Democracy and Synergies on the  Local Level

The book “State/Society Synergy in Philippi” is the result of three years of deliberations between academics and practitioners about the necessary conditions for sustainable development in low-income neighborhoods in cities of the South.  Thirteen chapters, and profuse photographs and maps, provide insights into the complexities and challenges of local development through the lens of Philippi, a settlement in Cape Town.  It builds a narrative around a number of development initiatives in Philippi (e.g. the Philippi Fresh Produce Market and the Tsoga Environmental Resource Centre) and draws out the critical factors for success across the different projects (e.g. the importance of good leadership, location and the nature of the State and its engagement with citizens).

The book features an array of voices from academics to practitioners. These voices also include those who live and work in Philippi and have intimate knowledge of the place, its challenges and potential. The main conclusion of the volume is that sustainable and equitable local development depends on State-Society synergy which rests on democratic, capacitated and accountable institutions at community level and at the level of the State.

The book- and this article - is written by Mercy Brown-Luthango, and the photographer is Sydelle Willow Smith. The book is part of the outcome of the CityLab Programme.

For more information, please contact Mercy Brown-Luthango directly vai email. For Mistra Urban Futures Local Platform in Cape Town, please contact the director Zarina Patel.