Provincial Government (South Africa) - UCL’s City Leadership Laboratory/Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (UCL STEaPP) (United Kingdom)

Bold commitments to urban sustainability have been forged through recent international agreements (e.g. Sustainable Development Goals, New Urban Agenda, Paris Climate Agreement). A critical step in meeting these goals is translating them into locally relevant urban agendas. This 'localisation' process hinges on establishing the 'right' relationships between key actors – especially government actors - responsible for driving massive, complex and difficult urban transitions. This 'governance' work is not easy, especially in large fast-growing regions facing environmental resource crises, and where governance arrangements are intertwined with systems that lead to unsustainable outcomes.

This networking event focuses on the governance challenges and opportunities for localising global sustainability goals in large and complex urban regions. Various dimensions are explored including ideas for policies and plans, as well as the role of data, analysis and evidence in guiding decision making and action. This networking event focuses on the case of the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) and also draws insights from urban regions across Africa and the global South. The event will showcase:

1) New applied research undertaken by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) on complex cost/benefit choices between social justice and environmental sustainability outcomes;

2) Recent policy-support analysis on the governance of pollution, urban water-security, and green infrastructure;

3) An international partnership of researchers and government practitioners working at the intersection between scientific and policy knowledges. This partnership includes GCRO, the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG), and UCL's City Leadership Laboratory/Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (UCL STEaPP);

4) New local policy initiatives (e.g. Green Infrastructure Strategy for Johannesburg);

5) Regional efforts by the GPG to localise the SDG's, led by the Premier of Gauteng as the co-Vice President of Metropolis; and

6) An ambitious long-term strategy to enhance knowledge at the policy-science interface through a 'Long-Range Ecological Study Site' for the GCR.

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08

Feb, 2018
Thu @ 02:30

Colloquium on 'Building a Capable State" Service delivery in post-apartheid South Africa'

The GCRO invites you to attend a colloquium on the capability of the South African state, with an emphasis on local government and the institutional and financial framework within which local government functions. The event centres on the recently published book by Ian Palmer, Nishendra Moodley and Susan Parnell: Building a Capable State – Service Delivery in Post-Apartheid South Africa. The event will also include other specialists to stimulate debate on the capability of our state, past, present and future.

8th February 2018 - 14:30 to 18:30, Wits Club, West Campus, University of the Witwatersrand.

14:30 - Meet and tea
15:00 - Welcome by GCRO
15:15 - Main findings from the book: Ian Palmer
16:00 - Inputs by 'capable state' specialists, including Profs. Philip Harrison & Ivor Chipkin
17:00 - Open discussion
17:30 - Cocktail function

Please RSVP by no later than 1 February to: Nadine Abrahams, 011 717 7280, nadine.abrahams@gcro.ac.za. A map to the venue will be sent to those who confirm participation. There is ample parking at the venue.

More details on Building a Capable State – Service Delivery in Post-Apartheid South Africa can be found here.

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06

Feb, 2018
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the city: Of Ancestors, Mining Companies and Invasive Species. Environmental Changes, Urban Governance and Urbanity in Hwange (Zimbabwe)

Of Ancestors, Mining Companies and Invasive Species. Environmental Changes, Urban Governance and Urbanity in Hwange (Zimbabwe)

Dr Emilie Guitard – French Institute of Research in Africa, Nigeria

6 February 2018

Tuesday

16:00-17:30

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

The town of Hwange, located in Matabeleland North, North-Eastern Zimbabwe, has historical roots in coal mining. It is also located on the border of the country’s biggest protected area, the Hwange National Park. The 37, 500 inhabitants of Hwange thus live in a paradoxical ecological context, caught between coal mines, mango trees and other natural species introduced in the city under British rule, and the wildlife from the nearby park. This presentation is based on the first analyses conducted on ethnographic and ethno-scientific data collected during a two months fieldwork, in 2015, with city-dwellers and authorities of Hwange, within the frame of the ANR Programme PIAF (Interdisciplinary Program on Indigenous indicators of Fauna and Flora). PIAF researchers assume that, beside experts’ discourses, lay people also diagnose short and long term environmental changes, notably through the observation of biodiversity, even in urban settings.

The ethnographic research conducted in Hwange reveals that the city-dwellers pay indeed close attention to their natural environment and to the changes affecting it, through leisure activities (gardening, hunting, fishing), close relations maintained with their rural “homesteads”, but also through a great number of ecological phenomena imposed upon them (water pollution, invasive aquatic species, human-wildlife conflicts, etc.). Hwange inhabitants, along with local resource managers and municipal authorities, also produce diagnostics to explain these environmental changes. These diagnostics are built in complex causality chains, associating ecological causes (climate change, increase of the population for some species and of the competition between them and with humans) with economic, political or religious causes. We will focus here on the discourses where, in a circular manner, changes in urban biodiversity, the local governance and the ways of living in a city are intertwined. This specific case could serve to open a discussion on how to address urban governance and urbanity through relations to nature in urban settings.

Bio

Emilie Guitard holds a PhD in Social Anthropology (University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense) and is currently researcher at French Institute of Research in Africa – Nigeria. She studies the relationship between urban African societies and their environments. Her PhD research was conducted between 2007 and 2011 with public authorities and city-dwellers of two North Cameroonian, middle-size cities (Garoua and Maroua); it focused on the perceptions and the institutional and popular practices of waste management, linked to power relations.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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22

Jan, 2018
Mon @ 08:30

Social cohesion and violence prevention symposium

South Africa is a place of many contradictions, conflicts, and tensions, including but not limited to racism, sexism, and xenophobia. Since the 2000s, the term “social cohesion” has been used as something of a catchall ideal, to which these are all an affront. As common as the term is, it does not rest on a clear analysis of why social tensions exist, or what is to be done about those that do. So far, social cohesion has proved both elusive and resistant to official encouragement.

The GCRO and ACMS, in partnership, are undertaking a programme of research into the empirics of violence prevention, based on previous work on social cohesion. As part of the preparation for this programme a ‘State of Knowledge Symposium’ will bring together academics and practitioners working on problems of social tension, and particularly those that manifest as violence, in an academic setting. The interest of this workshop is to interrogate the kinds of interventions that are being deployed to address this field of social problems, with a particular focus on anti-violence work.Some initial questions include:

- To what extent do those who run various interventions articulate a theory of change, which conceptualises how their intervention will ‘work’ to achieve the goals they have in mind?
- What goals do those running interventions hope to achieve?
- What do they think are the specific causes of violence and related problems?
- Why were specific methodologies and approaches chosen for particular interventions (over alternative methodologies)?
- How has the thinking of implementing agents shifted over time in relation to a particular approach they are pursuing?
- To what extent have studies done to establish the impact of particular interventions (e.g. M&E)?
- What are the major opportunities that various actors, including government, should be exploiting to reduce violence and the potential for violence?

Please find attached the programme here.The venue is Humanities Graduate Seminar Room, South West Engineering Building, Wits East Campus, Braamfontein - Map.

Parking is available at various places on East Campus, including visitor’s parking at either the Planetarium or the Origins Centre.

You can RSVP via Google forms here.

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19

Oct, 2017
Thu @ 08:30

CTIN - What data do we want? Understanding demands for open data in South Africa

What data do we want? Understanding demands for open data

by Civic Tech Innovation Network

Speakers include:

Rachel Manxeba (Municipal Barometer, SALGA)

Adi Eyal (Open Up)

Kirsten Pearson (Online Budget Data Portal, Treasury)

Ithumaleng Mongale (DPSA)

Zodwa Keto (COGTA)

8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

LOCATION

Tshimologong Precinct, 41 Juta Street, Johannesburg

Please join us for a workshop on open data demand to mark the launch of our new research:

“What data do we want?

Understanding demands for open data amongst civil society organisations in South Africa”

Join researchers and practitioners from the open data community – both public and industry – for an insightful and practical workshop on improving the access and use of open data, as well as testing demand.

Open data is frequently cited as a necessary component for increased government accountability and openness. If that’s the case, what kind of open data is needed? There are many open data portals and projects in South Africa. But very little research on how they are used or on what open data civil society organisations actually want or need.

The Centre for Municipal Research and Advice (CMRA) conducted a study of open data demand by interviewing groups of national CSOs and local community-based organisations and exploring with them when, how and why they accessed government information or might need to use government data in their work. The research was conducted with the support of the Network Society Research programme at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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05

Sep, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: A right to the city perspective on spatial justice and housing South Africa’s urban poor

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: A right to the city perspective on spatial justice and housing South Africa’s urban poor

Dr Margot Strauss

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

Spatial injustice holds profound implications for the democratic transformation of South African society, the planning and development of inclusive towns and cities, and the realisation of the constitutionally enshrined housing rights of vulnerable and marginalised urban inhabitants. Patterns of spatial segregation in urban areas remain a persistent legacy of our apartheid past and current approaches to interpreting and realising housing rights largely fail to adequately address complex housing needs. This seminar highlights the value of Henri Lefebvre’s right to the city, as a normative paradigm, for developing the substantive content of the housing rights of South Africa’s urban poor. Drawing on history, social theory, constitutional and international human rights law, this seminar investigates the potential of the right to the city paradigm to advance housing rights and promote spatial and social transformation in South Africa.

Bio

Margot Strauss is a senior research associate at the Socio-Economic Rights and Administrative Justice (SERAJ) Research Project at Stellenbosch University. In 2017, Margot completed her doctoral dissertation entitled A right to the city for South Africa’s urban poor under Professor Sandra Liebenberg’s supervision, who holds the H.F. Oppenheimer Chair in Human Rights. Her researchfocuses on constitutional law, housing rights, planning law, social and spatial justice in urban areas. She obtained her LLB degree from Stellenbosch University and joined the Overarching Strategic Project on Combating Poverty, Homelessness and Socio-Economic Vulnerability under the Constitution in 2011.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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29

Aug, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Synecdochic governance of the north-eastern Gauteng city-region periphery

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Synecdochic governance of the north-eastern Gauteng city-region periphery

Dr Ngaka Mosiane

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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22

Aug, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: The primacy of party politics in governing the GCR: Sedibeng's pending re-demarcation, amalgamation and metropolitanisation

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: The primacy of party politics in governing the GCR: Sedibeng's pending re-demarcation, amalgamation and metropolitanisation

Thembani Mkhize

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

In 2011, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) published a proposal detailing 157 cases of changes to be made to certain municipalities after the 2016 local elections, three of which were in Gauteng. One of the Gauteng cases was the proposed merger of ANC-run Emfuleni and DA-controlled Midvaal into a single Category A municipality, as part of the ANC’s plan to create wall-to-wall metros in Gauteng. The proposed merger would result in the dissolution of Sedibeng District Municipality as well as incorporation of Lesedi within Ekurhuleni. While the Gauteng Provincial Government and ANC Gauteng hailed the move for its potential to enhance development and service delivery in the hypothetical new metro, the DA fiercely resisted it on the grounds that it was driven by political agendas. So fierce was the DA’s opposition that the merger had to be set aside until after the 2016 local elections. Following the 2016 local elections, the political terrain in the GCR has changed considerably, with the DA having gained control of three more Gauteng municipalities, albeit via coalition with smaller parties. While the political landscape is unchanged in Sedibeng, the jury is still out on whether the merger will go ahead. This paper uses the case of Sedibeng to discuss the impetus and preeminence of ‘party politics’ and/or (both horizontal and vertical) political competition for government and governance in the GCR.

Bio

Thembani Mkhize is a junior researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), Mkhize has wide research interests which include urban regeneration, sub-local governance, city branding and large-scale city politics as well as the role of youth sub-cultures in shaping urban governance/politics.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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15

Aug, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Routes and rites to the city: Mobility, diversity and urban space in Johannesburg

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Routes and rites to the city: Mobility, diversity and urban space in Johannesburg

Dr Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon, Dr Lorena Núñez & Bettina Malcomess

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

This seminar draws on the recent publication Routes & Rites to the City (ed. M. Wilhelm-Solomon, L. Núñez, P.B. Kankonde, B Malcomess, Palgrave 2016) along with the associated visual supplement curated by Bettina Malcomess. It argues for a re-reading of urbanism and diversity in Johannesburg through the lenses of religion and mobility. It explores the diversity of processes through which religion produces the post-apartheid city relating to social identities, spatialities, belonging, and the mobility of people, commodities, and aesthetic forms. Here, we theorise 'super-diversity' not only in terms of the horizontal diversity of groups of different ethnic, racial and religious composition but also in terms of both spatial and temporal diversity and the ways these layer the urban fabric. We argue that, beyond the binarism of the sacred and profane, religious forms and rites constitute contintual flows and movements, demarcations and inscriptions, territorialisations and de-territorialisations. This presentation will engage with the diversity of case studies explored in the published work dealing with a wide variety of sites and religions in Johannesburg.

Bio

Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Lorena Núñez is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand. Bettina Malcomess is Lecturer in Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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08

Aug, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Creative economy and the global South: an opportunity for growing or a tool reinforcing segregation?

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Creative economy and the global South: an opportunity for growing or a tool reinforcing segregation?

Laura Burocco

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

Although the term creative economies was initially popularised in countries such as the UK and the US, it has since gained currency in some middle income countries. Often linked to urban regeneration projects "creative hubs" arise in the city, where local (and international) elites define urban enclaves, which work as city-state and concentrate power and elite interests. On sale is not simply a working or residential space, but a lifestyle which has no dialogue with the reality of the original lived spaces. Indeed these real estate products claims to correct the incivility of the city within which they are imbedded in order to link to the modern world (and its markets). The presentation will show my PhD project, and illustrate some of the findings of the study. This research interrogates who these new economic subjects are, the sustainability and interests of these new economies and who the real beneficiaries are. It analyses the phenomena of gentrification in the South as a new form of colonialism acting bot h in a local and global scale, reproducing relations of power and control on societies already marked by serious indexes of inequality. It explores the link between cultural institutions and private and public investors in these processes.

Bio

Laura Burocco is currently a PhD candidate at Escola de Comunicação da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Communication Technologies and Aesthetic field of research, CAPES scholarship. Her research areas: cognitive capitalism, creativity and institutional critique, gentrification and decolonial studies. She graduated in Law by the State University of Milan and holds a Master in Urban Sociology by the State University of Rio - UERJ, and MBE Housing from the University of the Witwatersrand.

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01

Aug, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Social cohesion as a concern for local government: learning from past and current initiatives

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Social cohesion as a concern for local government: learning from past and current initiatives

Kate Joseph

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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25

Jul, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Mobility and the future city: Archipelagos of territory, representation, and belonging

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Mobility and the future city: Archipelagos of territory, representation, and belonging

Prof Loren Landau

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

African cities’ rapidly transforming morphology and social composition starkly illustrates human mobility’s power to reconfigure politics’ spatial and temporal foundations. Whereas urbanisation elsewhere in the world has accompanied expanding state infrastructure and economic opportunities, African urbanisation is typically rapid, unstable, and occurring with limited possibility of accessing formal employment or public services. The results are moral and material economies linking rural towns to particular urban gateways with these gateways in turn tied to specific sites within the city, other African cities, and across global diasporas real and imagined. This paper explores how these emerging archipelagos are generating ‘future urbanism’: spaces in which residence creates patterns of self-alienation and deferrence in preparation for geographic and temporal elsewheres. These work against the consolidation of territorially bounded patterns of state-centred power and authority. But while these point to a kind of fragmentation and anarchy, these places are not bereft of order. Rather, they generate unique political subjectivities rooted in localised disconnection that will relocate cities’ position as the foundation of national and global political power. The consequences demand a geographic and temporal rescaling of how we explore political representation, authority, and belonging.

Bio

Prof Loren B Landau is the South African Research Chair in Human Mobility and the Politics of Difference at the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where he was the founding director. His work explores human mobility, citizenship, development, and political authority.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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16

May, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Mobility and Urban Archipelagos: Conceptualising Space and Connection amidst Africa’s Urban Fluidity

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Mobility and Urban Archipelagos: Conceptualising Space and Connection amidst Africa’s Urban Fluidity

Prof. Loren Landau

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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02

May, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Tracing the metabolism of the everyday: Livelihoods and informality in Delft, Cape Town

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Tracing the metabolism of the everyday: Livelihoods and informality in Delft, Cape Town

Dr. Suraya Scheba

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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25

Apr, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: The Moral Geographies of Mothers in Greater Johannesburg

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: The Moral Geographies of Mothers in Greater Johannesburg

Dr. Alex Parker

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

There is a rich mine of literature on spatial exclusions due to race, in South African cities, however few studies have focused on the gendered spatial experiences of women and more particularly, mothers. Our research explores the spatial dynamics of mothers in Johannesburg: how mothers navigate their and their families’ daily lives; the challenges that they face; their routes, supports and efforts that typify their lives. Through in-depth interviews and mapping exercises, the study draws on the everyday practices of 25 mothers in the city. The research shows that the spatial injustices of the past and new inequalities impact the everyday movements and practices of women. In addition, these spatial practices are influenced by a form of moral geography, which result in compromises and sacrifices for both mother and child. Exploring the spatial geographies of the mothers provides valuable insights and exposes the depth of spatial inequalities and poor urban management in new ways.

Bio

Alexandra Parker joined the GCRO in late 2016 after a long and fruitful association with the University of the Witwatersrand as an undergraduate and postgraduate student and most recently, a postdoctoral research fellow. Her doctoral and postdoctoral research explores the influence of urban films on everyday practice in the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town. She has presented and published on this research, most recently in the monograph Urban Film and Everyday Practice: Bridging Divisions in Johannesburg. Margot Rubin is a senior researcher at the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning and has historically worked on housing-related issues, questions of governance and socio-economic rights with a strong interest in comparative urbanism. This study is her first foray into questions of gender and the city.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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18

Apr, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Rural Landscapes – Urban Transitions for a Sustainable Future

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Rural Landscapes – Urban Transitions for a Sustainable Future

Prof. Barend Erasmus

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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11

Apr, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: A ‘Marshall plan’ for human settlements: How mega projects became South Africa’s housing policy

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: A ‘Marshall plan’ for human settlements: How mega projects became South Africa’s housing policy

Dr Richard Ballard

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

In 2014, the South African National Department of Human Settlements announced that it would phase out its many small housing projects of a few hundred units. Henceforth all housing would exclusively be delivered in large settlements of thousands or tens of thousands of units. Shortly afterwards, the Gauteng Provincial government announced its own version of the policy, stating that it intended to build dozens of new cities around the province. This article examines the turn to mega projects within the Human Settlements sector in South Africa. We address three questions: where is the mega projects policy turn articulated? what are the rationales that feed into this policy direction? and how has the policy been received? We show the genesis of this policy direction, its heterogeneous nature and its logics. This policy moment flows from some major experiments in scaled up projects since the 1990s. These were informed by a desire to ramp up the quantity of housing delivery which had been declining in the years prior to the announcement of the new policy, the appeal of designing entirely new integrated settlements, a drive to invest in deprived areas, and the expectation that large projects can cut through bureaucratic entanglements slowing down smaller projects. The policy direction has been criticised for presuming to be able to attract economic activity to new settlements and, in the event of failing to be able to do so, exacerbating an already disbursed urban pattern which is difficult to service and which requires workers to commute long distances or renders them unable to find work.

Bio

Dr. Richard Ballard is a Specialist Researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory who trained in the field of geography. He has published on race, urban desegregation, social movements, participatory mechanisms and social policy.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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05

Apr, 2017
Wed @ 04:00

Symposium: Taking Streets Seriously

5 April 2017

Sturrock Park, Braamfontein Campus West, University of the Witwatersrand

Gauteng’s streets are a hostile place, designed to facilitate the rapid flow of motor traffic at the expense of almost everyone who uses them—including many drivers. They facilitate enormous flows of people around the city, without encouraging economic activity, social cohesion, or indeed any engagement with the city beyond work and home on either end of a long, arduous commute. The value of streets as spaces connecting the city has been lost, and rather they function to move people away from each other as quickly as possible. Such street life as survives under these conditions is despite, not because of, the best efforts of public and private actors in the city.

We hope to provoke a re-imagination of our streets, not least as streets rather than roads, but also as public spaces. Streets taken seriously have enormous potential to enable and encourage public life in Gauteng’s cities. Ultimately we hope to encourage an urban discourse that does not overlook streets and their potential. In a time of enormous excitement and corresponding investment in our cities, we would like to see some of both directed towards the street.

This seminar, a companion event to the forthcoming research report by the same name, will be an opportunity for academics, practitioners, and activists to present on their work and engage on the subject of Taking Streets Seriously.

Academics, practitioners, and activists are invited to submit relevant abstracts of 250 words to kate.joseph@gcro.ac.za by 10 March. Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 17 March.

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04

Apr, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Producing Urban Security: between spectacle and everyday contingency

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Producing Urban Security: between spectacle and everyday contingency

Dr Aidan Mosselson

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

In this paper I examine the tactics, processes and underpinning logics through which urban security is produced and maintained in a volatile, 'disorderly' urban environment. I argue that the production of urban security rests on processes of contingency and adaptation, as much as it relies on spectacle and the enactment of force. Research from Johannesburg's inner-city reveals that even powerful actors, such as private security personnel, have to engage in contingent, everyday practices which adapt to the socio-spatial realities they are confronted with in order to effectively create regimes of security and order. Whilst research about urban management, security and governance in Johannesburg has concentrated on spectacular displays of force, such as police raids and 'crackdowns', I demonstrate that, whilst these displays of force are important for the performance of urban governance and policing, the creation of an urban order rests on more mundane and everyday processes too.

Bio

Dr. Aidan Mosselson is currently a post-doctoral research fellow, employed jointly by the University of Johannesburg and the Gauteng City Region Observatory. His research predominantly focuses on inner-city Johannesburg and explores the effects market-based solutions have on public space and the accessibility of housing in low-income areas; urban management and policing practices in volatile neighbourhoods; and the dynamics of racial transition and emerging forms of belonging in previously racially-segregated areas. He has also published on xenophobia and migration. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand and a PhD in Social Geography from University College London.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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28

Mar, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Everyday practices of waste management and peri-urban vulnerabilities in Dar es Salaam

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Everyday practices of waste management and peri-urban vulnerabilities in Dar es Salaam

Dr Natalie Jean-Baptiste

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Abstract

Behind statistics about urbanized populations in Africa, behind maps showing unregulated growth and numerous disaster risk assessments, there are compelling tales of coping and adapting capacities framed within everyday practices. A large part of Dar es Salaam is not planned or designed in function of nodes of infrastructure. The city’s expansion remains largely uncontrolled and defies any pre-conceived wisdom that availability of infrastructure is a precondition for urban growth. This talk addresses the premises of understanding technical infrastructure through everyday practices. It provides a first insight on organizational components connected to waste management and how this connection may influence positively or negatively the resilience of cities. I argue that addressing waste issues from the point of view of everyday processes helps expand our knowledge on different layers of livelihoods. Across most African cities, what we lack is insight on how local processes, technologies and social initiatives may act as a stimulus for more viable infrastructure.

Bio

Dr. Nathalie Jean-Baptiste is a Marie Curie Global Fellow affiliated with the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany and is currently based in Tanzania at Ardhi University. Her work focuses on the vulnerability of urban systems to climate related risks in low-income countries. She has extensive international research experience with a focus on urban infrastructure, risk assessment and climate adaptation in Mexico and several African countries. She is the Coordinator of the Housing Network of the International Association People-Environment Studies (IAPS) and the Lead Coordinating Author of the chapter on Housing and Informal Settlements of the Second Assessment Report on Climate Change and cities (ARC3-2, Urban Climate Change Research Network, Cambridge Press: 2017).

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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21

Mar, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Luxified skies: How vertical housing became an elite preserve

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Luxified skies: How vertical housing became an elite preserve

Professor Stephen Graham

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

This paper is a call for critical urban research to address the vertical as well as horizontal aspects of social inequality. It seeks, in particular, to explore the important but neglected causal connection between the demonisation and dismantling of social housing towers constructed in many cities between the 1930s and 1970s and the contemporary proliferation of radically different housing towers produced for socio-economic elites. The argument begins with a critical discussion of the economistic orthodoxy, derived from the work of Edward Glaeser, that contemporary housing crises are best addressed by removing state intervention in housing production so that market-driven verticalisation can take place. The following two sections connect the rise of such orthodoxy with the ‘manufactured reality’—so central to neo-liberal urban orthodoxy—that vertical social housing must necessarily fail because it deterministically creates social pathology. The remainder of the paper explores in detail how the dominance of these narratives have been central to elite takeovers, and ‘luxification’, of the urban skies through the proliferation of condo towers for the superrich. Case studies are drawn from Vancouver, New York, London, Mumbai and Guatemala City and the broader vertical cultural and visual politics of the process are explored. The discussion finishes by exploring the challenges involved in contesting, and dismantling, the hegemonic dominance of vertical housing by elite interests in contemporary cities. Paper available here: http://rsa.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1360481...

Bio

Stephen Graham is Professor of Cities and Society at the Global Urban Research Unit and is based in Newcastle University's School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. Professor Graham has a background in Geography, Planning and the Sociology of Technology. His research centres, in particular, on: the vertical aspects of cities and urban life; links between cities, technology and infrastructure; urban aspects of surveillance; the mediation of urban life by digital technologies; and links between security, militarisation and urban life. Amongst a large number of publications, he is coauthor of Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition (2001) and author of Vertical: Looking at the City from Above and Below (2016).

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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14

Mar, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: The void, dust, gold, and powering the Rainbow Nation

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: The void, dust, gold, and powering the Rainbow Nation

Mark Olalde

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

From gold in the Far West Rand to platinum in Bapong and titanium in Pondoland, the mining industry has left an indelible mark on South Africa. In recent years, South Africa has seen both an increased, community-based resistance to expansion within parts of the industry as well as a growing governmental interest in researching the impacts of minerals extraction on affected communities. As a more nuanced national awareness comes to the sector, a logical next step in this progression is to question whether each aspect of the so-called Minerals-Energy Complex is unique or if commonalities exist. By reordering and comparing individual photographs captured from different mining sectors, the exhibit connects the themes that permeate South African mining, such as the impact of race on power in the business, the influence of international markets on local communities, and the direct, physical impacts of the extractive industry. By focusing on shared experiences, the aim of this exhibit is to better understand which variables influence mining and how affected communities interact with them.

Bio

Mark Olalde is a journalist who investigates mine abandonment in South Africa’s failed system of mine closure. He is based in Johannesburg at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Wits City Institute and is affiliated with the Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry. He publishes print stories and photography as an associate of the Oxpeckers Center for Investigative Environmental Journalism and places additional work across Independent Media’s platforms, among other publications. His investigations are financially supported by the Fund for Environmental Journalism, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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06

Mar, 2017
Mon @ 12:30

Living the Urban Periphery: Investment, Infrastructure and Economic Change in African City-Regions

The Gauteng Introductory Stakeholder meeting for the 'Living the Urban Periphery' project will be held over lunch and the early afternoon of Monday 6th March 2017, 12h30 for 13h00 till 15h00 at Wits University, Braamfontein. Please RSVP by 24 February to Thammy Jezile (Thammy.Jezile@wits.ac.za) if you would like to attend.

The project is a partnership between the University of Sheffield (Department of Urban Studies and Planning: Dr Paula Meth, Dr Tom Goodfellow) and the University of the Witwatersrand (School of Architecture and Planning: Prof Alison Todes; Prof Sarah Charlton; Prof Phil Harrison; Dr Margot Rubin) in collaboration with the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (Dr Richard Ballard). It is funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and South Africa’s National Research Foundation through the Newton Urban Transformation Programme.

The project focuses on understanding the transformation of urban peripheries and lived experience in three city-regions: eThekwini and Gauteng (South Africa), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is a 3 year project (2016-2018).

We hope that the meeting will provide advice and a sounding board for our project, and enable us to adapt it to be more useful to policy makers and practitioners. We will also present the project to the specific local communities where we intend do research. At the end of the project, we will again present our findings to stakeholders such as yourselves, and to local communities where we have worked. Should you be unable to attend, we would like to make you aware of our research, and hope that we will be able to talk to you individually about the project at a later stage.

Please RSVP by 24 February to Thammy Jezile (Thammy.Jezile@wits.ac.za)

Project Summary:

The spatial edges of large cities and city-regions in Africa are places of complex but poorly understood urban transformations; in some areas, large-scale formal investment is evident, while others are characterised by informal development or a complex mix of formal and informal processes, alternatively, there is stagnation or decline. These processes are often inadequately managed through policy and planning as institutions of governance are frequently weaker and more fragmented on the edge than in the spatial core. There is a critical gap in existing research on African cities, which has tended to overlook peripheral areas or focus on a donor-driven conception of the ‘peri-urban’ concerned primarily with changes to land use and agriculture (Mbiba and Huchzermeyer 2002). Without responsive policy and planning they may continue to be poorly managed, experience decline; institutional weakness; and neglect.

This project seeks to understand how transformation in the spatial peripheries of African cities, is shaped, governed and experienced, with a view to informing governance approaches, strategies for poverty reduction and addressing the gap in the existing literature. It will use the lens of ‘lived experiences’ to understand the intersection of state, market and people’s practices in producing “new urban spatialities” (Beall et al 2015; Mabin et al 2013; Todes 2014). The project examines seven cases within three African city-regions: Gauteng, eThekwini and Addis Ababa. These choices will facilitate comparative analysis spanning both a low and a middle-income country, as well as primary and secondary cities. All three cases display rapid but variable urbanisation, changing patterns of segregation and integration, and variant patterns of governance and investment, offering critical spaces for comparative analysis, theorisation, and policy influence.

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21

Feb, 2017
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Lawnbefok: Civilising Grass on the Highveld

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Lawnbefok: Civilising Grass on the Highveld

Johathan Cane, Civilising grass on the Highveld

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

The central object of concern for this seminar paper is the South African lawn: a colonial idea and ideal with far-reaching implications for the environment, for the expression of ownership and national belonging. The common sense view of the lawn as a stable, flat, green, family-friendly and apolitical surface is measured against an eccentric archive of real and imagined lawns from the Highveld between 1886 and 2016. The ‘lawn art’ archive includes maps, (photographs of) geographic spaces, intentionally and unintentionally unbuilt architectural proposals, empty spaces on the page and the ground, patterns of lived space, uses and obscene misuses, reappropriations and rejection of spaces on paper and in person. The argument is that neither the real nor imagined boundaries which divide civilised nature from the wilderness are able to provide an immutable, safe, impermeable bulwark. The South African lawn, like many other postcolonial landscapes, is muddy, queer and alive, resisting optimistic narratives of progress and growth.

Bio

Jonathan Cane is a postdoctoral fellow in the Wits City Institute. His research is interested in landscape, modernism and queer studies. He currently working on building an archive of the Rand Mines Properties’ plan for Ormonde in the late 1960s.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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16

Feb, 2017
Thu @ 04:00

Tommaso Vitale: Policy instruments and the governance of large metropolis

CUBES, together with the Gauteng City-Region Observatory and Spatial Analysis and City Planning will host Tommaso Vitale to deliver this lecture.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

16:00-18:00

Dorothy Susskind Auditorium (A1), John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Tommaso Vitale is an Associate Professor in Sociology in Sciences Po (Paris), research director of the Master ‘Governing the Large Metropolis’ in the School of Urban Studies at Sciences Po.

He is part of the research team ‘Cities are Back in Town’ around Professor Patrick Le Gales, and his research deals with urban change and conflict, civil society mobilisation, spatial segregation, social services delivery, the local governance of industrial restructuring.

He has also worked on the place of migrant and “Rom” communities in European cities.

RSVP: Thammy.Jezile@wits.ac.za; CC: Busi.Nkosi@wits.ac.za

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19

Oct, 2016
Wed @ 05:00

Habitat III Urban Future event: Shaping informed cities: Platforms for knowledge generation and use in urban decision-making

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), in partnership with University College London (UCL), invites you to an official event of the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, as part of the 'Urban Future' space. The event is entitled 'Shaping informed cities: Platforms for knowledge generation and use in urban decision-making'. It seeks to showcase and explore the function of existing institutions involved in the generation and analysis of data to support urban decision-making. The session will be illustrated by a case study profiling the work of the GCRO, because of its unusual structure (a partnership between two universities and the Gauteng Provincial Government), and its engagement with multiple governance levels across a heterogeneous city-region, rather than a single, constrained urban core. The case study will focus on one of GCRO’s work programmes - Green assetsand Infrastructure - which provides detailed insight into methods used, and the challenges and dilemmas that must be negotiated, in this operating space.

The event will be chaired by Carla-Leanne Washbourne (UCL STEaPP), and will include presentations by Rashid Seedat (Head of the Gauteng Planning Commission and member of the Board of GCRO) and Christina Culwick (lead researcher on GCRO's Green assets and infrastructure project).

The official event description can be downloaded here.

Date & time:
Wednesday 19 October 2016
17:00 - 17:45

Venue:
Urban Future, Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana "Benjamin Carrion"
Quito, Ecuador

See the Habitat III website for more details about the 'Urban Future' space.

@GCR_Observatory

@UCLSTEaPP

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20

Sep, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Revisiting the urban land question in Kenya in the post-2015 context: The case of Nairobi

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Revisiting the urban land question in Kenya in the post-2015 context: The case of Nairobi

Dr Luke Obala, University of Nairobi

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

The history of Kenya and the question of land remain intrinsically related. At the core is access and ownership of land that directly define the social, economic and political interactions in the city of Nairobi and the country at large. Attempts to address the land question by the state have not produced the desired results. A range of informal processes have emerged in this vacuum. This paper will use various case studies drawn from Nairobi to help deepen our understanding of how actors and stakeholders (both formal and informal) in the land market interact. The paper will further attempt to establish the contribution of the formal and informal governance of land to achieving the sustainable development goals adopted in 2015. The paper will thus analyse various dimensions of the land question. In closing the paper will draw conclusions on the linkage between the urban land question and Sustainable Development Goals.

Bio

Luke Obala is a Senior Lecturer at University of Nairobi and former Head of the Department of Real Estate and Construction Management. He holds a PhD from University of the Witwatersrand and has over 25 years of experience in research and teaching urban management, economics, planning and housing administration at Jomo Kenyatta and University of Science and Technology and the University of Nairobi. He is a member of Kenya Institute of Planners, Institution of Surveyors of Kenya, Spring International Association of Development Planners and African Real Estate Society. In partnership with Pamoja Trust (a local NGO), Dr. Obala runs an annual workshop focusing urban housing and slum upgrading. Dr Obala has wide experience gained over the years of university teaching, research and consultancy in a variety of areas including urban governance, policy, resource mobilization, project and/or programme management and general planning. These activities have provided him with deeper insights into the urban issues affecting African cities as well as a linkage with a network of actors in urban development and its related politics. Dr Obala’s two month visit hosted by CUBES is funded by the Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute at Wits University.

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13

Sep, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: The urbanisation of responsibility

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: The urbanisation of responsibility

Professor Clive Barnett, University of Exeter

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

Cities have become central to a range of policy fields, activist imaginations, and advocacy campaigns. Across these areas, 'the city' refers to different spatial forms, and is used to address a variety of issues and problems. This paper seeks to develop an analytical framework for understanding this proliferation of urban concern. The paper argues that understanding the multiple roles ascribed to urban processes in addressing problems requires shifting attention away from debates about what the city is to what it is that cities are assumed to be able to do. 'The city' emerges from this sort of analysis as a figure that enables wicked problems to be subjected to reflexive forms of intervention.

Bio

Clive Barnett is Professor of Geography and Social Theory at the University of Exeter, and author of the forthcoming book “The Priority of Injustice: Locating Democracy in Critical Theory” (University of Georgia Press).

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06

Sep, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Ghetto in the cities and films of Johannesburg and Cape Town

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Ghetto in the cities and films of Johannesburg and Cape Town

Alexandra Parker, University of the Witwatersrand

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

In the unequal city, spaces are divided into the ‘citadel’, the fortified enclaves of the wealthy, and the ‘ghetto’, poor and crime-ridden neighbourhoods (Friedmann and Wolff, 1982). The ghetto in the South African context is a legacy of the apartheid government planning in cities that segregated non-whites to the periphery of urban centres. In this case, the ghetto is not the space of a minority; its urban form varies and is embodied in townships, the inner city and informal settlements. In films of Johannesburg and Cape Town these spatial divisions have been depicted with contrasting meanings to reflect perceptions of the city.

The ghetto as a metaphor is strongly present in the hood film and offers both utopian and dystopian representations of the city for African-Americans (Massood, 1996), which has influenced the gangster genre in South Africa (Maingard, 2007). This paper focuses on the construction and depiction of the ghetto in the films of Johannesburg and Cape Town. The paper explores the geography of settings and locations as well as aspects of mobility within the narratives of two key films, Jerusalema (2008) and Four Corners (2013). The films of Johannesburg juxtapose spaces of the citadel and the ghetto with mobile characters while films of Cape Town focus on particular areas with less urban context and with less mobility of individual characters. These different depictions may reflect differences in the respective film industries but also have implications for residents of the cities and the ways in which the post-apartheid city is being re-imagined and re-planned.

Bio

Alexandra Parker is a postdoctoral research fellow (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa) researching the influence of urban films on everyday practice in the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town. The research aims to understand the ways in which residents interpret and negotiate their urban environments through the popular medium of film. She has presented and published on this research, most recently in her book 'Urban Film and Everyday Practice: Bridging Divisions in Johannesburg'. She has taught first year courses at the Wits School of Architecture and Planning, South Africa and a Masters course at the Università Iuav di Venezia, Italy. She serves on the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation board, actively campaigning to save the city’s heritage and is a director of the Architects’ Collective.

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23

Aug, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Habitus, capital and the production of space: the spatial praxis of innercity regeneration

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: Habitus, capital and the production of space: the spatial praxis of innercity regeneration

Aidan Mosselson, Gauteng City-Region Observatory

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

AbstractThis presentation outlines an emerging theoretical approach for analysing the relationship between social action and space. The analytical frameworks provided by Bourdieu and Lefebvre can be productively combined to arrive at a spatialized perspective of habitus – i.e. an account of how dispositions, worldviews and practices emerge in and through space, and also come to shape and alter spaces. The presentation illustrates this theoretical perspective in practice by drawing on evidence from the process of urban regeneration and low-income housing provision in inner-city Johannesburg. It shows how this process is driven by spatial practices which reproduce forms of habitus and social ordering, but simultaneously respond to the existing spatial reality which developers and housing providers encounter, and that these encounters in turn shape their praxis and consequently the type of regeneration being pursued and enacted. It therefore comes to demonstrate how spatial practices and habitus, whilst reflective of and able to reproduce dominant systems and social orders, are also not static and constantly shift to reflect the contingencies and multiplicities of space. Thus habitus is made through space, and comes to make space at the same time. The talk will also document experiences of tenants living in social or affordable housing in the inner-city to demonstrate the relationship between space and habitus, and how people’s lived spatial experiences reflect and reproduce forms of habitus which replicate existing forms of social stratification and domination. In the case of tenants, it is shown how existing spatial and social inequalities are reflected in people’s experiences of space, which then come to reinforce their subordinate positions in the social hierarchy. In this case, habitus and space are shown to combine to reproduce social divisions and forms of domination.BioAidan Mosselson currently a post-doctoral research fellow, employed jointly by the University of Johannesburg and the Gauteng City Region Observatory. His research has predominantly been carried out in inner-city Johannesburg and focuses on the effects market-based solutions have on public space and the accessibility of housing in low-income areas, urban management and policing practices in volatile neighborhoods, as well as the dynamics of racial transition and emerging forms of belonging in previously racially exclusive areas of South Africa.He holds a Masters degree in Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand and a PhD in social Geography from University College London.

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16

Aug, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: The private city: Real estate politics in the making of Lavasa new town, India

Please join us for the Faces of the City Seminar: The Private City: Real estate politics in the making of Lavasa new town, India

Anokhi Parikh

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

16:00 - 17:30

Wits Club, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

In the heart of India’s Mumbai-Pune mega-region an urban experiment is underway. The city of Lavasa is a city conceptualised, built, and controlled by a private company – Lavasa Corporation Limited (LCL). Planned for a stable population of 240,000 and 2 million visitors by 2020, it is imagined as an “inclusive city”, a “prime tourist destination”, with educational institutions, “non-polluting industries”, and “world-class” facilities. Lavasa is committed to being a “prototype of a medium-sized city which can act as a financially viable and an environmentally and socially sustainable substitute to the ill-served and overcrowded mega cities”. Founded primarily on private property, Lavasa’s vision brings together in an experimental manner, the seemingly disparate goals of inclusion, environmental sustainability, economic profitability, and exemplary service delivery.

The presentation draws on doctoral research on the development of Lavasa. It takes seriously the attempt to create a ‘market utopia’, treating it as an empirical phenomenon with social consequences, and asks: why, how, and with what effects did Lavasa come to be? The presentation traces the ideologies, rationalities, and interests that enabled Lavasa's making. It demonstrates how the symbolic power of this ‘market utopia’ conceals the conditions of its possibility, that is, the ways in which it was made through the state, through speculation, and the discursive and material operations of the land market. In doing so, it offers some theoretical reflections on the processes of privatised urban development.

Bio

Anokhi Parikh is a Project Manager at Dalberg Global Development Advisors in Johannesburg, where she is the deputy lead of the urban practice. Prior to joining Dalberg, Anokhi played an instrumental role in setting up the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), a university start-up in India. IIHS aims to establish an independently funded and managed National University for Research and Innovation focused on the challenges and opportunities of India’s urban transition. She began her career in South Africa in 2005 as an Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Fellow, conducting research that fed into provincial health sector policy and features in several publications.Anokhi holds a PhD in International Development from the London School of Economics, an MSc in Development Economics from Oxford University, and a BA (Hons) in Economics from UC Berkeley.

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02

Aug, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Resources and Recourses: Market Interventions and Legitimacy in Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar: Resources and Recourses: Market Interventions and Legitimacy in Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa

Marcus Walton

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

16:00 - 17:30

First floor seminar room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

Scarcity or the inaccessibility of basic resources (food, energy, education, housing, employment etc.) is a shared characteristic of poverty and inequality across the world. Yet policies for market interventions differ not only in scale, but also in the selection of particular resources to be subsidized or distributed. My dissertation looks at three different cases of large scale, high-profile market interventions in Africa: bread subsidies in Egypt, fuel subsidies in Nigeria, and housing subsidies in South Africa. I trace the history of these policies and use the particular resource as a lens for understanding relations between the post-colonial/post-apartheid State and its citizens. I present my observations on the relevant linkages between these cases and their implications for market interventions as a unique space for contestation.

Bio
Marcus Walton is a PhD candidate at Brown University in the department of Political Science. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) at the University of Witwatersrand.

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26

Jul, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: The Real Estate Turn in Asia's Urban Politics

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar: The Real Estate Turn in Asia's Urban Politics

Gavin Shatkin, Northeastern University, Boston

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

16:00 - 17:30

Wits Club, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

Recent years have seen a distinct real estate turn in urban policy and politics across much of Asia, as governments have deployed increasingly assertive means to enable the large scale commodification of urban land. Government actors have sought to gain control of land and transfer it to for-profit actors, whether through forcible acquisition of land from existing users, the use of regulatory powers to facilitate the transfer of land to private sector or state-owned corporations, or land reclamation from lakes and coastlines. In some cases governments themselves have also engaged in the commercial development of government-owned land, or formed public-private partnerships to develop such land. Government actors have also aggressively promoted the development of large-scale, corporate-driven urban megaprojects, in an effort to realize the commodification of land on a large scale. This presentation will explore the varied strategies that governments have pursued in this real estate turn, across political systems, urban contexts, and land use regimes. It will further examine the implications of these strategies for issues of social, spatial, and political inclusion and exclusion.

Gavin Shatkin has a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs and the School of Architecture at Northeastern University, Boston. His research focuses primarily on globalization and urban poverty in Southeast Asian cities. He is the author of Collective Action and Urban Poverty Alleviation: Community Organizations and the Struggle for Shelter in Manila.

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30

Jun, 2016
Thu @ 03:30

Glocal Nexus: Johannesburg’s position within global, regional and local economic networks

The GCRO hosts Prof. Ronald Wall, who will present a seminar on Johannesburg’s shifting position within global, regional and local economic networks.

Prof. Wall will argue that through smart urban planning and smart corporate benchmarking, the density and diversity of global economic connections can be improved, which in turn can (if done astutely) increase social, economic and environmental development. An important element of this presentation is that policymakers should in future develop strategies based on local, regional and global knowledge.
The presentation argues for the need for empirical research, big data, quantitative and qualitative studies, and interdisciplinary approaches to research.

Ronald Wall holds the newly established Chair in Urban Economic Development, recently endowed by the City of Johannesburg, and representing a partnership between the Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences, the Wits Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, and the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

Thursday 30 June

University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein Campus East

Post Grad Seminar room, John Moffat Building Basement

15h30 - 17h30

RSVP: farah-naaz.moosa@gcro.ac.za

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28

Jun, 2016
Tue @ 09:30

Quality of Life Survey 2015 Results Launch

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) invites you to the launch of our Quality of Life Survey 2015 — the largest ever social attitudes survey conducted in the province. The fourth in our series of biennial surveys, with over 30 000 respondents, reveals key insights into the lives and opinions of Gauteng’s residents.

The results will be launched by GCRO Executive Director Dr Rob Moore, and responded to by Gauteng Premier Honourable David Makhura.

*Limited seating is available, RSVP essential.

Tuesday 28 June 2016
09:30 for 10:00 - 12:30
Registration and tea from 09:30
A finger lunch will follow the launch.

University of Johannesburg

RSVP: 22 June 2016, farah-naaz.moosa@gcro.ac.za

#gcroQL4

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22

Mar, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: A Pedagogy of Confrontation: Reclaiming urban regeneration in inner São Paulo

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar: A Pedagogy of Confrontation: Reclaiming urban regeneration in inner São Paulo

Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Beatrice De Carli, Benedito Roberto Barbosa, Francisco de Assis Comarú, Ricardo de Sousa

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

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15

Mar, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: The Interpellation of Celebrity Diplomacy in the Urban Development Johannesburg: The Case of Newtown

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar: The Interpellation of Celebrity Diplomacy in the Urban Development Johannesburg: The Case of Newtown

Fana Sihlongonyane, University of the Witwatersrand

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

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08

Mar, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Trajectories of Global Urbanism at the Start of the 21st Century: the Delicate Balance between Tourist-Entertainment Cities; Shrinking Cities in Decline; Instant Cities, and Mega-cities of Hyper-growth

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar: Trajectories of Global Urbanism at the Start of the 21st Century: the Delicate Balance between Tourist-Entertainment Cities; Shrinking Cities in Decline; Instant Cities, and Mega-cities of Hyper-growth

Martin Murray, University of Michigan

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

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01

Mar, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: "My Dream, My House": Are Middle Class Residents Satisfied with Government Housing Provision in Post-war Angola?

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar:

"My Dream, My House": Are Middle Class Residents Satisfied with Government Housing Provision in Post-war Angola?

Anne Pitcher, University of Michigan

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

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23

Feb, 2016
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City: Making Massive Small Change - open, responsive and collaborative urbanism in a complex world

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar:

Making Massive Small Change - open, responsive and collaborative urbanism in a complex world

Kelvin Cambell, Smart Urbanism

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

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13

Oct, 2015
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City Seminar Series: Rob Moore

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar:

Universities and Urban Futures: Models for Trans-disciplinary Knowledge Exchange

Rob Moore, University of the Witwatersrand

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

This seminar addresses two foundational and interlinked questions with regard to how we address the complex challenges confronting global society and its evident vulnerabilities: what are the forms of knowledge required to shape our collective social futures, and how are they to be generated? In particular, how should universities gear their activities to enable these knowledge forms, and concomitantly position themselves in relation to their social partners? This problematic is addressed from a Southern African perspective, and possible approaches to the matter are illustrated by means of two indicative case studies. An argument is developed that universities need to reconsider how they provide for the ‘third mission’ of academia, and that this implies reconfiguring how they engage with the needs of wider society.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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08

Oct, 2015
Thu @ 04:00

Faces of the City Seminar Series: Carlton Reid

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar:

Roads were not built for cars: How cyclists were the first to push for good roads and became the pioneers of motoring

Carlton Reid, BikeBiz

Thursday, 8 October 2015

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Biography

Carlton Reid is executive editor of BikeBiz magazine and is writing a book about the recent history of roads. He is author of Roads Were Not Built For Cars. Carlton Reid has been a journalist for 28 years. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveller and The Guardian and many other magazines and newspapers. He is the executive editor of BikeBiz.com, a monthly trade magazine which he founded (and sold to Intent Media in 2006). He is also comms for the Bicycle Association and the BA’s Bike Hub levy fund. In 1997 he was the co-owner and editor/publisher of On Your Bike magazine, a magazine for family and “born-again” cyclists, which was sold to EMAP of Peterborough in December 1999. (EMAP turned the general interest, non-Lycra magazine into a mountain bike magazine – it soon folded, and not in a good way.) His previous books include Adventure Mountain Biking (Crowood Press, 1990); Complete Book of Cycling (contributor, Hamlyn 1997); I-Spy Bicycles (Michelin 1998); Discover Israel (Berlitz 1998); Lebanon: A Travel Guide (Kindlife 1995); Classic Mountain Bike Routes of the World (contributor, Quarto Publishing, 2000) and Bike to Work Book (November 2008). He was co-manager of the first ever British mountain bike team. This team competed in the World Championships in Villard de Lans, France, in 1987. In June 2008, he was inducted into the MBUK Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, one of the first 20 inductees. He got into mountain biking after a mid-1980s failed attempt to cycle around the world on a Claud Butler Majestic touring bike (he got as far as Israel and then decided to cycle tour the deserts of the Middle East for a year on one of them new-fangled mountain bikes).

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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29

Sep, 2015
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City Seminar Series: Emaculate Ingwani & Hloniphile Simelane

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar:

Land transactions in peri-urban communal areas of Zimbabwe: the structure-agency interactions
& Urban Land Management and its Discontents: a case study of the Swaziland Urban Development Project (SUDP)

Emaculate Ingwani, University of Venda
Hloniphile Simelane, Planact

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

1. Land transactions are increasingly becoming a cause for concern in communal areas that are situated in the peri-urban zones of bourgeoning cities in sub-Saharan Africa. The nature, causes, outcomes and dynamics of these land transactions vary in space and time. However, in most cases these land transactions are a response to ubiquitous change as a result of irresistible forces of urbanization and social change - the structure-agency interactions. This paper seeks to unravel these interactions using a case study of Domboshava communal area situated in the peri-urban outskirts of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, where land transactions are on the increase. The paper is based on part of the findings on my PhD study that highlights the dimensions of these interactions in depth.

2. Whilst much has been written about land contests in rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa, less attention has been paid to land disputes between traditional and formal authorities in urban areas. Using the Swaziland Urban Development Project as a case study, this paper examines jurisdictional conflicts over land that occur between traditional leaders and formal structures such as the Swaziland’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and city councils. The focus is on local residents, who are caught in the middle of the power contests and use various strategies to hold onto their land. This study adopted a qualitative methodology to explore the different competing interests. The study concludes that rival jurisdictional claims negatively affect residents and impede economic development not just for the residents but the city in general.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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22

Sep, 2015
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City Seminar Series: Noeleen Murray

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar:

Thinking through architecture of failure: modern architectures' dark side?

Noeleen Murray, Wits City Institute

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

Thinking through architectures of failure: modern architectures' dark side' takes as its starting point the that, today, the platonic forms of the modernist, Corbusian-inspired Werdmuller Centre, by South African architect and urban designer Roelof Uytenbogaardt, stand against a background of decay in a neglected corner of Claremont, Cape Town. Controversial ever since its construction in the 1970s, the building is again the vortex of a dispute. It has been subject to a process of consideration for ‘heritage worthiness,’ drawing public attention in the post-colonial, post-apartheid present to the contemporary significance of Uytenbogaardt’s work. Cape Town has been World Design Capital in 2014, and the Werdmuller Centre, standing almost in ruins, exemplifies many of the tensions that exist over the presence of modernist design and buildings in the contemporary city. Occupying a site considered to have commercial development potential by its owners, its proposed demolition is opposed by architects who argue that the Werdmuller Centre deserves to be classified as ‘heritage’. As the building’s future hangs in the balance, the debates that have emerged since the announcement of intentions to demolish have become heightened in 2013, revealing the contested nature of modern architecture in post-apartheid South Africa as buildings become 'failures'.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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15

Sep, 2015
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City Seminar Series: Hannah Dawson

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar:

Navigating economic uncertainty on the urban periphery: Economic strategies, household arrangements and social differentiation in Zandspruit informal settlement

Hannah Dawson, Oxford University

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

The rise of unemployment and precarious forms of work in a context of rapid urbanisation has seen the proliferation of informal settlements on the urban periphery of South Africa’s big cities. The growth of informal settlements reflect two important and interrelated shifts: first, a shift in household composition towards smaller and more numerous households, and second, a shift in the urban labour market from more permanent to temporary and from more formal to informal work (Hunter & Posel, 2012). Through an ethnographic exploration of Zandspruit informal settlement this paper explores the constraints and opportunities changing economic conditions place on young people’s economic practices and strategies in relation to household arrangements, social relations and aspirations. This paper seeks to draw attention to the multifaceted social and cultural contexts through which young people navigate economic exclusion and marginality.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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26

Aug, 2015
Wed @ 12:15

Smart | City | Region: Event and Symposium

The GCRO will host the Smart | City | Region Exhibition and Symposium on 26 August 2015, at the Digital Innovation Zone, 111 Smit Street, Braamfontein. The event forms part of the Fak'ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival 2015.

THE SYMPOSIUM

There is an increasing worldwide focus on ‘smart cities’ as a means to address the challenges of rapid urbanisation and enhance the lives of residents. Internationally, there are a number of initiatives to build complete new cities as smart cities. There is a broad consensus that smart cities are empirical, intelligent, wired, innovative, entrepreneurial and future-proof.

The smart city also conjures up Orwellian images of a panoptic state, obsessed with controlling the city, and leaving little to chance. Here data is seen as the ultimate governance tool, from which policy decisions are constantly drawn, without consultation, enquiry or participation.

This symposium will critically engage with the debate around smart cities, asking questions such as: What does this mean for local and provincial government in a City-Region struggling with the adequate provision of services? Can smart city projects provide a city-regional solution to address key development and infrastructure problems in the Gauteng City-Region? Is smart city a catchy buzzword driven by corporate profit making with limited benefits for government and general public? Will a smart city approach slowly erode the democratic city as we know it, or produce new types of publics, ways of being and urban expressions that enhance urban society and culture?

The symposium will be divided into two sessions, the first will grapple with the smart city debate, and the second will look at the role that cities and organisations such as the GCRO can play in ensuring a balanced approach to smart city development. Symposium attendees are invited to attend the exhibition which follows.

The symposium is an invite only event that runs from 12:15 - 17:30. Should you wish to attend, however, please contact chris.wray@gcro.ac.za.

THE EXHIBITION

The GCRO has over a number of years produced interactive online content that facilitates a smarter and more informed Gauteng City-Region. This one-night only exhibition will highlight key GCRO work in the realm of data visualisation, infographics, mapping, and GIS. A number of new websites, including the GCRO's revamped online presence and a new GIS website will be launched together with the GCRO's new graphic identity. These will be on display together with Map of the Month examples, Wits Digital Arts Interactive Visualisations and other interactive platforms.
As a component of the Fak'ugesi Festival 2015, the interactive and digital exhibition will embed the city in the wider conversation on African innovation and smart cities.

This interactive and digital cocktail event is open to the public, by RSVP only. It will run from 18:00 to 21:00.

Please RSVP to guy.trangos@gcro.ac.za before 21 August 2015.

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25

Aug, 2015
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City Seminar Series: Ivan Turok

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar:

Myths and realities of informal urbanisation: the role of informal settlements and backyard shacks

Prof. Ivan Turok, Acting Executive Director, Human Sciences Research Council

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

16:00 - 18:00

First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

The role of informality in urbanisation in the global South is subject to considerable international debate and deep policy ambivalence. The paper explores the contrast between theoretical perspectives that emphasize the opportunities/choices available to the poor and those that stress the pressures of necessity/constraints they face. It applies these ideas to two concrete situations in South Africa: (i) the role of informal settlements in urban labour markets, and (ii) the role of backyard shacks in urban housing markets. In terms of the former, it compares the role of informal settlements as ladders out of poverty through enabling access to urban jobs, versus poverty traps where debilitating conditions mean enduring hardship and insecurity. In terms of the latter, it compares the role of backyard shacks as stopgaps born out of expediency versus their potential to provide elements of a useful solution to the urban housing crisis. The paper draws on a mixture of cross-sectional and longitudinal data to assess the veracity of these perspectives. This includes the GCRO Quality of Life Survey, the Labour Force Survey and the National Income Dynamics Study.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Wits City Institute.

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18

Aug, 2015
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City Seminar Series: South Africa's urban agenda and its relationship to urban research

Tuesday, 18 August

16:00 – 19:00

Dorothy Susskind Auditorium, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

On the programme:

1. Introduction to topic and speakers (Prof Marie Huchzermeyer)

2. National urban policy and its linkages with research (Prof Edgar Pieterse)

3. National Development Plan and its key research drivers (Prof Philip Harrison)

4. The long view/reflections on past links between urban policy and research (Prof Alan Mabin)

5. Referencing the past to the present: reconsidering the role of heritage in the urban agenda (Prof Noëleen Murray)

6. Types of research methods that might be side lined in the bigger agendas (Prof Sophie Oldfield)

7. Concrete examples from research in Durban (Prof Monique Marks / Dr Kira Erwin)

8. Wrap up and thanks (Dr Modjadji Malahlela, CoGTA)

Panel inputs will be interspersed with discussion

Followed by refreshments

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11

Aug, 2015
Tue @ 04:00

Faces of the City Seminar Series: Javier Auyero

Please join us for the next Faces of the City Seminar, in the Graduate Seminar Room of the South West Engineering Building.

Javier Auyero from the University of Texas, Austin, will present, 'A practical logic of clientelist domination.'

Abstract:

Based on a series of analytic revisits of three rounds of ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Buenos Aires, Argentine, and focusing on a micro-sociological level of empirical analysis, this work aims to redirect the study of patronage politics towards its quotidian character and to acknowledge the key role played by brokers’ strong ties with their closest, most reliable, followers, so as to better understand and explain the practical features of clientelist domination. Contrary to extant accounts, this work argues that clientelist politics occur during routine daily life (not solely during campaigns and elections) and that most loyal clients’ behavior should be understood and explained neither as the product of rational action nor as the outcome of normative behavior but as generated by a clientelist habitus, i.e. a set of cognitive and affective political dispositions manufactured in the repeated interactions that take place within brokers’ inner circles of followers.

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21

Jul, 2015
Tue @ 04:00

Louis Grundlingh at Faces of the City seminar series

Public spaces have long formed a key element of the urban landscape, answering to particular needs—notably concerns regarding morality and physical health of the urban populace, the display of civic virtues and social and cultural values, enshrined in practices that uphold the social and moral order, i.e. middle and upper class respectability.

The critical period of the early growth of Johannesburg presents the context and the opportunity to explore the nature, purpose, function, characteristics, meaning and design of Johannesburg’s erstwhile premier municipal public park, Joubert Park. The paper is based on the premise that the layout, design and features such as areas for promenading, a bandstand, conservatory and art gallery combined to create and give material form to Victorian and Edwardian concepts of identity, and respectability as interpreted and reflected by Johannesburg’s town fathers.

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12

May, 2015
Tue @ 04:00

Giovanni Aleggretti at Faces of the City seminar series

Building the Right to the City through the Multigoal Tool of Citizens’ Participation: The Contribution of Participatory Budgeting

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Cities Institute.

Please note that Dr Allegretti will also be conducting a workshop on participatory budgeting on 18 & 19 May. The workshop is open to researchers, students, municipal officials and professionals working on devel­opment and built environment related fields. Please see the attached poster for more information.

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Hope to see you there!

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12

May, 2015
Tue @ 12:00

Workshop & Seminar at Faces of the City seminar series

Urban Design Room, North Basement, John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand. NB: Please RSVP indicating whether you will attend the workshop (12:00 -15:30), the seminar (16:00-18:00), or both (12:00-18:00) to Margot Rubin: margot.rubin@wits.ac.za

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Cities Institute.

Hope to see you there!

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05

May, 2015
Tue @ 04:30

Panel Discussion at Faces of the City seminar series

Please join us for the next seminar in the Faces of the City series next week:

The Johannesburg Conundrum: Key Dimensions of the Materialities of Delivering Infrastructure

HERMAN PIENAAR, City of Johannesburg
MIKE MULLER, School of Governance, Wits, & NPC Commissioner
MARTIN MURRAY, University of Michigan

Please note the slightly later starting time and the change in venue!

Date: 05 MAY Tuesday
Time: 16:30
Venue: Dorothy Susskind Auditorium (A1), John Moffat Building, University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

CUBES/SoAP/SA&CP/GCRO partnership hosts a panel discussion focused on the materialities of urban infrastructure provision and access to this, in the Johannesburg context. The event explores approaches taken to the provision of infrastructure during the last 20 years, and their results and impacts. The panel surfaces the contested dimensions, contrasting logics and unpredictable outcomes of service provision, service demand and consumption within the City of Johannesburg. The event complements a week of discussions focused on infrastructure at WISER.

The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the SARChI in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Gauteng City Region Observatory, the Centre for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies, and the Cities Institute.

RSVP: thammy.jezile@wits.ac.za

Hope to see you there!

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