Prof Edgar Pieterse
Director, African Centre for Cities
Professor Edgar Pieterse is founding director of the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town. His research and teaching gravitate around urban development politics, everyday culture, publics, radical social economies, responsive design and adaptive governance systems. He publishes different kinds of text, curates’ exhibitions and difficult conversations about pressing urban problems. He is consulting editor for Cityscapes—an international occasional magazine on urbanism in the global South. His books, City Futures (Zed, 2008) and New Urban Worlds (Polity, 2017) are regarded as key reference points for both theoretical and applied discourses on cities in Africa and the global South more broadly. Between the appearance of these two books, he co-edited a further six books during the last decade, dealing with a wide-ranging set of topics related to contemporary urbanism and place-making.
In light of his academic achievements and global standing, he has been asked to serve on various research advisory boards of leading urban research centres: LSE Cities (London); Indian Institute for Human Settlements (Bangalore); Gauteng City-region Observatory (Johannesburg); The Global Cities Programme of CIDOB – Barcelona Centre for International Affairs; Pathways to Sustainability – Utrecht University; the World Economic Forum: Shaping the Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative; and the Coalition for Urban Transitions (London). Furthermore, he is co-lead author of the Urban Chapter of the report of the International Panel on Social Progress. In the African context, Edgar has been central to the growth of two key pan-African knowledge networks: Association of African Planning Schools (57 schools in 18 countries) and the African Urban Research Initiative (18 institutions in 16 countries); both are anchored in the African Centre for Cities.