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Utopia and dystopia in the post-apartheid city: the praxis of the future in Cape Town


Year published: 2019
Categories: Journal Article

Author / Authors:

  • Christian Ernsten


This essay is concerned with the shaping, the framing and the fashioning of the discourse on urban futures in Cape Town, South Africa. I outline the multiple sources and diverse elements that feed into this discourse: specifically, metropolitan theory and local experience. Focusing on the praxis of the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town, I argue that there is a convergence between the language of crisis and the vision that comes across in policy and futurist scenario building. I point at apartheid modernities and their recapitulation in utopian dreams for the post-apartheid city.

Social Dynamics, 45:2, 286-302, DOI: 10.1080/02533952.2019.1619420


  • Journal Article