15th Jan 2020

Since 2009 the Southern Africa City Studies Conference (SACSC) series has provided an interdisciplinary forum for researchers examining urban issues in Southern Africa. We are pleased to announce that the fifth conference in this series will take place from 30 August to 1 September 2020 at the University of the Witwatersrand. 

As an interdisciplinary space, urban studies is animated by a rich series of debates and issues including:

  • the anthropocene
  • metabolic flows
  • the production of space
  • infrastructure
  • segregation
  • governance
  • migration
  • land occupation
  • drug and substance abuse
  • public space contestation
  • economic growth or decline
  • inequality
  • social reproduction
  • political struggle
  • dispossession
  • gentrification
  • land justice
  • climate resilience
  • environmental sustainability
  • race, gender & class
  • everyday life
  • informality
  • identity
  • symbolic representation
  • the role of technology
  • urban research methods
  • mobilities
  • food (in)security
  • rural-urban linkages
  • safety, violence and conflict

Recent interest in comparative urbanism and southern urbanism, as well as a context of regional and global uncertainty, creates an important opportunity for scholars to engage these and other issues and debates from the vantage of urban experiences in our region. One of the objectives of this conference series is to promote emerging scholars who are residents of Southern Africa working on cities in the region or elsewhere, as well as scholarship on cities in Southern Africa.

We invite abstracts and proposals on any urban studies theme from (a) researchers who would like to present their work, (b) those who would like to organise themed sessions or panels and (c) those who would like to organise exhibitions, book launches and other special events (creative approaches are especially welcome). There will be a modest conference fee to cover costs, with a reduced rate for students.

To submit abstracts and proposals (and for submission templates and instructions) please visit:


Successful candidates will be notified by 1st June 2020

Papers, outlines or presentations due 14th August 2020

For conference queries, please email:

The conference is hosted by the Centre for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, and the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, and in association with the other members of an evolving, informal urban studies network currently made up of the following university entities: the National Research Chair in Economic Development of the City of Johannesburg, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), the Wits City Institute, the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town, Department of Political Studies, University of the Western Cape, the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology, the Centre for Development Support at the University of the Free State, the National Research Chair for Sustainable Human Settlements, Nelson Mandela University, the Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Pretoria, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Venda, and the Department of Social Anthropology, North West University.