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Africa Regional Peer Learning, Knowledge and Dissemination Programme

Rapid urban population growth is taking place in much of Africa, but often without growth of urban economies and employment. As a result, there has been a significant increase of urban poverty in Africa. The Africa Regional Peer Learning, Knowledge and Dissemination Programme contributes to raising awareness and building capacity to respond to these urban development challenges in Africa.

Responding to urban poverty

In order to address the African urban crisis and respond effectively to urban poverty, it is essential that: (i) African governments and other stakeholders have a better understanding of the nature and scale of the urban challenges facing Africa; (ii) more appropriate policies and tools are developed by African policymakers, practitioners and researchers to address urban poverty in Africa; (iii) information, knowledge and good practices relating to urban development are disseminated amongst African policymakers, practitioners and researchers.

Initiatives

The Programme consists of several initiatives, many of which are co-financed:

1. Assisting with the launch of ‘State of Cities’ initiatives in up to eight African countries. These will bring together government bodies and professional, practitioner and civil society stakeholders to analyse urban trends and challenges, with a particular focus on urban poverty.

2. Research and knowledge dissemination on developing appropriate planning laws and regulations to support informal livelihoods in African cities and towns.

3. Designing and running the Urban Africa Portal, a website that disseminates information on cities in Africa and commissions photo essays and articles on urban conditions, lives and policies from journalists in cities across the continent.

4. Publishing CityScapes, a twice-yearly magazine that publicizes and discusses Third World urban issues in a blend of striking formats for an educated but non-specialised audience.

5. Publishing the African Cities Reader, an annual edited compilation on specific themes relating to urban Africa.

6. Hosting the Ray Pahl African Postdoctoral Fellowship, co-funded by the Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies.

7. Convene a meeting of prospective urban research centres in Africa as a first step in establishing a network of centres of excellence doing in-situ applied urban research across the continent, committed to reducing urban poverty and inequality and increasing urban sustainability in Africa.

Lecture: How can we transcend slum urbanism in Africa?

Edgar Pieterse, University of Cape Town, in his lecture argues that data about economic incorporation into the labour market and living conditions demonstrate that the majority of African urban dwellers live in conditions of vulnerability, and that economic insecurity reinforces slum living and makes it difficult for states to access sufficient tax revenues to address a variety of urban pressures. Pieterse poses the question: “if we acknowledge this tough reality, how can we formulate policy agendas that can break this cycle of exclusion and injustice?”

Edgar Pieterse ‘s lecture is a part of the UN-Habitat initiative Urban Lecture. Read more and watch the lecture

Publications

  • Using the case study approach to inform planning practice and research in Africa
    Duminy, J. In The Routledge Handbook of Planning Research Methods, E.A. Silva, P. Healey, N. Harris & P. van den Broeck (eds.). London and New York: Routledge, 2015
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • African perspectives - South Africa: city, society, politics and architecture
    Pieterse, E. In African Perspectives - [South] Africa: City, Society, Space, Literature and Architecture, G. Bruyns and A. Graafland (eds.). Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2012, pp. 50-63
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Africa's urban revolution in context
    Pieterse, E. & Parnell, S. In Africa's Urban Revolution, S. Parnell & E. Pieterse (eds). London: Zed Books, 2014, pp. 1-19
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Designing against the grain: confronting the political economy of knowledge production
    Tavengwa, T. & Pieterse, E. In Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities, E. Pieterse and A. Simone (eds.). Johannesburg, South Africa: Jacana Media and African Centre for Cities, 2013, pp. 455-468
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Introducing rogue urbanism
    Pieterse, E. In Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities, E. Pieterse and A. Simone (eds.). Johannesburg, South Africa: Jacana Media and African Centre for Cities, 2013, pp. 12-18
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Grasping the unknowable: coming to grips with African urbanisms
    Pieterse, E. In Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities, E. Pieterse and A. Simone (eds.). Johannesburg, South Africa: Jacana Media and African Centre for Cities, 2013, pp. 19-36
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Institutions, decentralisation and urban development
    Pieterse, E. & Smit, W. In Urbanisation and Socio-economic Development in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities, S. Kayizzi-Mugerwa, A. Shimeles and N.D. Yameogo (eds). New York: Routledge, 2014
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • The emergence of a British colonial policy for urban Africa, 1939-1945
    Parnell, S. & Harris, R. In Colonial Architecture and Urbanism in Africa: Intertwined and Contested Histories, F. Demissie (ed). Ashgate, 2010
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Defining markets
    McGaffin, R. & Kihato, C. In Trading Places: Accessing Land in African Cities, S. Berrisford, C. Wanjiku Khato, R. McGaffin, M. Napier and L. Royston (eds.). Somerset West, South Africa: African Minds, 2014, pp. 21.46
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • On the rogue practices of West African musical entrepreneurs
    Mbaye, J.F. In Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities, E. Pieterse, and A. Simone (eds.). Johannesburg, South Africa: Jacana Media and African Centre for Cities, 2013, pp. 253-264
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Abracadabra
    Gurney, K. In Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities, E. Pieterse, and A. Simone (eds.). Johannesburg, South Africa: Jacana Media and African Centre for Cities, 2013, pp. 421-428
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Decentralisation and institutional reconfiguration in urban Africa
    Smit, W. & Pieterse, W. In Africa's Urban Revolution, S. Parnell & E. Pieterse (eds). London: Zed Books, 2014, pp. 148-166
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Transport pressures in urban Africa: practices, policies, perspectives
    Pirie, G. In Africa's Urban Revolution, S. Parnell & E. Pieterse (eds). London: Zed Books, 2014, pp. 133-147
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Filling the void: an agenda for tackling african urbanisation
    Pieterse, E. In Africa's Urban Revolution, S. Parnell & E. Pieterse (eds). London: Zed Books, 2014, pp. 200-220
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Sub-Saharan African urbanisation and global environmental change
    Parnell, S. & Walawege, R. In Africa's Urban Revolution, S. Parnell & E. Pieterse (eds). London: Zed Books, 2014, pp. 35-59
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • National urbanisation and urban strategies: necessary but absent policy instruments in Africa
    Parnell, S. & Simon, D. In Africa's Urban Revolution, S. Parnell & E. Pieterse (eds). London: Zed Books, 2014, pp. 237-256
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • The education and research imperatives of urban planning professionals in Africa
    Duminy, J., Odendaal, N. & Watson, V. In Africa's Urban Revolution, S. Parnell & E. Pieterse (eds). London: Zed Books, 2014, pp. 184-199
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • The challenge of urban planning law reform in African cities
    Berrisford, S. In Africa's Urban Revolution, S. Parnell & E. Pieterse (eds). London: Zed Books, 2014, pp. 167-183
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Urbanization Imperatives for Africa: Transcending Policy Inertia
    Pieterse, E. (ed.) Cape Town, South Africa: African Centre for Cities, 2010
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book
  • Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities
    Pieterse, E. & Simone, A. (eds.) Johannesburg, South Africa: Jacana Media and African Centre for Cities, 2013
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book
  • African Cities Reader II: Mobilities and Fixtures
    Edjabe, N. & Pieterse, E. (eds.) Cape Town, South Africa: African Centre for Cities and Chimurenga, 2011
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book
  • African Cities Reader I: Pan-African Practices
    Edjabe, N. & Pieterse, E. (eds.) Cape Town, South Africa: African Centre for Cities and Chimurenga, 2010
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book
  • Trading Places - Accessing land in African cities
    Berrisford, Stephen., Wanjiku Kihato, Caroline., McGaffin, Rob., Napier, Mark. and Royston, Lauren. South Afric: African Minds Publishers, 2014.
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book
  • Africa's Urban Revolution
    Parnell, S. & Pieterse, E. (eds.). London: Zed Books, 2014
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book

Project members

  • Gordon Pirie

    Professor Gordon Pirie is the Deputy Director of ACC, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town. 

    Contact me