Page 151 - UCT Research Report 2011

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research – and in this regard, the publication of special
issues of ISI journals, as well as several books, are key
indicators of scholarly impact.
Professor Pirie adds that the ACC works hard to stay
relevant “by chipping away at things on our doorstep,
reminding and persuading practitioners, citizens, analysts,
and scholars about the urban global South, and being a
point of reference for concerned and progressive thinkers
and policy makers.”
Collaborations and connections
Part of this is about creating a nurturing environment
within the centre that enables research to thrive. Professor
Pirie highlights the regular academic seminars, special
academic support and mentoring for new researchers,
and access to major international collaborative networks.
ACC participates in the Mistra programme, which is an
international network of cities (Gothenburg, Sweden;
Manchester, United Kingdom; Shanghai, China; and
Kisumu, Kenya) where efforts are under way to understand
and implement urban sustainability through novel
knowledge-sharing and generation practices. Funded
by the Mistra Foundation, Mistra Urban Futures (MUF),
with its principal themes of Green, Fair, and Dense,
the programme emphasises collaboration by academics
in urban disciplines, urban planners and practitioners,
NGOs, and members of civil society.
During 2011, MUF funding was also obtained to support
the second South African Cities Conference hosted by
ACC, which brought scholars together from around the
country to critically discuss their work. More than 70
papers were presented over the three-day conference.
The event also cemented and gave additional content
to the ACC’s co-operation with organisations such as
Shack/Slum Dwellers International and the Sustainable
Livelihoods Foundation.
Also in 2011, the ACC was prominent at Cape Town’s
Open Book Festival.
African Cities Reader II
, a collection
of essays on the theme of mobility, and the first edition
urban challenges
Cape Town is a good learning laboratory for researchers in UCT’s African Centre for Cities, with levels of inequality among
the highest in the world; almost 40 percent of households are classified as poor.
“The Province, Ci ty, pr ivate con-
sultancies, NGOs, and current and
prospective postgraduate students
from abroad and locally, beat a never-
ending path to our door.”