Professor Marie Huchzermeyer guest lecture at Brookes - 15 December 2016

Thursday, 24 November 2016

International Student Welcome Event

On 15 December Professor Marie Huchzermeyer of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, will give a lecture on the subject of ‘Informal settlements at the intersection between urban planning and rights: advances through judicialisation in the South African case.

Time: 12 noon to 1 pm
Venue: AB115A, Abercrombie building

Lecture abstract:
This paper argues that it is at the often unresolved nexus between planning and rights that informal settlement residents find themselves trapped in uncertainty, which in turn perpetuates precariousness. It examines the intersection between urban planning and rights, or the extent to which justice for informal settlement residents can be realised through planning. It reviews debates on this question in the Anglophone context, in order to clarify the meanings of rights in relation to planning. It then turns to the South African case, where judicialisation has gradually nudged the state in the direction of reforms to the point where housing policy, housing rights and planning legislation, for the first time, have the potential of being aligned. The paper highlights the importance of judicialisation or recourse to courts, premised on a democratic Constitution, in the South African case. However, it also points to the larger questions that global interest in the notion of a right to the city raise for the interface between planning and rights.

Biography of the speaker

Marie Huchzermeyer is a Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she has convened a Master’s degree in Housing for the past 15 years, currently also directing the Centre for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies. From this base, she engaged in policy debates and advised on legal cases. She has reflected on this in various publications, including the book “Cities With ‘Slums’: From Informal Settlement Eradication to a Right to the City in Africa” (UCT Press, 2011). Her research, including two further monographs, has also involved comparison between South Africa and Brazil, and the cities of Nairobi and Berlin. Her current research examines positions on informal settlements and low income housing in recent legislative and policy initiatives that attempt to grapple with the spatial legacy of South African cities in more effective ways.