A collaborative King's College London and UCT research project

About Us

Dr Clare Herrick (Principal Investigator)

Clare Herrick is a Senior Lecturer in human geography in the Cities Group, King’s College London. Her research centres on contemporary health risks and the urban governance strategies that are deployed to mitigate these.

For further information please see: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/sspp/geography/people/acad/herrick/


Professor Susan Parnell (Overseas Collaborator)

Sue Parnell is a Professor of Geography at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and the Director of the African Centre for Cities. Her research is concerned with contemporary urban policy in the Global South, and in particular, the post-Apartheid South African city.

For more information, please see: http://www.africancentreforcities.net/people/12/


Dr Mary Lawhon (postdoctoral researcher)

Mary Lawhon is a post-doctoral researcher focusing on urban political ecology in the African context. Her academic background combines natural and social sciences to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of the human-environment nexus. Her current research examines the flows of alcohol and waste in and out of the City of Cape Town. Mary holds a B.Sc. from the University of Kansas in environmental studies, a Master of Environment and Development from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Ph.D. from Clark University.



Dr Shari Daya

Shari is a Lectruer in Human Geography at UCT and has worked on a range of projects, looking at issues from sustainable consumption to the link between neighbourhoods and adolescent mental health. Her current work addresses the cultural values driving processes of production and consumption in urban areas. She joined UCT in 2008 and teach in the field of cultural geography at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.Shari supervises the resarch of Evan Blake and Nicci Wilkins, the project’s junior researchers.



In addition, the broader research team comprises:

Dr Mercy Brown-Luthango

Mercy’s main research interest is in the economics of land use planning and the effects of certain land use practises. This includes the interactions between land use management, regulation and municipal finances, e.g. how certain regulatory and fiscal tools like land value taxation can be used both to effect more socially inclusive land use practices as well as provide a means of financing the provision of infrastructure, specifically in poorer areas in the city, thereby creating a fairer distribution or redistribution of land and surplus land value. She is also concerned with organisations of the urban poor, the functioning of community-based organisations and the nature of their engagement with other role-players, including NGOs, academics and the State and the strategies they use to navigate these often complex relationships in order to achieve their goals.



Dr Warren Smit

Warren’s current research interests relate to various aspects of city planning. First, the relationship between the urban environment and health in Cape Town and other cities of the global South, and how to plan for healthy urban environments. Second, the formulation and implementation of city strategies: how they are formulated and operationalized and how particular ways of representing and shaping cities become dominant at certain times. Warren is currently undertaking a case study of the City of Cape Town’s integrated development planning (IDP) processes for his PhD research and is seconded to the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading project (Khayelitsha).




Professor Gordon Pirie

Gordon’s principal research field is transportation and travel and he has published on racialised mobility (and resistance to it) before, during and after apartheid. His papers on the creation of South African urban race-spaces and dislocated lives have used a variety of approaches to examine housing, health, mobility, renewal and law, as well as the injury and rage conveyed in discourse and artistic representation. Gordon edits the Journal of Transport History.



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