Edgar Pieterse

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Biographical Information

"Edgar Pieterse is holder of the DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Urban Policy. He directs the African Centre for Cities and is Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, both at the University of Cape Town. He previously served as Special Advisor to the Premier of the Western Cape Provincial Government (2004-2007) and directed a number of urban policy think tanks before his stint in governm ent.

"His most recent books are: City Futures: Confronting the Crisis of Urban Development (Zed Books, 2008); Counter-Currents: Experiments in Sustainability in the Cape Town region (edited, Jacana, 2010); The African Cities Reader: Pan-African Practices (co-edited, Chimurenga Lab, 2010); Consolidating Developmental Local Government (co-edited, UCT Press, 2008) and a notable earlier book: Voices of the Transition: The Politics, Poetics and Practices of Development in South Africa (co-edited, Heinemann Publishers, 2004). The next African Cities Reader: Mobilities & Fixtures, is due for publication by mid 2011. Edgar’s research stem from the boderzone between geography, plann ing and cultural studies with a strong orientation towards political philosophy. As a result his research is wide-ranging covering themes such as African urbanism, cultural planning, regional development, governance, infrastructure transitions, and macro development issues.

"He is a founder member of Isandla Institute, serves on the Boards of Magnet Theatre, the Sustainability Institute and the Cape Town Partnership; and is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Gauteng City-region Observatory, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, LSE Cities, and the Low Carbon Mobility Stakeholder Board of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford. He regularly provides advisory services to intern ational development agencies such as: UN-Habitat, African Development Bank, DBSA, National Planning Commission, OECD urban division, UNEP, amongst others. Edgar serves on an international Advisory Committee for Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (Smithsonian) curating an international exhibition, Critical Mass: Cities. He also serves as a Faculty Member of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.

"Edgar holds a PhD from London School of Economics, an MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (The Hague, The Netherlands) and BA-Honours from the University of the Western Cape. More info is available at: www.africancentreforcities.net"[1]


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  1. Open Society Foundation of South Africa Board, organizational web page, accessed September 2, 2012.
  2. Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme Faulty, organizational web page, accessed September 30, 2012.