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Author Archive

Local Government and the COVID-19 Pandemic – A Global Perspective

Local Government and the COVID-19 Pandemic - A Global Perspective

Edited By: Carlos Nunes Silva
Series Title: Local and Urban Governance
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91112-6
Publisher: Springer Cham
Publisher website: https://link.springer.com/
Publication Date: 04 May 2022
Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-91111-9
eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-91112-6


The book provides a global perspective of local government response towards the COVID-19 pandemic through the analysis of a sample of countries in all continents. It examines the responses of local government, as well as the responses local government developed in articulation with other tiers of government and with civil society organizations, and explores the social, economic and policy impacts of the pandemic. The book offers an innovative contribution on the role of local government during the pandemic and discusses lessons for the future. The COVID-19 pandemic had a global impact on public health, in the well-being of citizens, in the economy, on civic life, in the provision of public services, and in the governance of cities and other human settlements, although in an uneven form across countries, cities and local communities. Cities and local governments have been acting decisively to apply the policy measures defined at national level to the specific local conditions. COVID-19 has exposed the inadequacy of the crisis response infrastructures and policies at both national and local levels in these countries as well as in many others across the world. But it also exposed much broader and deeper weaknesses that result from how societies are organized, namely the insecure life a substantial proportion of citizens have, as a result of economic and social policies followed in previous decades, which accentuated the impacts of the lockdown measures on employment, income, housing, among a myriad of other social dimensions. Besides the analysis of how governments, and local government, responded to the public health issues raised by the spread of the virus, the book deals also with the diversity of responses local governments have adopted and implemented in the countries, regions, cities and metropolitan areas. The analysis of these policy responses indicates that previously unthinkable policies can surprisingly be implemented at both national and local levels.

Politics and Community-based Research: Perspectives from Yeoville Studio, Johannesburg

Politics and Community-based Research: Perspectives from Yeoville Studio, Johannesburg

URI: https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/51023
Keywords: Urban & municipal planning; Urban communities
DOI: 10.18772/22019103849
ISBN: 9781776143849, 9781776143856, 9781776143863, 9781776143870, 9781776143894
Publisher: Wits University Press
Publisher website: http://witspress.co.za/
Publication date and place: Johannesburg, 2019
Classification: Urban & municipal planning, Urban communities
Pages: 430
Edited By: Benit-Gbaffou, Claire; Charlton, Sarah; Didier, Sophie; Dörmann, Kirsten;


Politics and Community-Based Research: Perspectives from Yeoville Studio, Johannesburg provides a textured analysis of a contested urban space that will resonate with other contested urban spaces around the world and challenges researchers involved in such spaces to work in creative and politicised ways. This edited collection is built around the experiences of Yeoville Studio, a research initiative based at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Through themed, illustrated stories of the people and places of Yeoville, the book presents a nuanced portrait of the vibrance and complexity of a post-apartheid, peri-central neighbourhood that has often been characterised as a ‘slum’ in Johannesburg. These narratives are interwoven with theoretical chapters by scholars from a diversity of disciplinary backgrounds, reflecting on the empirical experiences of the Studio and examining academic research processes. These chapters unpack the engagement of the Studio in Yeoville, including issues of trust, the need to align policy with lived realities and social needs, the political dimensions of the knowledge produced and the ways in which this knowledge was, and could be used.

This book is a new and courageous examination of the complexity of embedded research. It is an honest and insightful reflection that … challenges and deepens arguments around spaces of participation through theoretical reflection and, more centrally, through the actual experience of the embedded research of Yeoville Studio.
Tanya Zack, urban planner and writer, Johannesburg

This book is not only an exciting analysis of a mythical neighbourhood of Johannesburg and of informal lifestyle ’hoods and practices that are part of the metropolis fabric. It is also a powerful testimony to how research can become a political weapon when it is built in interaction and debate with communities’ voices.
Marie-Hélène Bacqué, professor, Urban Studies, Paris-Ouest-Nanterre University

We need more of this kind of engaging and meaningful community-based research. Yeoville Studio is a masterful study of ‘making the invisible visible’ in Johannesburg, openly discussing ethical challenges, memory and uncertainty. Through this humbling and exciting experience the contributors challenge the fundamentals of participatory research while illuminating informality.
Julie-Anne Boudreau, associate professor, Urbanisation Culture Société Research Centre, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Montréal

This is a treasure, full of the voices, spaces and lives of residents of Yeoville, one of Johannesburg’s most diverse inner-city neighbourhoods. It is an exceptional collection of fresh insights – politically and intellectually rewarding explorations of what it means to do research in contested ‘communities’. A great resource for urbanists anywhere, this book offers very thoughtful reflections on the potential for researchers to instigate the engaged and embedded practices that so many urban contexts call for.
Jennifer Robinson, professor, Department of Geography, University College, London

Dedicated website for the book’s additional material – https://www.wits.ac.za/yeovillestudio/

Urban Resettlements in the Global South – Lived Experiences of Housing and Infrastructure between Displacement and Relocation

Urban Resettlements in the Global South

Book URL: https://www.routledge.com/Urban-Resettlements-in-the-Global-South-Lived-Experiences-of-Housing-and/Beier-Spire-Bridonneau/p/book/9780367644437
Extent: 242 Pages, 34 B/W Illustrations
ISBN: 978 0 36764 443 7
Edited By: Raffael Beier, Amandine Spire, Marie Bridonneau


Urban Resettlements in the Global South provides new perspectives on resettlement through an urban studies lens. To date, resettlement has been theorised through development studies and refugee studies, but urban resettlement is also a major dimension of urban development in the Global South and may help to rethink contemporary urban dynamics between spectacular new town developments and rising incidences of eviction and displacement. Conceptualising resettlement as a binding notion between production/regeneration and destruction/demolition of urban space helps to illuminate interdependencies and to underline significant ambiguities within affected people’s perspectives towards resettlement projects. This volume will offer an interesting selection of ten different case studies with rich empirical data from Latin America, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia, focused on each stage of resettlement (before, during, after relocation) through different timescales. By offering a frame for analysing and rethinking resettlement within urban studies, it will support any scholar or expert dealing with resettlement, displacement, and housing in an urban context, seeking to improve housing and planning policies in and for the city.

Densifying the City? Global Cases and Johannesburg

Densifying the City?

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Book URL: https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/catalog/product/view/id/16726/s/densifying-the-city-9781789904932/
Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
Extent: 304 pp
ISBN: 978 1 78990 493 2
Editors: Margot Rubin, Alison Todes, Philip Harrison and Alexandra Appelbaum.


Providing an in-depth exploration of the complexities of densification policy and processes, the book brings the important experiences of densification in Johannesburg into conversation with those of a range of cities in Africa, the BRICS countries, and the global north. Moving beyond the divisive debate over whether densification is good or bad, the book adds nuance and complexity to the calls from multi-lateral organisations such as UN-Habitat for densification as a key urban strategy. The book examines how densification policies and processes have manifested often in unanticipated or contrary ways in Johannesburg. It also offers important accounts of resident-led densification and the processes and motivations that drive these activities. In dialogue with other cities, the Johannesburg case is instructive to government policy-makers, multi-lateral organisations and academics in a variety of urban-related fields. The book is divided into three sections. The first explores the densification experiences of some eight cities: Sao Paulo, Curitiba, Nairobi, Beijing, Maputo, Sydney and Delhi. The second section reflects on how densification has unfolded in Johannesburg, while the final section explores Johannesburg’s key Transit Oriented Development and densification strategy, the Corridors of Freedom

Land Issues for Urban Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Land Issues for Urban Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Book URL: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030525033
Authors: Home, R. K. (Ed.)

Series: Local and Urban Governance

  • Focuses on the new challenges of urban land governance in Sub-Saharan Africa following the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Habitat New Urban Agenda (passed at Habitat III in Quito in 2016)
  • Cross-disciplinary treatment of a rapidly evolving topic
  • Provides new knowledge from both academic and professional perspectives on land governance

Sub-Saharan Africa faces many development challenges, such as its size and diversity, rapid urban population growth, history of colonial exploitation, fragile states and conflicts over land and natural resources. This collection, contributed from different academic disciplines and professions, seeks to support the UN Habitat New Urban Agenda passed at Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador, in 2016. It will attract readers from urban specialisms in law, geography and other social sciences, and from professionals and policy-makers concerned with land use planning, surveying and governance. Among the topics addressed by the book are challenges to governance institutions: how international development is delivered, building land management capacity, funding for urban infrastructure, land-based finance, ineffective planning regulation, and the role of alternatives to courts in resolving boundary and other land disputes. Issues of rights and land titling are explored from perspectives of human rights law (the right to development, and women’s rights of access to land), and land tenure regularization. Particular challenges of housing, planning and informality are addressed through contributions on international real estate investment, community participation in urban settlement upgrading, housing delivery as a partly failing project to remedy apartheid’s legacy, and complex interactions between political power, money and land.

Deeper City – Collective Intelligence and the Pathways from Smart to Wise

Deeper City - Collective Intelligence and the Pathways from Smart to Wise

Book URL: https://www.routledge.com/Deeper-City-Collective-Intelligence-and-the-Pathways-from-Smart-to-Wise/
Author: Joe Ravetz

Book Description:

Deeper City is the first major application of new thinking on ‘deeper complexity’, applied to grand challenges such as runaway urbanization, climate change and rising inequality. The author provides a new framework for the collective intelligence – the capacity for learning and synergy – in many-layered cities, technologies, economies, ecologies and political systems.

The key is in synergistic mapping and design, which can move beyond smart ‘winner-takes-all’ competition, towards wiser human systems of cooperation where ‘winners-are-all’. Forty distinct pathways ‘from smart to wise’ are mapped in Deeper City and presented for strategic action, ranging from local neighbourhoods to global finance.

As an atlas of the future, and resource library of pathway mappings, this book expands on the author’s previous work, City-Region 2020. From a decade of development and testing, Deeper City combines visual thinking with a narrative style and practical guidance. This book will be indispensable for those seeking a sustainable future – students, politicians, planners, systems designers, activists, engineers and researchers.

A new postscript looks at how these methods can work with respect to the 2020 pandemic, and asks, ‘How can we turn crisis towards transformation?’

Local Governance in the New Urban Agenda

Local Governance in the New Urban Agenda

Book Flyer: View Flyer
Book URL: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030471347
Authors: Nunes Silva, Carlos, Trono, Anna (Eds.)

Series: Local and Urban Governance

  • Explores recent shifts of paradigm in local governance
  • Offers a unique combination of different disciplinary approaches to local government
  • Addresses issues of interest for a wide audience, comprising students, researchers and policy makers

The book explores and discusses some of the changes, challenges and opportunities confronting local governance in the context of the new urban paradigm associated with the HABITAT III New Urban Agenda, a 20-year strategy for sustainable urbanization, adopted in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador. The chapters included in the book address public policy issues from different theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches, written by authors from different academic disciplines within the broad area of social sciences (Geography, Political Science, Public Administration, Spatial Planning, Law, Regional Science, among other fields), and offer an inter-disciplinary vision of these issues. The chapters are written by members of the International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on Geography of Governance.

Spatial Planning in Service Delivery – Towards Distributive Justice in South Africa

Spatial Planning in Service Delivery - Towards Distributive Justice in South Africa
Book URL: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783030198497
Authors: Magidimisha, Hangwelani Hope, Chipungu, Lovemore

This volume presents a detailed synthesis of the historical, present-day and future state of service delivery in South Africa. The generation and distribution of services in any geographical space has been and is always a source of inequality in human society. Thus, in the context of spatial planning, space is the major factor through which distributive justice and sustainable development can be achieved. To examine the continuation of spatial inequality in service delivery, the authors employed both qualitative and quantitative research methods in a multi-pronged approach, utilizing empirical data from the Vembe District in Limpopo, data from the South African Index of Multiple Deprivation, and representative attitudinal data from the South African Social Attitudes Survey. Ultimately, this study examines spatial differences in living environments with a focus on the distribution of household services and discusses strategies to achieve spatial equality.

Grid Planning in the Urban Design Practices of Senegal

Grid Planning in the Urban Design Practices of Senegal

Liora Bigon & Eric Ross (2020). Grid Planning in the Urban Design Practices of Senegal. Cham: Springer (ISBN 978-3-030-29525-7)

This book explores the entanglement of African and Western cultures of grid planning in urban Senegal from pre-colonial times up to the present. The most important and significant urban centers of historic Senegambia and modern Senegal, a mostly Muslim country of West Africa, are examined. What is revealed is a continuous deployment of grid planning in the configuration of towns, villages, neighborhoods and cities since the sixteenth century. Both endogenous African and exogenous colonial traditions of grid planning have been used, simultaneously but often quite separately, to lay out settlements. The indigenous Senegambia grid plan first characterized elite pre-colonial settlements, such as royal capitals and centers of Islamic instruction, before it was popularized and mass-produced by Senegal’s mystical Sufi orders during the colonial era. This autochthonous tradition culminated in the mid-twentieth century design of the great shrine city of Touba. The French grid plan, for its part, characterized nearly every type of colonial settlement, from mercantilist ports like Saint Louis to the prestigious colonial spaces of Dakar, capital of a French empire in Africa, to enumerable peanut marketing rail-towns (escales). Though the two grid-planning traditions were initially quite distinct in origin and symbolic significance – royal prerogative, Islamic propriety or efficient exploitation of the land and control of its people – they have become inextricably entangled with each other over the course of history. This book explores this entanglement in order to: (a) create a truly global urban history to replace the otherwise Eurocentric meta-narrative of urban planning and design; (b) enhance Islamic Studies by situating sub-Saharan Africa’s urbanism within mainstream research on the Muslim World; (c) shift the discussion from a determinist genealogy of vernacular versus Western urban patterns towards a more dialectic, entangled and processual approach to the production of space; and (d) highlight the role of African agents in shaping the continent’s cities, even at the height of formal colonialism. The book is primarily intended for scholars engaged in the fields of urban history, architectural and urban planning history, world history, African studies, Islamic studies, urban geography, cultural studies and art history.

Routledge Handbook of Urban Planning in Africa

Routledge Handbook of Urban Planning in Africa

Edited by Carlos Nunes Silva

Book URL: https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-Urban-Planning-in-Africa-1st-Edition/Silva/p/book/9781138575431
Editor(s): Carlos Nunes Silva
Contributor(s): Abdou Kailou Djibo, Ana Roque, Ana Vaz Milheiro, Andrea M. Brown, Beatriz Serrazina, Carlos Nunes Silva, Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues, Domenico Cristofaro, Elisa Dainese, Filipa Fiúza, Filippo De Dominicis, Gerhard Kienast, Gilbert Siame, Heide Studer, Jennifer Hart, Karina Landman, Khalil Bouhadjar, Martin Lewis, Michele Tenzon, Nadia Chabi, Nadine Appelhans, Sabine Baumgart, Souha Salhi, Verna Nel, Wilma S. Nchito
Citation: Silva, C. (Ed.). (2020). Routledge Handbook of Urban Planning in Africa. London: Routledge, https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351271844.

This handbook contributes with new evidence and new insights to the on-going debate on the de-colonization of knowledge on urban planning in Africa.

African cities grew rapidly since the mid-20th century, in part due to rising rural migration and rapid internal demographic growth that followed the independence in most African countries. This rapid urbanization is commonly seen as a primary cause of the current urban management challenges with which African cities are confronted. This importance given to rapid urbanization prevented the due consideration of other dimensions of the current urban problems, challenges and changes in African cities. The contributions to this handbook explore these other dimensions, looking in particular to the nature and capacity of local self-government and to the role of urban governance and urban planning in the poor urban conditions found in most African cities. It deals with current and contemporary urban challenges and urban policy responses, but also offers an historical overview of local governance and urban policies during the colonial period in the late 19th and 20th centuries, offering ample evidence of common features, and divergent features as well, on a number of facets, from intra-urban racial segregation solutions to the relationships between the colonial power and the natives, to the assimilation policy, as practiced by the French and Portuguese and the Indirect Rule put in place by Britain in some or in part of its colonies.

Using innovative approaches to the challenges confronting the governance of African cities, this handbook is an essential read for students and scholars of Urban Africa, urban planning in Africa and African Development.

Governance and the Postcolony – Views from Africa

Governance and the Postcolony – Views from Africa

Edited by David Everatt

Published in South Africa by: Wits University Press – First published 2019

Book URL: http://witspress.co.za/catalogue/governance-and-the-postcolony/
Editor(s): David Everatt
Contributor(s): Anthoni van Nieuwkerk, Babalwa Magoqwan, Bongiwe Ngcobo Mphahlele, Caryn Abrahams, Chelete Monyane, Darlene Muller, Jody Cedras, Kirti Menon, Mike Muller, Nomalanga Mkhize, Patrick Bond, Pundy Pillay, Rebecca Pointer, Salim Latib, Susan Booysen, William Gumede
Citation: Everatt, D. (Ed.). (2019). Governance and the postcolony: Views from Africa. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, https://doi.org/10.18772/22019083443.