Rebecca Davis – Is The Future Of Cape Town 25km From Cape Town?

South Africa is rapidly urbanising, and in many cases infrastructure and municipal services are struggling to keep up. In the Western Cape, a private group of urban designers and developers think they have a solution. They want to build a new city 25km north of Cape Town’s city centre called Wescape, and so far they have the land, the plan, and seemingly the City of Cape Town’s blessing. But not everyone is convinced that the development is a very good idea.

Cape Town’s population grows every year. In 2001 it was 2,9 million, and by 2011 it had reached 3,7 million. New inhabitants need homes, and there’s already a backlog of somewhere between 277,000 and 400,000 people awaiting subsidised housing. CommuniTgrow, a private urban development company, thinks it can help solve this problem by building a new city from scratch.

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URCV – Urban Resilience in Situations of Chronic Violence

With support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), URCV researchers have produced a series of publications that include a report that summarizes the research findings and recommendations, a toolkit that focuses on the practical implications of our findings, in-depth case studies of seven cities facing diverse violence challenges, a working paper, and policy briefs.

Urban Resilience in Situations of Chronic Violence
While the sources and forms of social and political violence have been extensively examined, the ways ordinary people along with their neighbors and officials cope with chronic urban violence have earned far less attention. This eight-case study of cities suffering from a history of violence explores this latter phenomenon, which we call resilience. We define resilience as those acts intended to restore or create effectively functioning community-level activities, institutions, and spaces in which the perpetrators of violence are marginalized and perhaps even eliminated.

Fragile cities suffer from violence enacted on multiple scales concentrated in a single metropolitan space. How, then, do the spatial characteristics of the city shape violence? Are urban interventions successful in transcending sectoral approaches to violence by focusing on the greater community and city?
Using case studies of cities suffering from long histories of chronic violence, this project examines how citizens have evolved coping mechanisms (strategies of resilience) at various scales. Insights from field research in these cities are combined with theoretical approaches to security, violence, and resilience in order to develop a systemic, multi-sectoral approach to chronic violence.

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URBim – For Just And Inclusive Cities

Making slum upgrading work in urban Africa

Africa’s slums are growing at twice the rate of its cities. By some accounts, sub-Saharan Africa will have upwards of 332 million slum dwellers by 2015. While millions of dollars have been spent improving the conditions in Africa’s urban informal settlements and the lives of the people who live therein, overall these efforts have amounted to little more than a drop in the ocean.

Join our six panelists to explore the options for stemming the growth of these sprawling settlements and improving conditions in those slums that already exist: Irene Karanja of Muungano Support Trust (SDI) (Kenya); Claudio Torres of the UN-HABITAT Participatory Slum Upgrading Unit (PSUP) (Kenya); architect, urban planner, and World Bank Municipal Development Program consultant Sara Candiracci (Mozambique); Aditya Kumar of the Community Organization Resource Centre (CORC) (SDI) (South Africa); Jhono Bennett of the University of Johannesburg (South Africa); and Marie Huchzermeyer of the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa).

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Old Age In The Slums – African Slum Journal

‘At the age of 80 I still have to collect firewood. Without family buying basics as food and soap is a real problem.’ Not many people save money for old age, and the government has no regulations on that. But what do you do when tomorrow comes.

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South Africa – Abahlali baseMjondolo – Academic Research On Shack Settlements & Cities

The Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shack Dwellers) Movement began in Durban, South Africa, in early 2005. Although it is overwhelmingly located in and around the large port city of Durban it is, in terms of the numbers of people mobilised, the largest organisation of the militant poor in post-apartheid South Africa. Its originary event was a road blockade organised from the Kennedy Road settlement in protest at the sale, to a local industrialist, of a piece of nearby land long promised by the local municipal councillor to shack dwellers for housing.

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South Africa – The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI)

The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) is an independent research institute based in Johannesburg. Established in May 2010, the Institute brings theoretically-informed social science research into the service of answering some of the major questions facing the public sector.  PARI approaches this from two angles: analyses of the organisational dynamics of the public sector and research into social change, citizenship and governance.

– work with government partners to improve the capacity and accountability of the public sector
– improve the quality of public debate and scholarly discussion in South Africa about the public sector and the state, as well as state-society relations
– support the development of a cohort of talented researchers and scholars to undertake rigorous research on the challenges of building state capacity.

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