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The CityLab Programme

 

The CityLab programme was initiated in 2008 as an interdisciplinary applied research programme for learning from the unique experience of Cape Town. The programme provides a dedicated, university-based but multi-partner research process to investigate urban dynamics in the Cape Town city-region. It was intended to deal with real challenges facing the Cape Town city-region through the co-production of practically-useful knowledge in ways that overcame disciplinary divides and the policy-practice divide. In 2010, ACC African Centre for Cities became part of Mistra Urban Futures, and the CityLab Programme became a core component of the Cape Town Platform.

The different CityLabs use different methods, but they all focus on bringing together different sectors and on co-production (both through integrating existing knowledge and through collaboratively producing new knowledge). There have been nine CityLabs in all:

Active CityLabs

• Healthy Cities CityLab, 2009- (co-ordinated by Dr Warren Smit): relationship between the physical urban environment and human health and wellbeing in Cape Town (included a research project on various neighbourhoods in Khayelitsha, a related research project on alcohol in Cape Town, and a spin-off CityLab focused on child health, the Urban Child CityLab, in partnership with the Children’s Institute). 

• Public Culture CityLab, 2012- (co-ordinated by Dr Rike Sitas, and initially also by Ismail Farouk): issues of public space and public art in Cape Town.

• Sustainable Human Settlements CityLab, 2012- (co-ordinated by Liza Cirolia): issues of housing policy and delivery, in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements.

• Urban Violence, Safety and Inclusion CityLab, 2012- (co-ordinated by Dr Mercy Brown-Luthango): the relationship between urban upgrading and violence, and how upgrading can potentially reduce violence.

Finished CityLabs

• Central CityLab, 2008-2013 (co-ordinated by Ismail Farouk): urban regeneration, densification and inclusivity in the Cape Town CBD and surrounding areas. 

• Philippi CityLab, 2008-2015 (co-ordinated by Dr Mercy Brown-Luthango): community development initiatives in the Philippi area.

• Climate Change CityLab, 2009-2012 (co-ordinated by Anton Cartwright from 2010, previously co-ordinated by Dr Yvonne Hansen): climate change adaptation and mitigation in Cape Town (through a formal partnership with the City of Cape Town on the Climate Change Think Tank). 

• Urban Flooding CityLab, 2008-2012 (co-ordinated by Dr Warren Smit): flooding of informal settlements in Cape Town (included a collaborative research project).

• Urban Ecology CityLab, 2010-2013 (co-ordinated by Dr Pippin Anderson: interface between the urban environment and the natural environment in Cape Town. 

Objectives 

The CityLabs have tried to achieve various objectives:

• Building “communities of knowledge and practice” by bringing together academics, government officials, civil society, students, etc, in meetings/workshops and field visits to ensure participants are exposed to a range of perspectives and can build networks with a range of stakeholders.

• Integrating different types of knowledge (academic, practical, policy; different disciplines and sectors) through seminar series and through collaborative publications that reflect a range of experiences and views from academics, officials and civil society.

• For CityLabs that were dealing with issues where there was not a lot of existing work, collaborative interdisciplinary research projects that engaged with officials and communities were developed. 

• For CityLabs with significant buy-in from the City and/or Province there was actual co-production of policies.

History and results 

The CityLab programme has been organised around a number of key themes. Initially, in 2008, in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Local Government and Housing and the City of Cape Town, a number of key topics were identified and fulltime CityLab co-ordinators were employed. 

Each CityLab was intended to have a finite lifespan culminating in a major publication (a book or special issue of a journal) on that particular theme in Cape Town. Each publication ideally has a range of articles/chapters that address the major issues relating to each topic in the context of Cape Town, including a contextual overview, some discussion on methods, as well as providing new empirical research on Cape Town and suggested policy solutions. The chapters of CityLab publications generally are written by researchers from different disciplines and practitioners from different sectors. The CityLab co-ordinators facilitate the co-production process and edit the books. Each CityLab typically has a lifespan of from 3 to 5 years (although a few have had longer lifepans). 

More about CityLabs at ACC African Centre for Cities website

Publikationer

  • Reimagining ecology in the City of Cape Town: contemporary urban ecological research and the role of the African Centre for Cities
    Anderson, P. In Urban Forests Trees, and Greenspace: A Political Ecology Perspective, L. A. Sandberg, A. Bardekjian, and S. Butt (eds). London and New York: Earthscan for Routledge, 2015, pp. 261-276
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Micro-Politics and Neighbourhood Organizing in a Sphere of Informality: The Formation of Leadership Committees in Three Informal Settlements in Cape Town
    Drivdal, L. Diss. Cape Town, South Africa: Univerisy of Cape Town, 2014
    Location:Cape Town Type:Academic thesis
  • Managing Disasters in the Context of Climate Change: Towards Sustainable Urban Flood Management in Cape Town
    Anderson, K. Honours Thesis. Cape Town: University of Cape Town, 2010
    Location:Cape Town Type:Academic thesis
  • Iinstitutional conditions for local climate change adaptation: A comparison of three South African municipalities
    Taylor, A., Cartwright, A. and Sutherland, C. AFD Focales Series, 2014
    Location:Cape Town Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • The Graveyard Pond Enumeration report
    Drivdal, L. & Musungu, K. Unpublished report, 2010
    Location:Cape Town Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Nomadic notions: footloose in a fictive city
    Gurney, K. New Imaginaries/ New Publics’ symposium, ACC & Goethe-Institut. Johannesburg, South Africa, 2013
    Location:Cape Town Type:Conference paper (peer-reviewed)
  • Nomadic notions: art & the uncertainty principle
    Gurney, K. International Conference on Cities on the Move: Mobilities and Sensibilities, CMDR and The University of the Western Cape (UWC) and University of Witwatersrand (Wits). Cape Town, South Africa, 2013
    Location:Cape Town Type:Conference paper (peer-reviewed)
  • Camo-Ammo: the trickster art of refusal
    Gurney, K. The 6th Infecting the City Public Arts Festival, Africa Centre. Cape Town, South Africa, 2013
    Location:Cape Town Type:Conference paper (peer-reviewed)
  • Report on ethnographic methods in 3 informal settlements in Philippi. May to December 2010
    Drivdal, L. Unpublished Report, 2010
    Location:Cape Town Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Report on health and flooding workshops in informal settlements
    Drivdal, L. Unpublished Report, 2010
    Location:Cape Town Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Egoli Enumeration report, Philippi, Cape Town, May 2011
    Drivdal, L. & Musungu, K. Report.
    Location:Cape Town Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Report on flooding in the informal settlement ‘Kosovo’ in Philippi
    Drivdal, L. Unpublished report, 2011
    Location:Cape Town Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Flooding in Cape Town’s informal settlements: barriers to collaborative urban risk governance
    Ziervogel, G., Waddell, J., Smit, W. & Taylor, A. South African Geographical Journal, 2014, DOI:10.1080/03736245.2014.924867
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Discourses of alcohol: reflections on key issues influencing the regulation of shebeens in Cape Town
    Smit, W. South African Geographical Journal: Alcohol, Poverty and the South African City, vol. 96, no. 1, 2014, pp. 60-80
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Urban sustainability and human health: an African perspective
    Smit, W. & Parnell, S. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, vol. 4, no. 4, 2012, pp. 443–450
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • On alcohol, transport and poverty in Cape Town
    Pirie, G. South African Geographical Journal: Alcohol, Poverty and the South African City, vol. 96, no. 1, 2014, pp. 50-59
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • The ‘right to the city’: institutional imperatives for tackling urban poverty
    Parnell, S. & Pieterse, E. International Journal for Urban and Regional Research, vol. 34, no. 1, 2010, pp. 146-162
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Sustainable multifunctional landscapes: a review to implementation
    O’Farrell, P.J. & Anderson, P.M. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, vol. 2, no. 1–2, 2010, pp. 59–65
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Researching sensitive topics in African cities: reflections on alcohol research in Cape Town
    Lawhon, M., Herrick, C. & Daya, S. South African Geographical Journal: Alcohol, Poverty and the South African City, vol. 96, no. 1, 2014, pp. 15-30
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Situated networked environmentalisms: a case for environmental theory from the south
    Lawhon, M. Geography Compass, vol. 7, no. 2, 2013, pp. 128–138
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Flows, friction and the sociomaterial metabolization of alcohol
    Lawhon, M. Antipode, vol. 45, no. 3, 2013, pp. 681–701
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Alcohol control in the news: the politics of media representations of alcohol policy in South Africa
    Lawhon, M. & Herrick, C. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, vol. 38, no. 5, 2013, pp. 987-1021
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Alcohol, poverty and the South African city
    Herrick, C. & Parnell, S. South African Geographical Journal: Alcohol, Poverty and the South African City, vol. 96, no. 1, 2014, pp. 1-14
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Ethnography of a flame
    Gurney, K. Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, vol. 27, no. 4, 2013, pp. 439-443
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Urban transitions: on urban resilience and human-dominated landscapes
    Ernstson, H., van der Leeuw, S.E., Redman, C.L., Meffert, D.J., Davis, G., Alfsen, C. & Elmqvist, T. Ambio, vol. 39, no. 8, 2010, pp. 531-545
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Re-translating nature in post-apartheid Cape Town: the material semiotics of people and plants at Bottom Road
    Ernstson, H. Actor-Network Theory for Development: Working Paper Series, no. 4, 2013
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Plural regulation of shebeens (informal drinking places)
    Drivdal, L. & Lawhon, M. South African Geographical Journal: Alcohol, Poverty and the South African City, vol. 96, no. 1, 2014, pp. 97-112
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Network analysis in conservation biogeography: challenges and opportunities
    Cumming, G. S., Bodin, Ö., Ernstson, H. & Elmqvist, T. Diversity and Distributions: Conservation biogeography - foundations, concepts and challenges, vol. 16, no. 3, 2010, pp. 414–425
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • South Africa's emergency housing programme: a prism of urban contest
    Cirolia, L.R. Development Southern Africa, vol. 31, no. 3, 2014, pp. 397-411
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • (W)Escaping the challenges of the city: a critique of Cape Town’s proposed satellite town
    Cirolia, L.R. Urban Forum, vol. 25, no. 3, 2014, pp. 295-312
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Capturing land value increment to finance infrastructure investment-possibilities for South Africa
    Brown-Luthango, M. Urban Forum, vol. 22, no. 1, 2011, pp 37-52
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Access to land for the urban poor: policy proposals for South African cities
    Brown-Luthango, M. Urban Forum, vol. 21, no. 2, 2010, pp. 123-138
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Ecological outcomes of civic and expert-led urban greening projects using indigenous plant species in Cape Town, South Africa
    Anderson, P.M.L., Avlonitis, G. & Ernstson, H. Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 127, 2014, pp. 104–113
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • GIS data collection for flood risk management
    Musungu, K., Motala, S. & Smit, J. PositionIT, issue 37, 2012, pp. 66-72
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Overcoming the challenge of vertical consolidation in South Africa's low income settlements: a case study of Du Noon
    McGaffin, R., Cirolia, L.R. & Massyn, M. Urban Forum,vol. 26, no. 1, 2015, pp. 59-75
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Brokering communities of knowledge and practice: reflections on the African Centre for Cities’ CityLab programme
    Anderson, P.M.L., Brown-Luthango, M., Cartwright, A., Farouk, I. & Smit, W. Cities, vol. 32, no. 2, 2013, pp. 1-10
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • The African Centre for Cities' Healthy Cities CityLab: understanding urban health in the Global South
    Smit, G. & Watson, V. Cities Health and Well-Being: Urban Age Hong Kong, 16-17 november 2011. Conference Compendium, London School of Economics and Political Science, Alfred Herrhausen Society, 2011. Published online: http://lsecities.net/media/objects/articles/the-african-centre-for-citi… [2014-09-25]
    Location:Cape Town Type:Conference paper (peer-reviewed)
  • Managing flood disasters under a changing climate: lessons from Nigeria and South Africa
    Olorunfemi, F. NISER discussion paper no. 1. NISER Research Seminar Series, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research. Ibadan, Nigeria, 2011. Published online: http://www.proshareng.com/reports/3552 [2014-09-25]
    Location:Cape Town Type:Conference paper (peer-reviewed)
  • A participatory approach to data collection for GIS for flood risk management in informal settlements of Cape Town
    Musungu, K., Motala. S. & Smit, J. Proceedings of AfricaGEO 2011, Cape Town, South Africa, 2011. Published online: http://africageodownloads.info/ [2014-09-25]
    Location:Cape Town Type:Conference paper (peer-reviewed)
  • Examining the Feasibility of Informal Settlement Flood Early Warning Systems: Focus on the urban flood-risk experience of Kosovo and Masiphumelele residents, Cape Town, South Africa
    Solomon, F.J. Master Thesis. Cape Town: University of Cape Town, 2011
    Location:Cape Town Type:Academic thesis
  • Barriers to Flood Risk Adaptation: A case study of cross-scale collaboration in the informal settlement of Graveyard Pond, Philippi
    Orangio, C. Diss. Cape Town: University of Cape Town, Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, 2012
    Location:Cape Town Type:Academic thesis
  • A Participatory GIS Approach to Flood Risk Assessment of Informal Settlements: The case of Cape Town.
    Musungu, K. Master Thesis. Cape Town: University of Cape Town, 2012
    Location:Cape Town Type:Academic thesis
  • Exploring and Profiling of Childhood Illnesses in Informal Settlements in Relation to Flooding: A case study of Barcelona, Cape Town, South Africa
    Machiridza, R. Master Thesis. Cape Town: University of Cape Town, 2013
    Location:Cape Town Type:Academic thesis
  • Moving Through the City: Gender and Floods at Play. A case study in Sweet Home Farm informal settlement, Cape Town
    Dixon, J. Master Thesis. Cape Town: University of Cape Town, 2013
    Location:Cape Town Type:Academic thesis
  • “We’ve got to address the underlying causes” A case-study of stakeholders´ initiatives to increase resilience to flood risk in Sweet Home informal settlement, Cape Town
    Desportes, I. Master Thesis. Cape Town: University of Cape Town, 2012
    Location:Cape Town Type:Academic thesis
  • Comanagement at the fringes: examining stakeholder perspectives at Macassar Dunes, Cape Town, South Africa: at the intersection of high biodiversity, urban poverty, and inequality
    Graham, M. & Ernstson, H. Ecology and Society, vol. 17, no. 3, 2012, pp. 34
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Scale-crossing brokers and network governance of urban ecosystem services: the case of Stockholm
    Ernstson, H., Barthel, S., Andersson, E. & Borgström, S.T. Ecology and Society, vol. 15, no. 4, 2010, pp. 28
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • The social production of ecosystem services: a framework for studying environmental justice and ecological complexity in urbanized landscapes
    Ernstson, H. Landscape and Urban Planning: Urban Ecosystem Services, vol. 109, no. 1, 2013, pp. 7–17
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Ecosystem services as technology of globalization: on articulating values in urban nature
    Ernstson, H. & Sörlin, S. Ecological Economics, vol. 86, 2012, pp. 274-284
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Urban ecological and social-ecological research in the City of Cape Town: insights emerging from an urban ecology CityLab
    Anderson, P. & Elmqvist, T. Ecology and Society, vol. 17, no. 4, 2012, pp. 23
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Using multi-criteria evaluation and GIS for flood risk analysis in informal settlements of Cape Town: the case of Graveyard Pond
    Musungu, K., Motala, S. & Smit, J. South African Journal of Geomatics, vol. 1, no. 1, 2012, pp. 77-91
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Report on Flooding in the Informal Settlement ‘the Graveyard Pond’, Philippi, Cape Town, 2010 – 2011
    Drivdal, L. Cape Town, South Africa: University of Cape Town, 2011
    Location:Cape Town Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Report on Flooding in the Informal Settlement ‘Egoli’, in Philippi/ Schaapkraal, Cape Town, 2010 and 2011
    Drivdal, L. /Report. Cape Town, South Africa: University of Cape Town, 2011
    Location:Cape Town Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Local assessment of Cape Town: navigating the management complexities of urbanization, biodiversity, and ecosystem services in the Cape Floristic Region
    Goodness, J. & Anderson, P.M.L. In Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities, T. Elmqvist, M. Fragkias, J. Goodness, B. Güneralp, P.J. Marcotullio, R.I. McDonald, S. Parnell, M. Schewenius, M. Sendstad, K.C. Seto and C. Wilkinson (eds.). Springer Netherlands, 2013, pp. 461-484
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Social network analysis (SNA)
    Erntson, H. In Encyclopedia of Sustainability: Vol. 6. Measurements, Indicators, and Research Methods for Sustainability, D. Fogel, S. Fredericks, L. Harrington and I. Spellerberg (eds.). Great Berrington: Berkshire Pub Group, 2012, pp. 322-325
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Regional assessment of Africa
    Anderson, P.M.L., Okereke, C., Rudd, A. & Parnell, S. In Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities, T. Elmqvist et al. (eds.). Springer Netherlands, 2013, pp. 453-459
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Promoting green space in Cape Town, South Africa: the role of the African Centre for Cities
    Anderson, P.M.L. In Urban Forests Trees, and Greenspace: A Political Ecology Perspective, L. A. Sandberg, A. Bardekjian and S. Butt (eds.). Earthscan-Routledge, 2014
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Understanding Cape Town's climate
    Tadross, M., Taylor, A. & Johnston, P. In Climate Change at the City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town, A. Cartwright, S. Parnell, G. Oelofse & S. Ward (eds). Oxford: Routledge, 2012
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Emerging lessons from the Climate Change Think Tank
    Cartwright, A., Parnell, S. & Oelofse, G. In Climate Change at the City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town, A. Cartwright, S. Parnell, G. Oelofse & S. Ward (eds). Oxford: Routledge, 2012
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Climate at the city scale: the Cape Town climate change think tank
    Cartwright, A., Oelofse, G., Parnell, S. & Ward, S. In Climate Change at the City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town, A. Cartwright, S. Parnell, G. Oelofse & S. Ward (eds). Oxford: Routledge, 2012
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Supporting city scale decisions in the context of climate change: the case of the City of Cape Town
    Cartwright, A. Cohen, B. & Liddel, D. In Climate Change at the City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town, A. Cartwright, S. Parnell, G. Oelofse & S. Ward (eds). Oxford: Routledge, 2012
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Understanding the risks to Cape Town of inundation from the sea
    Brundrit, G. & Cartwright, A. In Climate Change at the City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town, A. Cartwright, S. Parnell, G. Oelofse & S. Ward (eds). Oxford: Routledge, 2012
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • The political-institutional conditions for climate change adaptation in South African municipalities
    Taylor, A., Cartwright, A. & Sutherland, C. Focales no. 18, AFD French Development Agency, 2014
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Towards a research and action agenda on urban planning: design and health equity in cities in low and middle-income countries
    Smit, W., Hancock, T., Kumaresen, J., Santos-Burgoa, C., Sánchez-Kobashi Meneses, R. & Friel, S. Journal of Urban Health, vol. 88, no. 5, 2011, pp. 875-885
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Sea-level rise for Cape Town: impacts and adaptation
    Brundrit, G. & Cartwright, A. In Observations on Environmental Change in South Africa, L. Zietsman (ed). Stellenbosch: Sun Press, 2011
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Community-university engagement: the Philippi CityLab in Cape Town and the challenge of collaboration across boundaries
    Brown-Luthango, M. Higher Education, vol. 65, no. 3, 2013, pp. 309-324
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
  • Climate Change Poverty and Development
    Cartwright, A. In The CSI Handbook, 14th edition, published by Trialogue Publication in 2011.
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Climate Change At City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town
    Cartwright, A., Parnell, S., Oelofse, G., Ward, S. (eds). Published by Routledge 2012.
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book
  • Climate Change and Adaptation in African Agriculture
    Ziervogel, G. and Cartwright, A. In In Fujikura and Kawanishi (eds) Climate Change Adaptation and International Development. Routledge 2010.
    Location:Cape Town Type:Book chapter
  • Towards effective city planning: the case of Cape Town in identifying potential housing land
    Brown-Luthango, M., Makanga, P. & Smit, W. Urban Forum, vol. 25, no. 2, 2013, pp. 189-203
    Location:Cape Town Type:Scientific article (peer-reviewed)

Projektmedlemmar

  • Warren Smit

    Centrally involved in establishing the Cape Town Local Interaction Platform of Mistra Urban Futures in 2010, and a key part of CTLIP planning, budgeting and reporting ever since. Research on various aspects of urban governance, particularly strategic urban planning and the governance of informal settlements. 

    Kontakta mig