Cities & Urbanisation

Home / Resources / Cities & Urbanisation / Housing


African Cities Reader III - Land, Property and Value

The third African Cities Reader explores the unholy trinity of land, property and value – the life force of cities everywhere. In an era of late modernity marked by a speculative compulsion that takes on a spectral character as it instigates adventures of city imagineering, deal-making and symbolic reinvestment, the material effects are often displacement, violence, daylight robbery and yet another round of elite seduction. The incessant (re) making of the African city is a game that leaves few untouched or unmoved and literally prepares the ground for the inhabitation of another 400 million urban dwellers over the next two decades.


In Search of Land and Housing in the New South Africa

The Case of Ethembalethu

This case study analyzes the difficulties a poor community experienced in accessing periurban land in South Africa. A decade ago, this community, composed largely of laid-off farm workers, wanted to buy their own farm in a peri-urban area west of Johannesburg to establish a mixed-use settlement. The name of the village would be Ethembalethu—“Our Hope”—and the about 250 families started their own savings scheme to make their dream a reality.


Planning and Housing in the Rapidly Urbanising World

Throughout the world there is an increasing movement of populations into urban areas and cities. As a result the demographic, economic, social and cultural characteristics of urban areas are changing, particularly in countries undergoing rapid urbanisation. Planning and Housing in the Rapidly Urbanising World explores a range of international approaches to this trend within the fields of housing and urban planning, with a particular focus on countries in the South. The impact on land use and housing is described and analysed with reference to the related issues of poverty, health and the environment.


The problem with London's steep property prices

The very high property prices in London are slowly pushing growth to outside the city. In a report in the Economist written before the British vote to leave the EU (23 June 2016), the ‘faulty land-use regulation’ is said to ‘throttle’ the capital.
While the immense growth is good news for property owners, the ongoing rise can lead to several problems.