TTPod 2.11: "Smoke and Mirrors" - In pursuit of transformation within the property sector - a conversation with Nigel Adriaanse, CEO of EDPF
The TTPod has visited the issue of land - or rather access to land in South Africa - on several occasions. It’s well understood the one of apartheid’s primary weapons was the denial of access and ownership to property in urban centres around South Africa. For non-white groups. The inter-generational impact of that perverse legal arrangement compounds year on year and the issue of land remains one of the most pivotal of the many South African socio-economic challenges. Access to finance via the major banks remains a challenge for most households and the gap between those who have the benefit of inter-generational, inherited property and wealth and those who have “nothing” compounds the challenge further. Nigel Adriaanse has been thinking about and addressing challenges to access and capacity building in the property field for over a decade. Having worked in several industries as a business development and BBBEE consultant he embarked on a successful career in property the Western Cape and Gauteng. Nigel's take on the problems and practical solutions to solving the challenges are refreshing and he puts the ball squarely in the court of the individual and a change in mindset and approach of the property sector. I wanted to understand from him, what he believes are the common challenges and how he suggests we relook at these problems through capacity building initiatives and the objectives of his Enterprise Development Property Fund (EDPF). Nigel has a very clear vision and refreshing take on many of these issues and I’m looking forward to testing his thinking and understanding his views in this episode. Recorded 7th October 2022
October 10, 2022
TTPod 2.10: Partnerships and Practice Shaping Climate Adaptation and Fair Trade - with Ralf Mützel (Neumarkt Municipality, Germany)
For this latest episode of the Talking Transformation Podcast we’ve extended the scope of our most recent conversation with Drakenstein's Executive Director: Planning & Development, Jacqui Samson discussing the collaboration the Drakenstein municipality has with Neumarkt in Germany and the themes and projects that underpin that partnership. We learn of these approaches and the projects being implemented with Jacqui and Ralf Mützel, who coordinates the activities of the Fairtrade city of Neumarkt in the Office for Sustainability Promotion. I caught up with them both in Neumarkt, within the Bavaria region of Germany where action plans that shape and direct the partnership and infrastructure programmes were being revisited. The partnership has been running since 2014 and despite the interruption of Covid has delivered on several climate adaption infrastructure and integration initiatives. One of the themes we discussed in our conversation from August was the contestations and competing priorities within municipalities. Basic service delivery needs such as housing, water, sewerage services outcompete the needs of the environment when funds have to be allocated to projects from a limited budget as they are not necessarily a priority to the public. Yet municipalities are increasingly at the sharp end of the climate change agenda. This episode highlights a number of nature-based solutions and projects that have direct benefits for the communities of Drakenstein and the broader region. It also looks at what can be learnt and implemented to support Fair Trade practices and businesses. It's clear that the partnership is yielding rewards and supporting innovative approaches and I hope you’ll find something of value and inspiration from this conversation with two of the programme's main players. Recorded: Friday 16th September 2022
September 19, 2022
TTPod 2.9: "Executive Orders": In Conversation with Jacqui Samson ED Planning and Development: Drakenstein Municipality
This 75th published episode of the Talking Transformation Podcast explores a theme I am wanting to emphasise and develop in coming episodes: the importance of “leadership with integrity” as a foundation for South Africa’s transformation journey. In this episode we look at one of the young leaders in a position of executive authority within a rapidly growing municipality here in the Western Cape. Jacqui Samson recently celebrated a year as the Executive Director of Planning and Development within the Drakenstein municipality. I’ve been wanting to interview Jacqui since we met when she was working within the Western Cape Government: Department of Human Settlements. She would head up that department prior to taking up the municipal challenge across in Paarl. I wanted to understand how that first year has been, what the challenges have been in an election year and what the future holds for spatial planning and economic development in Drakenstein. It’ll also be interesting to see how the transition from Provincial government into municipal government has been – for the first time in almost 30 years! She talks passionately about the processes and institutional frameworks that have supported her including: an experienced and co-operative management team; a post-Covid Integrated Development Plan process and the value of face-to-face engagements; a Drakenstein developers' forum and steering committee; and the value of a strong private and public experience in understanding the needs and motivations of those sectors. Jacqui’s journey is an inspiring one and I hope you’ll enjoy her insights and reflections. There’s something for everybody in this episode and I hope you'll find some inspiration and lessons in search of that leadership with integrity mantra going forward. Recorded August 3rd 2022
August 14, 2022
TTPod 2.8: Desire Line on the Horizon - In Conversation with Nicolaas Louw
I visited Ireland for the first time, earlier this month of July 2022. The countryside was as beautiful as I’d imagined and the cities, towns and hamlets full of history and aesthetic beauty. It really is a magical isle with a rich and troubled history, warm people and the home of U2 – rich talent and treasures abound! The visit provided a chance to catch up and reflect with one of my closest colleagues and earliest friends in planning – Nicolaas Louw. He and I worked together in the newly reframed Gauteng Department of Development Planning and Local Government under the maverick leadership of a young MEC, Sicelo Shiceka between 1996 and 2000. I learned so much from Nicolaas, a young planner himself, still cutting his teeth, but with a couple of years on me in terms of experience. He was undoubtedly one of the biggest influences on my career. At the time it was just an exciting time and pleasure to work with him and others. He took the time to help me with projects and language difficulties and to understand the complexities of a bureaucracy of provincial government. I entered this space as a planner with extremely limited experience and no practical understanding of the challenges I would face. Nicolaas was a big part of helping me grow and adapt in a period of Land Development Objectives, (LDOs) – a forerunner to the IDP and SDFs, the Masakhane a socio-political campaign that sought to promote civic responsibility. encourage communities to pay for services and the spirit of ubuntu. This was all against the backdrop of the Reconstruction and Development Programme. For a young and naive planner from the UK it was the opportunity to kick on a define a new life and career here in South Africa. Without the support and encouragement of Nicolaas and others, that simply would have not been possible. Nicolaas would leave South African in 2002 and this was the first real opportunity I’ve had to discuss his work and personal transformation in Ireland. His journey is a testimonial to his effort and commitment to the profession and communities he serves. In the podcast he touches on the challenges of balancing common issues such as increasing population growth and responding to COVID and more delicate and parochial issues of supporting and maintaining mediaeval buildings and heritage sites with the demands for progress and growth. I hope you’ll enjoy Nicolaas' reflections and approaches he describes. Recorded 14th July 2022
July 31, 2022
TTPod 2.7: "After the Flood" - Community Responses to the KZN 2022 Floods with Ranyaka's Andile Wafa and Guy Campbell
In this episode of the Talking Transformation Podcast, we revisit the South African Province of KwaZulu-Natal and consider relief efforts in support of the severe flooding and landslides that took place there in April of 2022. The flooding led to more than 400 deaths and thousands more people went missing. More than 4,000 houses are estimated to have been destroyed and 8,000 estimated to have been damaged, particularly in and around the Durban city and surrounding areas. There was also massive damage to infrastructure, roads, health centres, schools, much of the infrastructure, significantly damaged by the flooding. There was an urgent need for basics across communities: for food, clean water, medicine and hygiene packs. Our guests are Andile Wafa and Guy Campbell from Ranyaka, one of the organisations that provided relief, support and logistics in responding to the NGO coordination efforts. We recorded this in Salt Rock KZN, a little more than two months after the events. It is a difficult episode to engage with because of the circumstances that both Andile and Guy were involved in and witnessed, first hand. It also brings home the scale of the challenges not only in terms of the relief efforts, but also the rebuilding efforts that will continue on from this point. Recorded 9th June 2022.
July 01, 2022
TTPod 2.6: "On the Receiving End" - South Africans Supporting the Ukraine Refugee and Relief Efforts in Europe - with Diane Arvanitakis and Jan de Bruin
In today’s TTPod episode we look across continents and the Ukrainian conflict. The episode tries to consider the challenges and support being rendered via the reflection of two South Africans currently based in Europe. In the last months, the world’s media has focused in on the Ukraine and the untold suffering endured by the communities and cities affected by Russian military activity in the Ukraine. For every action, there is a re-action and, one major driver of transformation of communities and cities - in the most negative way imaginable - is via war. At the time of recording, Reuters news agency estimates that more than 15 million people have been displaced from their homes. More than 2,500 buildings have been destroyed and the costs in pure property dame is estimated to exceed $600billion. This episode looks north to two European cities – Munich in Germany and on the eastern border of Poland, Rzeszow that are directly absorbing the impact of the Russian actions in the Ukraine as refugees – predominantly women and children – flee their homes and communities for the safety of the west. I had wanted to understand how these challenges are playing out and reached out to two friends and colleagues who are directly working with the refugees in those cities: Diana Arvanitakis is located in Munich and Jan de Bruin in Rzeszow. Both are South African’s working abroad and you’ll hear from both how they came to be working in this space and what challenges the displaced communities face. What I can tell you from the outset is that Diane helped me re-assess my own goals and objectives as a planner – learning from her practical means of using urban design to shape transformation initiatives. Her CV is rich with practical and academic experience in some of South Africa’s most innovative spaces. Likewise, Jan has a CV that illustrates a practical and wide-reaching experience of disaster and relief coordination in some of the most challenging environments of the last two decade – South Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq and war-torn Sri Lanka before and after the devasting tsunami – Jan’s experience and commitment to serving the communities most in need are truly inspiring. I wanted to hear from them, their experiences and the realities being faced by the refugees and beyond that how the scale of the out-migration is impacting on the receiving cities. In the trauma and tragedy are strong messages of hope, courage and resilience from all parties involved. I am deeply indebted to both for the time and willingness to discuss these issues with me and I hope they will highlight the challenges faced by the refugees and the laudable work Diane and Jan are engaged in. Find out more about Diane's work and organisation via: https://nfp-muc.org/ Medair NGO's details can be found via medair.org Recorded June 16th 2022
June 25, 2022
TTPod 2.5: Partnerships & Transitions in Pursuit of Community Transformation - with Ranyaka NPO's William Bila and Johan Olivier
In this TTPod episode we look at a community building initiative that has grown from humble beginnings and now reaches and engages with communities in over 20 towns across the country. The Ranyaka Community Transformation Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) has grown partnerships with communities and corporate South Africa to champion a transformation methodology and opportunities afforded to communities in need. These partnerships are complementing the efforts, resources and planning of the municipalities and suggests a model of intervention and collaboration that could prove invaluable for many more towns and communities in the future. Having joined the Ranyaka professional team in April, I wanted to better understand the foundations of Ranyaka: what differentiates it from other community partnerships and how it aids, not hinders, the formal processes of municipalities and what the potential is for sustainable growth and replication across the country? The name Ranyaka translates to “pursue” and that seems an apt and worthy name for an initiative where everyone I’ve met via the NGO has pursued their own remarkable transformation story to tell - each worthy of a TTPod episode! The conversation is as much an opportunity for me to tune into the genesis story, aspirations and achievements of Ranyaka and the communities it serves. To understand the journey, I am joined by Board Chair William Bila and Executive Officer Johan Olivier. I worked with both Johan and William in 2003 when I was cutting my teeth with the City of Johannesburg. They taught me so much then about the needs and demands of planning and community engagement it will be a fascinating conversation to understand their journey over the last two decades and how they’ve adapted their engagement and planning skills to these new demands. Recorded Thursday 9th June 2022 in KZN
June 12, 2022
TTPod 2.4: "Free-wheeling" – Reshaping places and equity through our streets and spaces: A Conversation with Open Streets MD: Kirsten Wilkins
I’ve been wanting to speak with Open Streets (https://openstreets.org.za/) even prior to this podcast launching in mid-2019. Most listening to this podcast would have some idea of the Open Streets initiative but let me not assume that IS the case: Open Streets is a citizen-driven collective, working towards improving the equitable design and use of public space and streets for all users. It was founded in 2012 by a group of volunteers committed to a more equitable, integrated, safer and vibrant Cape Town. The very premise of spatial transformation and equity of enhancing spaces and linking places is entrenched in their efforts. Even during the Covid period the OS team was looking for avenues and approaches to embrace community mobilisation and the activation of streets and public spaces – frequently with the ambition of a temporary a car-free day and activities. Nyanga, Mitchells Plain, the CBD, are a handful of the initiatives OS have driven in addition to advocacy routes in Bike2Work and other non-motorized transport initiatives. Today I am delighted and privileged to discuss the work and achievements of Open Streets to date with Managing Director of the organisation, Kirsten Wilkins. An experienced Urban Designer by trade Kirsten epitomises the values and credo of the organisation. You can only be caught up in the passion she has for cycling, spatial and mobility justice and making safer spaces for people to feel they belong. As we approach World Bicycle Day on June 3rd, I wanted to finally add the Open Streets story to the TTPod archive, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to get this episode recorded and story told. As always, I hope you enjoy the episode. This episode is for you Marco Gerretto… Recorded Monday 23rd May
May 30, 2022
TTPod 2.3 Changing the narrative – Storytelling and graphic novels conveying the history and future of communities and cities
This podcast episode is markedly different from the more routine Talking Transformation “script” and speaks to two graphic illustrators, Nathan Trantraal and Julia Louise Pereira from South Africa and Canada respectively. Both have used their talent to tell stories about factors that have shaped or are currently shaping or cities and communities. I’ve been wanting to have this discussion since coming across the internationally acclaimed: Crossroads I Live Where I Like: A Graphic History publication (https://jacana.co.za/product/crossroads/). It’s a non-fictional cartoon strip set in 1970’s South Africa - that tells the powerful and moving story of the women-led resistance to apartheid laws, planning principles and community rhetoric of the time. To understand Crossroads in Cape Town you can begin to understand the trauma and legacy of apartheid in South Africa and the role and bravery women played in shaping and fighting the authorities. The story embodies the mantra: “You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock / Wathint' Abafazi, Wathint' Imbokotho”. Nathan Trantraal is one half of the two Trantraal brothers who illustrated the book. He is a poet, cartoonists, writer and and translator, currently lecturing in School of Languages at Rhodes University on this very subject of the graphic novel. I’m very much looking forward to understanding the genesis of the project, how the book was received locally and internationally and the importance of the medium in the age of social media and attention deficit that we frequently seem to be caught up in. The inspiring Julia Louise Pereira (https://julialouisepereira.com/) is based in Toronto, Canada. Her recent comic strip in the UK’s Guardian tackled the subject of climate change in cities and what has been done and what can be done to address this global crisis via small-scale and larger city building initiatives. Her comic strip “Cities need to be redesigned for the climate crisis. Can they make us happy, too?”, resonated by reflecting on actual families affected by Hurricanes Ida and Sandy. The point hammered home is that – like with so many urban issues – the impacts and worst of the effects are borne by the most disadvantaged communities. As her comic strip suggests: “it’s tempting to design a city by drawing lines on a map. But that ignores what cities are for. To serve the people who live there.” The strip raises the issue of cultural identity, sense of place and belonging and in a clear and precise graphical form illustrated issues of redlining, physical buffers between communities. It’s a masterclass in demonstrating the multiple agendas and challenges faced by cities and the approaches from small “pinprick” interventions to grander city building initiatives. Both the South African and American case studies use real people, telling their stories to frame the graphics and storyline. They are inspiring and informative means of digesting the complexities and in many instances traumatic stories. I hope you enjoy their reflections and message in this episode. Recorded 22nd May, 2022
May 24, 2022
TTPod 2.2 - "It’s all Academic": Reflections on City Transformation and Knowledge Exchange in 2022 with Dr S. Verdis & Dr P. Rode
If you’ve listened to the first couple of productions in Series 2 you’ll know this period of 2022 has been very much a period of personal transformation for me. Just over a month prior to leaving the public service I concluded studies with the London School of Economics in February. I had chosen the Executive Masters In Cities (https://www.lse.ac.uk/cities/education/emc), as much for the content as the ringing endorsements from South Africa’s who had studies in the first few years of the course’s inception. You’ll already heard from a couple if you are a regular listener. It was arguably the biggest career interruption since starting work in 1996. It challenged conventions and my own limitations whilst also reinforcing some of the positives we as South Africa have to offer. For all of our challenges and frustrations, we still have some of the most progressive thinking and personalities pushing the decision makers and it’s important we don’t forget that. I was constantly reminded of that as we shared experiences from fellow course participants from around the globe: from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Kyiv in the Ukraine, Chicago and LA in the States, Sydney, Australia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – these were just some of the home bases for my fellow students. Like countless students around the globe, we had COVID – or at least, the fallout from COVID - and all of its challenges, as a constant companion throughout our studies. The idea of travelling back and forth to the UK five times was always going to be a financial stretch but COVID and the global travel bans made sure the medium for learning and tuition was online. COVID also informed some of the course content and certainly shaped the rhythm and conversations we had between the diverse participants. Was this the end of Cities as we knew them? What were the implications for socio-economic, spatial and transport planning? And, just how responsive and adaptive were city governance models across the world to this latest disruption on an epic scale? What could COVID "do" to accelerate the climate change behaviours and responses? You’ve heard a number of these debates on the podcast: it was another thing to look at these issues through an academic lens. I wanted to sign-off my studies with an appreciative nod to the course leadership – Dr Savvas Verdis and Dr Philipp Rode who co-direct the course. I wanted as much to give them the opportunity to reflect on the course – why a course on cities, the adaption of content and their own stories – as much as to give me closure on this personal learning and transformation journey. I hope you enjoy the episode and find your own inspiration for your own next chapter :-) Recorded April 1st, 2022
April 19, 2022
TTPod Bulletin - UKESA & TTPod Partnership - Urban Knowledge Exchange South Africa - with Dr Mark Napier
Dr Mark Napier is currently Principal Researcher with CSIR and project lead for the design and management of the “Urban Knowledge Exchange Southern Africa” - an online knowledge-sharing platform https://www.ukesa.info/. Mark has a strong background in land and housing issues and prior to joining the CSIR, was director of the Urban Land Markets (ULM) Programme Southern Africa, between 2006 - 2013. The ULM team established some of the foundational research and analysis in land markets and human settlements in that period. In this bulletin we discuss UKESA and the support it is rendering to the TTPod in establishing a stable web-based platform and archive of material - searchable by key topics and guest names etc. Find the links via https://www.ukesa.info/partners/view/talking-transformation-podcast The purpose of the bulletin is to share with listeners the UKESA platform: what it is and where to find it and the value of the material it. We hope it is of interest and value to our listeners. Recorded April 5th 2022
April 14, 2022
TTPod 2.1 Contemporary Urbanism – Relevance, Opportunities, Challenges - Guests: Jodi Allemeier & Roland Postma
Joining the TTPod for this first episode of Series 2 are two leading young urbanists who are shaping the way many of us think and respond to the built environment. Jodi Allemeier is no stranger to the podcast and operates as an independent professional and thought leader in the country. Her UrbanJodi blog remains a must follow for those who enjoy continuing the debate (find it at www.jodi.city). Roland Postma has recently concluded his studies and is a leading and articulate voice in the Young Urbanists (@young-urbanists) who have been generating increasing online content and debate for young professionals via YouTube and webinars. The conversation touches on our own personal transitional stories and our observations of recent events and opportunities in the future: emerging from COVID-19; new opportunities and familiar challenges facing new Mayors and councils; and what it “means” to think progressively about cities and community building in 2022. As always, we hope you enjoy the content and welcome feedback via: twitter: @talkingtransfo1; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Recorded 24th March 2022
March 31, 2022
Revisiting Series 1 and Looking Ahead to ”New Beginnings”
TTPod Series 2: Bulletin #1 Revisiting Series 1 and Looking Ahead to ”New Beginnings” With: Catherine Stone and Pete Ahmad In this introductory bulletin to Series 2 of the TTPod, Cathy Stone assists podcast founder Pete Ahmad reflect on the: • genesis of the podcast; • value of partnerships and community; • reasons behind the ‘break in transmission’ and the second series; and • transformation conversations we can anticipate and what else is coming in Series 2. It’s an engaging “reset” conversation and we hope it will reinspire you for what is to come or to inspire you to join our growing community of listeners. The next chapter of the TTPod journey promises to develop further the themes and conversations adding to the significant archive of interview material available via your preferred podcast app / website. As always, we hope you enjoy the content and welcome feedback via: twitter @talkingtransfo1; or email@example.com Recorded 26th March 2022
March 27, 2022
Episode 37: Fields of Dreams (or just 'plain dreaming') - Release of state-owned land for public housing
Today's Talking Transformation Podcast tackles the issue of state-owned land and its importance in supporting spatial transformation and city-building, in particular, for affordablehousing programmes. It comes at a time when Illegal land occupations and the quantum of informal settlements in many of the towns and cities continues to increase as tangible indicators of urbanisation. Legislative reforms considering land expropriation without compensation are unfolding at the same time when the state is accused of paralysis and inertia in releasing well-located land it owns for the purposes of affordable housing and social amenities. Many advocacy groups are critical in their assessment that spheres of government are unable to release state land for public benefit and much-needed housing programmes to address urbanisation and substantial housing backlogs. In June this year the Development Action Group (DAG), along with Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU), SASDI alliance, the Legal Resources Centre, the Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC) and UCT’s Professor Vanessa Watson held a virtual public meeting to discuss the merits of releasing three state-owned land parcels in Cape Town, namely: Wingfield, Ysterplaat and Youngsfield. These advocacy groups suggest these well-located land parcels could house in excess of 120,000 Capetonians and 40,000 homes. This episode revisits the propositions made at that meeting and we hear from three of the participants: Adi Kumar from (DAG), Chadernnay Glenn (CORC) and Michael Clark (NU). The public sectors voice is missing from this episode and, as you’ll hear, it’s something we aim to address in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, enjoy the episode and thoughts from passionate representations from the NGO sector. Recorded Tuesday 17th August 2021.
August 29, 2021
Episode 36 - Part 2: Inclusionary Housing: What's the Deal? What's Been Done? and What's Being Done?
Following on from our introductory episode this second and final part (for now!) considers: What is it that Province is advocating for the Inclusionary Housing policy – isn’t it just another method of taxation? What are the negotiable variables and thresholds that have been used in Joburg? Why do the NGOs suggest that micro-units aren’t helpful in the Inclusionary Housing debate? How has the language and skill sets of contemporary planners been challenged by the Inclusionary Housing negotiations on policy and applications? What have been the unintended and unresolved aspects from the Joburg experience? How have the tribunals who adjudicate on applications responded? What the response to the Provincial policy been so far? What does the research in SA since 2007 tell us? Our guests are Eric Raboshakga, City of Johannesburg, Dylan Weakley Senior Specialist: Strategic Urban Planner, City of Johannesburg; Lorraine Nzimande: Masters Graduate University of Witwatersrand and former CoJ; Robyn Park-Ross, researcher, Ndifuna Ukwazi; Willard Matiashe Lead Researcher, Development Action Group; and Catherine Stone Director Spatial Planning (Western Cape Provincial Government. There’s still an opportunity to respond to the Provincial policy via: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/eadp/news/western-cape-inclusionary-housing-policy-framework-open-comment Learn more about Ndifuna Ukwazi’s perspective and position: https://jumpshare.com/v/tid8aqhyeIQ4uNnSGS7S Recorded 30th June 2021
July 10, 2021
Episode 36 - Part 1: Inclusionary Housing: What's the Deal? What's Been Done? and What's Being Done?
Our guests on this first of a multi-part episode looking at the vexed issue of Inclusionary Housing in South African cities are Eric Raboshakga, City of Johannesburg, Dylan Weakley Senior Specialist: Strategic Urban Planner, City of Johannesburg; Lorraine Nzimande: Masters Graduate University of Witwatersrand and former CoJ; Robyn Park-Ross, researcher, Ndifuna Ukwazi; Willard Matiashe Lead Researcher, Development Action Group; and Catherine Stone Director Spatial Planning (Western Cape Provincial Government. In this first episode each participant sets the scene - What is it? Why is it important? And, what have been some of the challenges for City of Johannesburg in implementing their policy, adopted by CoJ Council in 2019? Consider the perspectives of City and Provincial officials, advocacy groups and academia at a time when the public sector and development community are grappling with the complexity and governance aspects of a policy framework that is implementable, effective and meets the ambitions of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act. We also learn about how Inclusionary Housing "fits" within Land Value Capture (LVC) theory and practice. The epsiode comes at a time when the Western Cape Provincial Government has published a Policy Framework for Inclusionary Housing for public comment. This episode sets the tone for an informed response to that document - find it available via the web @ https://www.westerncape.gov.za/eadp/news/western-cape-inclusionary-housing-policy-framework-open-comment Part 2 to follow! Recorded 30th June 2021
July 03, 2021
NZCB Deep-Dive Series Finale Live Webinar Recording
We close our "deep-dive" series on the Roadmap to Net Zero Carbon Buildings Programme with this edited recording of our live webinar hosted in association with Sustainable Energy Africa and C40 Cities. It was a special way to conclude with a global audience with guests from around the South African cities and guests from afar afield as Nairobi and London. You'll hear from experts in the advocacy field; public sector professionals who are making the difference in the metros who have signed up to the C40 Cities NZC Buildings programme; academics and the private sector. There's plenty to consider and reflect on, whether you are coming to this topic new or have followed our process over the last four months as we've built the series. We'll be sure to check in with our partners in the months to come and this is sure to be a recurring theme in our discussions on transformation: of cities; of habits and of climate outcomes. Enjoy the episode and do check out the preceding episodes if this episode inspires: Episode 1: Foundations and Aspirations - https://lnkd.in/dnQJUNM Episode 2: Governance & Leadership - https://lnkd.in/gns7YtY Episode 3: Market scale transformation - https://lnkd.in/ghGGsxb Episode 4: Leaving no one behind – NZCB & informality - https://lnkd.in/dNJwY7N Twitter: @TalkingTransfo1 @SEA_UrbanEnergy https://smartbuildings.org.za/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Recorded 27th May 2021
May 30, 2021
NZCB - Deep-Dive Series Episode 4 (of 4): #Leave_no_one_behind - The Net Zero Carbon Building Programme & Informality
Listeners to the Talking Transformation Podcast would recognise the severe urban housing backlog in South Africa and that informal settlements are frequently dictating growth patterns of our cities. Within informal settlements, “shacks,” are generally built poorly out of tin and other materials. There is often limited sanitation, plumbing and electricity. So, what is the relevance of the NZCB programme to these communities and others within the lower-end of the property market? Most importantly, how can the custodians and champions of the programme ensure that net zero carbon building includes and embraces informality and low income households? In this concluding session of our deep-dive session, we consider: the context of a severe housing backlog, will NZC retard low-income housing development through the burden of having to meet additional requirements? is NZC a luxury we can’t really afford? what are the opportunities that may arise from savings for the household? what are the opportunities to use alternative and more economic building materials? can Government’s state sponsored housing programme provide the impetus to lead the NZC market – particularly important during a recession. To assist us with answering these questions, we are joined by, Liana Strydom – City of Johannesburg; David Gardner - Inhlabathi Investments; and Marc Sherratt - MSSA Recorded, May 4th 2021 Social Media Marketing Twitter: @SEA_UrbanEnergy Twitter: @c40cities LinkedIn: Sustainable Energy Africa LinkedIn: C40 Cities Other platforms Newsletter: SEA Urban News – distributed quarterly Website: www.cityenergy.org.za, www.sustainable.org.za,
May 09, 2021
Episode 35: Mr Cape Town - Andrew Boraine, Reflects on Urban Governance and Leadership
In this latest episode of the Talking Transformation Podcast, I’ve nicknamed our guest “Mr Cape Town”. However, that’s only half the truth: Andrew Boraine is a globally respected thought leader and expert in urban and economic development. His influence extends well beyond the Western Cape and is deep into four decades of service and involvement in the political and administrative spheres of South Africa. His own self-penned LinkedIn profile describes him as a student leader, activist, advisor, negotiator, government planner, city manager, chief executive, facilitator, partnership specialist, designer, communicator, writer and photographer. I knew about most of the above but not the photography! Serving under the first Mandela-led National government, Andrew was actively involved in drafting the chapter of the Constitution that resolved the powers and competitiveness of local government. He reflects on the inspirations and mentors who shaped his formative years via student politics and civic organisations. I wanted to tap Andrew for his thoughts on his journey; the state of play of leadership in contemporary government and within our communities; and what is inspiring him after 45 years of effort and lessons learnt. This a rewarding interview, rich in insight and wisdom and I’m indebted to Andrew for the time and memories he so willingly shared. Recorded 28th April 2021
May 03, 2021
NZCB - Deep-Dive Series Episode 3 (of 4): Supporting market scale transformation in the building sector
In this 3rd episode of our Deep Dive Series on Net Zero Carbon Buildings, hear from four leading experts on the transition efforts of the built environment sector. The Talking Transformation Podcast is delighted to host colleagues from both the private and public sector: Lesley Sibanda and Mary Haw (City of Cape Town), Chilu Lombe (Solid Green) and Megan Sager (Sustainable Solutions). They reflect on a series of themes including: Can the private sector handle the transition and to date, what has the response been? The sectors, companies and land uses - who is leading / who is following? As regulation and communication techniques improve, how will owners and tenants of budlings adapt their choices and behaviour? The role and importance of data informing choice, policy and targets; and What are the collaborations between the public and private sector that are supporting shifts in behaviour and tactics? It's a welcome third conversation building on the demands and the challenges being placed on the industry but also reflecting strongly on the opportunities that exist and the critical mass of effort which is help shape that change. Recorded: 6th April 2021
April 10, 2021
Episode 34: Densifying the City - Global Cases and Johannesburg
Another episode – another book review and another chance to revisit Johannesburg! I’m delighted to welcome the editorial team for the book - Densifying the City - Global Cases and Johannesburg - on this episode: Alexandra Appelbaum, Alison Todes, Margot Rubin and Philip Harrison. For regular listeners, you’d know that Phil was our very first guest way back in July 2019 and that Margot has been a guest on another episode that dealt with backyard rentals, the last episode before the national lockdown if my memory serves me well. A new publication has tackled the complexities of the processes and policies of density. The book draws on experience and inputs from a host of leading academics and practitioners and considers 25 inputs from some of the South Africa’s leading academic minds. Densifying the City – Global Cases and Johannesburg does what it says on the cover…It takes the reader on a series of case studies as diverse as Istanbul (Turkey), Sydney (Australia) and the poster child for TOD- Curitiba (Brazil). There’s plenty to digest- globally and locally: density in both its formal and informal forms, the drivers of density and the evolution of policy and urban management approaches. Closer to home and through Johannesburg as the primary case study, the book considers the forms in which density takes via different spaces, processes and participants. The ambition and realisation of density through Transit Oriented Development adds a third dimension to the conversation. We considered the issue of Johannesburg’s Corridors of Freedom in our second episode and this conversation gives us an opportunity to update the perspectives and thoughts on this issue. It promises to be a rich conversation with colleagues at the pinnacle of their game. Recorded March 6th 2021
March 08, 2021
NZCB - Deep-Dive Series Episode 2 (of 4): Governance & Leadership – Just how ready are cities to make the shift?
Listen in to this second deep-dive TTPod Episode and hear from five of South Africa’ leading authorities on SA’s transition to energy efficient cities and decide for yourself: Are Cities ready to implement NZC-Buildings and the C40 South African New Buildings Programme? Do cities have the mandate (powers and function) to drive such an ambitious programme? How are the plans and regulations aligning – between corporate and environmental planning and between the spheres of government? Who is responsible for what – Constitution vs By-laws v National Building Regulations (NBR) Who leads and who follows? What adaption is needed for building officials’ skills and competencies to support and facilitate the private sector and to drive professional adaption in the built environment? Why is it important that cities adapt and take the lead? How do we shift from strategy to action and implementation? Who else needs to make that shift? How can we build in speed and efficiency in the administration to incentivise the shifts? With thanks to co-guests Hlengiwe Radebe and Megan Euston-Brown from Sustainable Energy Africa and C40 Cities Talking Transformation Podcast available on: Anchor: https://anchor.fm/talking-transformation-po Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1OKG8dGAIVCsAmPBilmSsV Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/za/podcast/talking-transformation/id1472458399 Social Media Marketing Twitter: @SEA_UrbanEnergy Twitter: @c40cities LinkedIn: Sustainable Energy Africa LinkedIn: C40 Cities Other platforms Newsletter: SEA Urban News – distributed quarterly Website: www.cityenergy.org.za, www.sustainable.org.za,
March 04, 2021
NZCB Deep-Dive Series Episode 1 (of 4): Foundations and Aspirations - Roadmap to Net Zero Carbon Buildings by 2030
In 2018, as part of the C40 Cities Climate Change Leadership Group (C40), four South African Metros—Johannesburg, Cape Town, eThekwini, and Tshwane—signed the Global Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration. As signatories to this commitment, these cities are working towards look to achieve sustainable buildings, powered by renewable energy for new buildings by 2030 and existing ones by 2050. Not only does this declaration align with the imperative of the Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C, but also follows South Africa’s national strategy, and the post-COVID recovery approach of ‘building back better.’ Partnering with C40 South Africa Building Programme, the cities are supported in developing and implementing transformational building energy-efficient policies and by-laws. The approach is rooted in South Africa’s existing national and national climate change commitments and as such, complements existing policies. Although the programme’s focus is primarily on the point of construction, it is mindful of the broader spatial, resource, social, and economic context. In Episode 1 of the Roadmap to Net Zero Carbon Buildings (NZCB) by 2030 series, four passionate city officials join us to discuss how they are rising to the Net Zero-Carbon challenge: Discover the C40 South African New Buildings Programme within the context of City climate responses. Understand what is meant by net zero-carbon for cities, and how does this fit with the national regulatory environment? Learn about an ambitious, pioneering new direction and challenge for South African cities, Share the knowledge and challenge - what do the cities have to do to move from their current status quo to net zero carbon buildings? Guests: Liana Strydom – City of Johannesburg, Kedibone Modiselle– City of Tshwane, Lesley Sibanda – City of Cape Town and Nondumiso Mthembu – eThekwini Municipality Co-guests: Hlengiwe Radebe and Megan Euston-Brown from Sustainable Energy Africa Talking Transformation Podcast Team: Amaal Salie and Pete Ahmad With thanks to C40 Cities. Twitter: @TalkingTransfo1 and @SEA_UrbanEnergy Email: email@example.com Recorded February 16th 2021
February 19, 2021
TTPod Bulletin - Countdown to Zero! Introducing TTPod Roadmap to Net Zero Carbon Buildings Series
Our first bulletin of 2021 kick-starts a forthcoming five-part series where we explore the South African New Buildings Programme. Our experts, Hlengiwe Radebe and Megan Euston-Brown from Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) introduce us to the topic and walk us through what listeners can expect in the upcoming discussions over the next few months. We learn about the need for the series, the ambition of the programme and what themes we will be covering. Listeners can also consider registering for a concluding online, live-event that will conclude the programme. More on that to follow. Join us over the coming weeks to explore: - what IS net zero carbon and what have buildings, green or otherwise got to do with it? - the cities and partners in involved in the programme; - the extent of the challenge and what a net zero carbon pathway might look like; - Can Cities ‘go beyond’ national government building regulations? - The market response to more stringent efficiency requirements; - Why it is so critical that we find a way to meet the commitments? The series will tackle the challenging questions of the moment: - Can Cities lead on ambitious climate action without compromising national interests and the recovery efforts from a technical recession and the COVID-19 pandemic? - Do Cities have the capacity to deliver the programme? - Can this find traction given economic recession and a backlog in low-income housing delivery; - How does this relate to the hard reality of growing informality? We hope you will join us on this road in the coming months! Recorded 3rd February 2021
February 05, 2021
Episode 33: Protect, Contain, Disrupt! The foundations and future of the township economy
In this TTPod episode we consider the Township economy: the people, the spaces and the practices that are shaping the fortunes many of our communities in South Africa. Our conversation invites the three authors of the book Township Economy: People, Spaces and Practices: Andrew Charman, Thireshen Govender and Leif Petersen to talk about the transformative potential of the informal economy and the power relations and adaptive strategies that allow micro-enterprises to thrive or falter. Having bought the book and been intrigued by the case studies and spatial data they’ve incorporated, I wanted to ask them more about the inspiration for their book, the research methods and their findings. What are the opportunities, the trends and the risks faced by those who are reliant on the informal sector for their livelihood? What is it we should be doing better and how best to facilitate and unlock the growth and potential of micro-enterprises? Looking at 9 South African case studies and one in Namibia they consider diverse themes and explain the practices and people shaping them in our communities. Their thoughts will appeal to any practitioner or academic who is looking at issues associated with socio-economic development, anthropology, and use and urban design and entrepreneur behaviour in South Africa. There’s something for everyone in this episode. At a time when a national lockdown has disrupted fundamentally both the formal and informal economies the content and recommendations made by Andrew, Thirshen and Leif are vital resources for us to consider.
January 29, 2021
Episode 32: Blue Moon Rising – the Blue Moonlight Constitutional Court Judgement a Decade On - Guest: Zunaid Khan
In our first Talking Transformation Podcast of 2021, we pick up where we left off last year, with a conversation with another former colleague from the City of Johannesburg and reflections on a particular moment in time that has shaped the legal fortunes of municipalities in dealing with temporary accommodation for evictees. Our guest Zunaid Khan - Chief Director at the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation – Office of the Presidency - revisits 2011 and the landmark Blue Moonlight housing case. This Constitutional Court ruling provided that the state is liable to provide alternate – temporary - accommodation to unlawful occupiers who may be rendered homeless due to an eviction from private property. The case also indicated that a private owner’s right to property may be limited by the right to housing of unlawful occupiers. Zunaid was on the frontline of the City’s response and legal case and I asked him to reflect on not only the merits and details of the case and what the ruling meant but also the reality and pressure of being a civil servant in the legal firing-line. He recently spent almost a year acting as Deputy Director General and has a distinguished career spanning almost two decades. He has worked within the private sector and served with local and National government. Presently, he is the Chief Director of Spatial Planning at Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation within the Office of the President’s Department of the Monitoring and Evaluation. We also take a quick look at the spatial planning horizon for 2021 – what are his hopes and fears – beyond the pandemic, beyond the economic challenges we face. What can we hope for from national and where should we be looking…
January 23, 2021
Episode 31: Agonism and Strife in Johannesburg - Dr Li Pernegger Author "The Agonistic City"
Last month saw the publication of a new book that looks at the challenges and conflicts that have accompanied Johannesburg’s post-democratic growth and development. The book, titled “The Agonistic City? State-society Strife in Johannesburg” questions the realities and potential of the state's agonistic practices in response to service delivery issues as diverse and complex as the water conflict in Orange Farm, informal trading in the Joburg CBD, and the billing crisis. Each of these examples has challenged the city to respond to these many grievances lodged by its citizens across the spectrum of communities: from the privileged, to the marginalised. Author, Dr. Li Pernegger is ideally placed to reflect on these issues having spent almost 15 years working within the City of Johannesburg administration between 1989 and 2006: a period of massive change in South Africa and the municipalities of the pre- and post democratic dispensation. She has observed some of these issues first-hand and as they happened. Through her doctoral research, her past roles working with municipalities for local and national governments in SA and the UK, and her current role, as advisor to National Treasury’s Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) she has considered these events within the academic environment and with the benefit of hindsight as a practitioner. As a former colleague of Li, I am really looking forward to understanding her main conclusions and what the lessons for other cities and municipal administrations could be. I was delighted when she accepted the invitation to join us on the TTPod to reflect on the journey and to give a preview of what you can look forward to from the book. It was great to chat to Li and revisit a city I still think of as home. Recorded December 16th 2020
December 16, 2020
Bonus Episode: Cape Town Future Energy Festival - In conversation with Jodi Allemeier
In this episode of the talking transformation podcast our content is taken from the 2020 Cape Town Future Energy Festival. To date, this is the only episode where I am wearing my City of Cape Town hat! The conversation is with a friend of the talking transformation podcast, PWC's and urban issues blogger Jodi Allemeier. You may remember Jodi was one of our FutureCast episode guests back in January this year, before COVID hit South Africa, before lockdown and before 2020 changed irrevocably. We recorded this at the Hotel Verde near Cape Town Airport on the 14 October and it was a refreshing change to sit across a room and have a face-to-face chat. In this conversation, we talk about urban and spatial planning and its role in shaping more sustainable, resilient and equitable cities. Within the context of the future energy conversations that were taking place as part of the festival, the idea of carbon neutrality and a net zero carbon city by 2050 form parts of the discussion that you’ll hear. We consider some of the key challenges and opportunities for Cape Town some of the issues relating to public transportation, spatial transformation and opportunities that we have not yet fully explored. Jodi touches on some of the key elements that are changing our landscape and how potentially we can think about some of these opportunities in more detail. Our discussion is just one of a series of conversations that will be published on different social media platforms in the coming week and we hope that through our talking transformation podcast we can publicized not only this event but some of the broader challenges that are being faced here in Cape Town. You can find out more about the Cape Town Future Energy Festival 2020 by visiting their Capetownfutureenergyfestival.co.za. You'll also find them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube Twitter and LinkedIn. A number of the conversations in this festival series are already available on the festival website and YouTube. The video of this conversation will be published on Thursday the 3rd of December and we encourage you to go and check out the diverse conversations and personalities that are reflecting on these opportunities and challenges. Other guests included the African Climate Foundation, GreenCape, Team Mahili, silver medallists in the Solar Decathlon 2019 competition in Morocco. The episode opens and closes with a short address from Mary Haw from the City of Cape Town's Energy Efficiency and Renewable unit. It was this Sustainable Energy Markets Department that made the festival possible and I am indebted to Mary and the team for allowing us use of the material. Recorded 14th October 2020
November 30, 2020
Episode 30: Micro-finance and city building: the future for Africa’s housing market?
Adding to the rich content of housing conversations – in particular Episodes 14, 22 and 27 – in today’s episode we take a closer look at the private finance models available to micro-developers; what progress has been made and what ambitions this emerging sector has. Currently making a dent in the housing market in Cape Town, Bitprop finance’s mission is to create assets and income streams for underdeveloped markets by upscaling of backyard rental properties. Innovative thinking, technology and securing title deeds are also key approaches they employ to make a dent into the 65 Million housing units required across Africa at a cost of $10 trillion. The approach is not limited to credit only and applies economic and spatial transformation and urban management fundamentals: Securing ownership, homeowner education, rental management capacity building and building and enhancing neighbourhoods. What’s exciting is the potential reach of the programme; the diversity in investment sources; and the monthly income and returns for the lending homeowners. Is this the basis for an upscaled human settlement approach? What can be done to support the efforts and does the public sector have a role in resourcing further? To help us understand the potential and approach, today, we hear from Claire du Trevou Architectural Project Manager at Bitprop. An architect by trade, she is a graduate of the University of Pretoria and is about to celebrate her second full year working within the Bitprop team. Where I get confused by the UKs Britpop movement of the 90’s characterised by Oasis and Blur and the Bitprop finance movement characterised by spatial and economic transformation – the fault is entirely ours.
November 27, 2020
Episode 29: #Legacy? 2010 World Cup – Assessing Transformation a Decade On
Just over ten years ago, the final whistle blew on the highly anticipated FIFA 2010 World Cup held here in South Africa. Expectations were high and the question remained before that kick off: could SA deliver. Deliver it did, staging a remarkable global event which bought SA goodwill and recognition for the event and the manner in which it was held. Crime fell, footballing tourists flocked to the stadiums and investment in fan parks and playing areas around the world suggested a new era of nation building on the back of other successful sporting ventures like the 1995 World Cup Rugby victory. Sport and infrastructure were seen as powerful catalysts for transformation and economic growth. Having spurned the country in 2006 in favour of hosts Germany, it was surely inconceivable that Nelson Mandela would be dismissed twice. South Africa broke the bank to host the event. Both financially and in playing its ‘Madiba Magic’ trump card there was a sense of inevitability that the tournament would finally be hosted in Africa. But at what cost? And was it worth it? SA invested billions of rands in new build projects: upgrades of airports and stadiums; in public spaces and public transport systems – some of which have operated successfully and other that have yet to operate since the event. It was a massive gamble diverting public funds that critics argued – with some justification – could have been better spent on housing, infrastructure and public services. The debate raged before, during and after the event. In this episode of the TTPod, we explore the legacy of FIFA 2010. We try and consider in an objective way the means of assessing this legacy. To help us, we are joined by eminent historian, and best-selling author of Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa, Dr. Dean Allen. An Englishman who has made his home South Africa, Dean was part of the assessment team employed by the City of Cape Town in 2010 to survey different perspectives from some of the tournament’s leading figures. He has taken an ongoing interest in the assessment of the legacy as a historian, author and public speaker. We are delighted that he accepted an invitation to join us on the TTPod and discuss his perspective and findings. His views on transformation through the ages are compelling and thought-provoking. Recorded 29 and 29th October
October 29, 2020
Episode 28: "One Year On" - Reflecting on and celebrating a year of Talking Transformation
It’s been over a year since the launch of the Talking Transformation Podcast, and to celebrate the first anniversary, we’ve taken a moment to reflect on how far we have come and where we want to go! In this episode host, Pete Ahmad, is in the hot seat, where he shares some of his insights from the past 12 months. We get to know the man ordinarily behind the mic and learn about his journey as a planner. We also find out what catalysed the creation of the podcast and how it has done in terms of achieving its aims. These aims have included: extending the South African urbanism and transformation discussion; creating inclusive conversations; and establishing an archive for various interest groups. Pete reflects on some of the conversations that have surprised him, as a planner, the most along with the many valuable skills he has gained. We also introduce the newest Talking Transformation member, Amaal Salie, a UCT City and Regional Planning graduate and writer who joined the team recently to help behind the scenes. The show wraps up with a look at what is in store for the Talking Transformation podcast in the months and years to come. Be sure to tune in / download and share today! Key Takeaways: • Pete’s background; his frustrated start in planning, and where he is now. • Some of the rewards and frustrations of being a planner in South Africa. • The motivations for starting the Talking Transformation Podcast. • Initial successes and how the show has yet to fulfil all the objectives. • The major lessons that Pete has learned from creating the podcast. • The most surprising episode and what Pete realised after this. • Difficulties that come with collaboration in the planning space. • Encouraging words for young graduates. • Pete’s current academic pursuit and how the podcast inspired him to return to university. • What’s on the horizon for Talking Transformation. Like What You Hear? Get In Touch with TTP: Twitter Email Recorded October 6th 2020
October 08, 2020
TTPod Bulletin - Sept 2020 Showcasing Urban Festival 2020
A quiet month of September from the Talking Transformation Podcast ends with a bulletin communicating the Urban Festival 2020 event and program with festival coordinator, Rashiq Fataar. Rashiq talks about the diverse and extensive program during the course of October. He communicates how you can get involved both real time and via the recorded material. Find out more via the excellent website: urbanfestival.co/2020-programme Quoting from their website: "Urban Festival is a series of virtual engagements hosted by South African Cities Network (SACN), Civic Tech Innovation Network (CTIN), The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Open Cities Lab (OCL), WITS Journalism and Media Lab (JAMLAB), Our Future Cities (OFC), ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, and others. The festival will run from 1-31 October 2020, culminating on World Cities Day. The first edition has an overarching focus on inclusivity, accessibility and digital innovation. The programming will comprise a Main Programme of speakers from government, civil society and industry. This will be complemented by an Emergent Programme of wide-ranging additional presenters and organisations who have responded to our Open Call."
September 30, 2020
Episode 27: "Masterclass!": Reflections on global approaches to urbanisation and settlement upgrading - Claudio Acioly Jr.
In this Talking Transformation Podcast episode we hear from renowned architect and urban planner, Claudio Acioly Jr.: the latest in our "We've GOT to talk about housing!" - 26 Years and counting! 'Deep-Dive Series’. Four decades of practical and research experience working across the world establishes Claudio as one of the leading housing and settlement upgrading experts globally. Until recently, he headed up the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. He has worked for global organisations, advised national, provincial, and local governments around the world; worked closely with community-based organisations and lectured to international students via the IHS, Netherlands. Simply put, Claudio has “been there, done that, designed and worn the t-shirt”. Closer to home he is a Board Member of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF) – friends of the TTPod and featured in Episode 14. His diverse and rich insights come during a period of increasing land invasion and informal settlement growth during the lockdown period: the tangible, spatial consequences of the pressures of urbanisation and faltering national and regional economies. These are the challenges faced by cities in South Africa and globally. During this episode we consider: What can informal settlements offer cities at a time when supply and demand is adversely impacted by the impact of the pandemic? What is it that cities fail to learn and need to accept / adapt to maximise the opportunities? How do these differ in during and after the crisis? Where can we look for inspiration and innovation? Presentation material referred to in the podcast can be accessed via: https://claudioacioly.com/ Find us on twitter @Talkingtransfo1 or leave us a voice message on our voice message service on the Anchor Podcast platform. Recorded September 2nd 2020
September 03, 2020
Episode 26: "New Arrivals and New Horizons" Insights and reflections from founder of Women in Planning South Africa (WiPSA): Gugu Ngobese
As Women’s Month draws to a close, we thought it fitting to hear from the newest voice and professional organisation in the planning collective - Women in Planning South Africa, WiPSA. In this episode, Founder, Gugu Sithole-Ngobese, sheds light on their organisational aims and objectives. We discuss the notion of gender mainstreaming and how this extends both to the spatial planning policies and the planning profession itself. Gugu also discusses what the reception to the organisation’s launch, which happened during the lockdown, has been. While there have been some doubts around WiSPA’s founding, Gugu explains how their mandate differs from existing organisations’ and why rather than seeing a new voice as crowding the space, it should be viewed as means to achieve a common goal. Throughout the conversation, Gugu outlines the importance of working together and including all narratives to make sure that the outcomes of planning decisions truly help women. Along with this, the discussion also covers the role that planners should take in ensuring resources are channelled to serve the correct needs, WiPSA’s internship programme, and what’s on the horizon for organisation in the months to come. To hear this and more, tune in today and hear: •Gugu’s motive for WiPSA and founding objectives. •Her personal educational path and journey as a planner. •How WiPSA’s formation has been received. •Some of the reservations encountered by WiPSA. •The role of social media in WiPSA’s growth. •Why access to social infrastructure & housing are focus areas. •Why planners need to play a leading role in gender issues. •WiPSA’s internship programme and Gugu’s personal experience with mentorship both as a mentor and mentee. •WiPSA’s membership structure, registration fee, and offering. •Looking ahead: the year ahead for WiPSA. Resources: Gugu Sithole-Ngobese on LinkedIn Women in Planning South Africa Women in Planning South Africa on LinkedIn Women in Planning South Africa Email ZiPEC Planning Perspective in the Time of COVID-19 [The Women’s Perspective] Recorded August 24th 2020
August 25, 2020
Episode 25: The Future of Planning (in South Africa) - reflections and aspirations from recent online survey
In July, after four months of lockdown here in South Africa - the podcast ran a survey to canvass opinion an feedback form planners across the country, across the public, private and research sectors and across the generations: planners young and old(er). The survey ran for two weeks and sought responses and views on these topics. You can access it here. It was inspired by the social media debate that has been very evident online, many professionals young and old sharing personal and professional perspectives on their hopes and fears… We asked questions of value for money of organisations, what were understood to be the most critical issues; employment status; engagement and communication with planning organisations. We heard from the RTPI in our last episode - it was clear where they were going, what is driving them and what conversations and engagements need to be had…where are we? In this episode we test the responsiveness here in SA: what HAS and what more CAN be done? In this episode nine professionals from across the country share their thoughts and reflections, not only one the report but their own hopes for the future - how should we be having conversations with, what topics, what action? Each has played a role in contributing to the conversation and served in one role or another within several of the organisations mentioned in the survey including - SACPLAN, SAPI, SAACPP. Thanks to: Jessica Katz* Stuart Denoon-Stevens - Free State University Phanos Maphupha – online petition organiser Tshepo Tsotetsi – job seeking TUKS planning graduate Mark Job* Nellie Lester* Peter Dacomb – SAACPP North Cor van der Merwe – SAACPP South Prashila Patel* Recorded 15th July 2020
July 31, 2020
Episode 24: #PlantheWorldWeNeed - Learning from the Royal Town Planning Institute’s response and value add during the pandemic
The Royal Town Planning Institute – RTPI - formed in 1914 – has over 100 years of history serving its members and the interests of planning and built environment community. Based in the UK and Ireland it is an organization that has international reach and a membership of greater than 25,000. The RTPI recently launched a Plan The World We Need campaign calling on the UK and Irish governments to capitalise on the expertise of the planners to achieve a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign resonates with our own South African built environment issues reflecting on: •Affordable housing •Regeneration and repurposing of land, buildings and public spaces •An accelerated shift in land use towards homeworking •Economic recovery and stimulus •Carbon emission targets In today's Talking Transformation Podcast, we hear from RTPI president 2020, Sue Manns. We hear her passion for the industry and learn of her ambitions leading this globally recognised and respected organisation. She gives us her view of the value proposition of the RTPI; and the lived experience of her presidency in this period unprecedented economic crisis and job insecurity. Sue is a private practitioner working from Birmingham, England. Over an impressive 40-year career she has served within the both the public and private sector and lectured on planning law and practice. At a time when we are looking for answers and solutions to complex professional and built environment issues here in South Africa we ask how are they engaging? What are they learning from their members? What can we look to introduce here in South Africa and are there experiences that we can share with them that they could learn from us? Recorded 15thJuly 2020
July 17, 2020
Episode 23: Talking 'bout the next generation...2020 SACN Young Planner and Designer Competition
It’s Youth Month here in South Africa and to celebrate, the Talking Transformation Podcast sits with three young planners: the winner, the runners-up and co-ordinator of the South African Cities Network’s Young Planner and Designer Competition, 2020. All three provide refreshing, powerful, and personal takes on the challenges our cities have and the future cities they want to shape. They explain how they considered these issues and themes in their submissions and the evaluation of competition entries. Based in Glasgow, Scotland - but a Joburger at heart - we speak to winner Zubeida Lowton about her winning entry looking at historic Fox Street, Johannesburg CBD and how she is integrating that work into her Doctoral Research at the university of Glasgow. She practically explains how safety and security and issues of urban connectivity can be considered now and in future Johannesburg. We speak to runner-up and recent graduate of the University of Pretoria, Tshepo Tsotetsi. He speaks with passion about future cities and the role planners have in shaping them. He recognises the complexity and enormity of the challenges and sets out a compelling agenda for change that should inspire and provoke in equal measure. Our third guest is SACN Research Intern, Tlholohelo Mokgere. She adds a welcome third young voice to the discussion, explaining the themes and aspects that shaped the competition and the judging of the entries. She shares her own observations and perspectives on the issues with clarity and enthusiasm. We conclude our discussion with a broader discussion about the youth and their contribution to the future, recognising just how challenging it is to be setting out on their built environment journeys. All three are remarkable young talents. They represent the best SA has to offer and hope for our future. We celebrate their achievements and efforts and trust you will enjoy the episode. Recorded 20th June 2020
June 22, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 12: Integrating Health in Urban and Territorial Planning
A new Sourcebook “Integrating Health In Urban And Territorial Planning” has recently been launched by the World Health Organisation and UN-Habitat. It could not be more appropriate and timely given the COVID-19 pandemic. It also considers a range of long-standing health challenges that impact constantly on mortality around the world. The necessity for the different planning and health authorities to work closer together to address the immediate challenge and long-standing health issues are obvious now and in the future. History shows us that standards and approaches are reshaped in the aftermath of these health challenges and we can imagine there is more to come once the immediate shock of the pandemic is addressed. The sourcebook offers a comprehensive variety of resources, including frameworks, entry points, guidance and tools, as well as specific case studies illustrating recommended approaches to bring together planning and public health. In this episode we talk to Mexican Architect, Pamela Carbajal who works with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme and spent the last two years co-ordinating the sourcebook. We speak to from her current base in Nairobi. She states: “Cities have a central role in preventing diseases. Urban Planning and policies define the air we breathe, the quality of spaces we use, the water we drink, the way we move, our access to food, and also the treatment of diseases through adequate access to health care for all.” In addition to championing the report, Pamela also supports different countries in Latin America on National Urban Policy development process and targeted City-wide public space assessments. Recorded 16th June 2020
June 17, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 11: “When the Streets Have No Names” The importance of addressing as the basis for responsive service delivery and governance
The ability to track and trace movement of citizens to assist with monitoring and evaluation of COVID-19 has been one of the main responses of governments health authorities globally. Mapping where new infections are occurring, where patients have recovered and who has received – when developed - vaccines is fundamental to an effective health response. However, that mapping implies the ability to place a case “in space” and the credibility of the monitoring system will be determined by the accuracy of the placement. But what happens when you don’t have an address that is recognised by a land, postal or health system? Globally two-thirds of households do not have an address. The implication for most is limited or no delivery services, limited right and lands security. Having or not having and address impacts on civic identity, urban information systems, tax systems, land management, tenure, informal settlement upgrading, and ultimately, the economy. The implications for planning, service delivery and co-ordination are obvious. Carsten Bjornsson helps us understand these implications. As an experienced GIS expert and land surveyor by profession, he has almost 20 years of service working with ESRI and is currently their Land Administration Lead. He’s also served as Assistant Professor at KVL University in Copenhagen, Denmark. We ask him about some of the fundamentals of addressing – why it’s important, how can we go about creating an address and what are the benefits during a crisis response period and more longer term in terms of the land information systems that underpin our property markets and rates and revenue base? He is no stranger to South Africa and visited Johannesburg last year where his keynote address reflected innovation to support street addressing. We are indebted to him spending time with us and reflecting on the approaches and opportunities that are available. Recorded June 4th 2020
June 06, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 10: Driving to Florida! [Road - KZN] - Adapting our streets in the time of COVID
Increasingly, the conventional role and design of our streets is being rethought and challenged. Longer running initiatives such as Open Streets here in Cape Town, the critical mass cycle rides in some of our cities and now the challenge of social / physical distancing in the time of a pandemic are directly and indirectly challenging and shaping new norms, standards and conventions. Today we speak to Rashiq Fataar Director of NPO Our Future Cities. Although he is based here in Cape Town, OFC is active across South Africa and globally working on collaborative urban projects in an advisory and consulting capacity. We catch him at his lockdown base in Durban where is working on design and business solutions for Florida Road. Recently Rashiq has been involved in a several design proposals involving streetscapes around the country and has been reflecting on a recent practice note publication titled: “Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery”. That document reflects on timeframes and design considerations shaped by public health indicators and a phased recovery that will likely define our short – medium term future. So what is it we need to consider now and in the future? In this conversation we consider the speed of change and need for adaptive thinking in the way we redesign and use public spaces and our streets in this period. What is it he has learnt and what is he having to consider in supporting these street-based design and development projects. It has been a long-term ambition to speak to Rashiq and we deal not only with the streetscape issues but also consider more broadly some of the challenges we face in the built environment presently and in the future. Recorded June 2nd 2020
June 03, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 9: Gearing up for the "New Normal” – town planners’ perspectives on the road ahead for South Africa’s development industry
In recent weeks, the Talking Transformation Podcast has considered the impact of COVID-19 on different cities around the world: how it has impacted on daily activities, impaired movement and forced a rethink on built environment issues such as density, commercial space and technology. In today’s episode we hear from three practitioners working in the development field and their experience so far during the lockdown period. We learn about their hopes about returning to full operations and projects and the prerequisites for kick-starting the economy. Our guests are: • Dave Bettesworth Chairperson of the South Africa Association for Consulting Professional Planners - SAACPP (“South” Region); • Sizwe Mxobo (Urban planner + Stakeholder engagement facilitator working Project Preparation Trust (PPT), on project iQhaza lethu in eThekwini; and • Deon van Zyl (Chairperson Western Cape Development Forum - WCPDF). David and Deon talk not only from their own professional, personal perspectives but also from the perspective of their members as the chairpersons of SACPP and WCPDF respectively. Our third guest, Sizwe reflects on his perspectives working with communities in eThewkiniMetro and how his work and the engagements with the community have been disrupted and adapted. All three talk in practical and aspirational terms. We revisit the nature of concerns of association members and communities prior to lockdown and what is emerging from the feedback during this period of mass disruption. What, if any, are the opportunities that are materialising and how do we think about public engagement now and in the future when things return to a “new normal”? Enjoy the episode! Recorded 17th May 2020
May 18, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 8: “Deciphering De-densification” Spatial and socio-economic implications of urban density and accelerated informal settlement relocations
Since the advent of COVID-19 here in SA our post-apartheid housing themed episodes have taken a back seat to the conversations locally and around the world with our COVID dairies. This episode bridges directly and indirectly the built environment, housing and COVID within one in-depth discussion. Almost immediately COVID became a reality in South Africa, the recognition that our most vulnerable of communities – those living in our densely populated informal settlements with rudimentary sanitation and water - would be MOST at risk from a virus that thrives on such infrastructure challenges. The National Department of Humans Settlements had been swift to issue directives requiring cities to de-densify hot-spot settlements they had identified. Despite laudable intentions and a recognition of the scale and severity of the challenge at hand, there are numerous and complex challenges and implications of this “accelerated” de-densification approach. The challenge of relocating families at a time of lockdown and crisis have been increasingly reported on and the positions of NGOs presented. Many have been against the approach. Today we talk to Suzette van der Walt from 1-1 Agency of Engagement and Aditya Kumar from the Development Action Group - DAG: both are architects by trade. They provide their insights and perspective on the issues of density and the de-densification of informal settlements and reflect on their contributions made in response to COVID-19. DAG were co-signatories to a NGO response the opposed the National Ministry’s plans. We ask why they took that angle, what the authorities SHOULD be focusing on and what lessons can we learn looking towards the future? We ask Suzette about 1-1’s recent publications looking at these issues of density and de-densification and the spatial implication of COVID and profiling risk in urban areas “Deciphering De-Densification” and “Boundary of Home”. “Boundary of Home” - https://bit.ly/3bVkpjt “Deciphering De-Densification” - https://bit.ly/3aOWnW4
May 01, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 7: “On your marks, (re)set, GO!?” Considering the structural and institutional opportunities for socio-economic and spatial change Post-COVID
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. We continue to speak with professionals working around the globe and ask them to share their perspectives and insights into the cities they are operating from. Heading up the University of Cape Town's Urban Real Estate Unit (URERU), Professor François Viruly is closing in on securing a co-host slot as he re-joins the conversation to discuss the economic impacts and challenges implied by SA’s extended lockdown and the continued uncertainty: what can government and industry collectively do to work together and bring greater certainty to the future? We revisit some of the themes from Diary Entry 3 and cover new territory relating to COIVD-19’s impact on the property and business sectors . We welcome the input of Ashraf Adam and the wealth of knowledge he has developed whilst serving the public sector. Presently he is the CEO at Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA). His extensive CV covers global, national, provincial and municipal institutions and he holds strong views and convictions which are frequently shared via the conventional and social media platforms. His recent article in The Herald titled “Our Chance to Press the Reset Button” made for very fascinating reading and we invited him to share those views and what led him to his conclusions in this episode. The role of Local Economic Development units in municipalities; the strength and weaknesses of our institutions here in South Africa; and the impact of an economic downturn on municipal efficiency and revenue collection: all are considered in this extended episode. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode and welcome feedback via twitter @talkingtransfo1 Recorded 15th April 2020
April 16, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 6: “Freetown and Land of the Free” Contrasts, commonalities and leadership in the time of Coronavirus (Sierra Leone and USA)
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. We continue to speak with professionals working around the globe and ask them to share their perspectives and insights into the cities they are operating from. From London, UK reflecting on his current experience working with the municipality of Freetown - capital of Sierra Leone - we hear from Modupe (Mo) Williams a Project and Programme Management Professional and Professional Engineer. Jana le Roux is a South African attorney by trade who is currently studying Urban Planning & Housing Policy as a visiting Humphrey International Fellow at the University of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America. She shares her observations on the US response to COVID 19 and also some familiar built environment issues relevant to SA such as inclusionary housing and inequality. Sierra Leone has tackled an Ebola outbreak within this last decade and we learn how that experience has shaped the COVID readiness and response of the country and capital. Informal settlements, density and basic infrastructure are common challenges to Sierra Leone and South African context. The contrast with Minneapolis is stark but the geographic spread and pace of the disease infiltration into the USA - and UK - has, at this point been far greater in these more developed nations. We consider the local responses offered by each of these cities and reflect on the roles and responsibilities of not only different spheres of government but also the sectors leading COVID responses. The contrast between the US and the South African response makes for a particularly interesting contrast. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode and welcome feedback via twitter @talkingtransfo1 Flatten the Curve! "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika"
April 14, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 5: “Ground Zero” – A visitor’s guide to Wuhan: China
Today we hear from the City of Cape Town’s Tim Hadingham (Investment Facilitation) who reflects on his recent month-long busman’s holiday to China and the City of Wuhan. His work in support of the Atlantis Special Enterprise Zones (SEZ) supported by the National Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI) took him east and we learn about that initiative before hearing of his reflection on the cities of China and Wuhan in particular. Wuhan is acknowledged as the “Ground Zero” of COVID 19 and we hear Tim’s observations whilst there and now he’s back home. We talk about the culture of Wuhan, the urban form and the COVID response – a progressive shutdown of a city population of almost 12 million people. Joined by fellow podcast host, Catherine Stone we discuss not only the China experience but look closer to home here in South Africa: the lead-up to to the lockdown on the 27th March and the possibilities and health and socio-economic challenges facing South Africa in the future. Density, scale, public space, leadership: all come under the microscope. There’s also a few lighter moments to lighten the serious narrative. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode and welcome feedback via twitter @talkingtransfo1 Flatten the Curve! "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
April 05, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 4: "East meets West…North and South” New York Enters the Conversation
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. We continue to speak with professionals working around the globe and ask them to share their perspective and insights into the cities they are operating from. Today from our base here in the global south we hear from three colleagues from the global north, east and west. We hear back from Carli Venter in Bucharest, Romania and Eloise Rosseau in Hong Kong and introduce Flavio Copolla (working with the C40 programme) from New York City, USA. NYC has become the epicentre of the disease in North America and is struggling with the fundamentals of the Constitutional lifeblood of freedoms of movement and association and the practical realities of living with and potentially dying from COVID 19. Infections are greater than 100,000 cases and almost 1600 deaths have been recorded in NYC. Issues of trust, e-governance and real-time spatial tracking of virus “hotspots” are themes in the conversation. And DENSITY…that much beloved concept of built environment practitioners and urbanists – it comes under its own microscope. Flatten the Curve! "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika"
March 29, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 3: “End of Days or New Horizons?” – During and after COVID 19 – what can we expect from SA’s property market
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. We continue to speak with professionals working around the globe and ask them to share their perspective and insights into the cities they are operating from. Heading up the University of Cape Town's Urban Real Estate Unit (URERU), Professor François Viruly has already guested on our TTPod FutureCast panel episode in February this year. We are delighted he’s back again today to consider – even at this early stage - the possible impacts of COVID 19 on the national economy and property sector more directly. We try and find possibilities in a time of great uncertainty and think about the factors and opportunities that could shape future trends more directly post-COVID 19. We ask what could land use “look like” in post COIVD 19 South Africa when considering residential, industrial, retail and office space? As always the perspectives are thought provoking and challenging and will be a useful reference for all of us looking at the formal and informal economy both now and in the future. Flatten the Curve! "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika"
March 28, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary 2: “View from the Balcony” - Hong Kong from on High
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. In what we anticipate will become an ongoing and dynamic initiative we speak with professionals working around the globe and ask them to share their perspective and insights into the cities they are operating from. Some you will have heard from before like todays guest, Eloise Rousseau who speaks to us from central Hong Kong. Some countries are coming out of the worst of the pandemic, others, like South Africa are only beginning to come to terms with the challenge. How have they coped and what is it we should be thinking about? We hope that others will join in the conversation in coming weeks as we seek to spread messages of learning, hope and courage in the face of these unprecedented challenges. Please join us on this journey. Find us on Twitter: @talkingtransfo1 Flatten the Curve! "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika"
March 25, 2020
Episode 22: Incremental Densification - The rise and rise of backyard and micro units in our cities
In this episode of the TTPod we look at the growth of backyarding and so-called, “micro" units within many urban areas of South Africa and the economic and accommodation opportunities they afford. Our research journey takes us to Gauteng and the Western Cape – to the banks of Alexandra, Johannesburg and the historic Orlando and Zola in Soweto. It brings us south to the Cape Flats, to Khayelitsha and Delft South where we learn of the challenges and opportunities alike for owners, builder and the regulators. When we think new cities – shouldn’t we be thinking of this, in terms of the aesthetic, the density, the supply, the gaps these typologies fill? If that IS the case what is the role of the regulator and municipalities in terms of building control, social and physical infrastructure, safety etc.? This fourth episode of our "deep-dive" series: "We've GOT to talk about housing!" - 26 years and counting... considers research and findings into these modes of delivery and looks at some commonalties, differences, opportunities and shortcomings. We are joined by Associate Professors at Wits University: Sarah Charlton and Margot Rubin the School of Architecture and Planning and Rob McGaffin – Researcher at the UCT Urban Real Estates Unit. Recorded 24th March 2020
March 25, 2020
TTPod COVID Diary Entry Number 1: Nairobi and Bucharest Calling [March 22nd 2020] - Global conversations on the COVID 19 pandemic
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. In what we anticipate will become an ongoing and dynamic initiative we speak with professionals working around the globe and ask them to share their perspective and insights into the cities they are operating from. Carli Venter and Herman Pienaar are welcome new voices to the TTPod and provide additional global perspectives working respectively from Bucharest, Romania and Kenya’s capital Nairobi for global development agencies. We ask them how their adoptive cities are doing in the face of the Covid 19 virus. Some countries are coming out of the worst of the pandemic, others, like South Africa are only beginning to come to terms with the challenge. How have they coped and what is it we should be thinking about? We hope that others will join in the conversation in coming weeks as we seek to spread messages of learning, hope and courage in the face of these unprecedented challenges. Please join us on this journey. Flatten the Curve! "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" Find us on Twitter: @talkingtransfo1
March 22, 2020
Episode 21: “The Road to Ficksburg” The B(uilt) E(nvironment) I(ntegration) T(ask) T(eam) journey - reflections on governance and transformation in democratic South Africa
There are many spatially transformative proposals in the plans and programmes of local government. National, provincial and local government are all committed - on paper at least - to “Spatial Transformation”. But what does it actually mean? Why is success of government frequently measured only in numbers – the auditors having an increasingly powerful role in the space and outcomes of municipalities? What about the “softer” issues and the numerous dependencies across municipalities and between spheres of government? Addressing complex spatial challenges successfully is frequently dictated by the strength of the institutional and governance aspects to be in place – the right people, in the right place, doing the right things... A multi-disciplinary team of dedicated professionals has been reflecting on these issues across the country over a number of years. The Built Environment Integration Task Team (BEITT) has been focused on understanding what has been going on and what we canlearn about the forces and processes that play out when we endeavour to transform places, spaces and communities. Today we hear from Beryl Khanyile, Deputy City Manager at eThekwini Municipality and Geoff Bickford, Programme Manager with the South African Cities Network (SACN). Both were committed to the process and products generated from the work of the BEITT. We learn about the Citopoloy game developed as an interactive platform for the team’s findings. Citopoly used actual practitioner quotes from experience: each having a consequence impacting on institutional and / or societal value. Themes of Leadership/ Interaction / Rules of the Institution and Skills and Capacity frame the game play and lesson learnt. Beryl and Geoff kindly took time out from their work and showcasing the work and products of BEITT and spoke to the Talking Transformation Podcast about the BEITT journey and findings. Read the report here and lean more about the interactive game developed – Citopoly – here.
March 19, 2020
Episode 20: "Dignity, Love and Respect" - Homelessness and the search for connection on our cities' streets
Today we are looking at issues of homelessness in our cities. This is the third episode of our "deep-dive" series: "We've GOT to talk about housing!" - 26 years and counting... We consider the challenges faced by the homeless, what circumstances can lead to this eventuality and what is being done to assist the homeless community by non-government organisations such as Super Troopers. Wherever in the world I’ve travelled in recent years this is an increasingly visible indication of personal strife, systemic challenges and socio-economic circumstances. It is not unique to South Africa. What does transformation mean for those who cannot find a place within their family or neighbourhood? When the streets offer a less frightening option than those traditional spaces? What does hope look and feel like? And how does that translate into options and programmes for homeless community members and those interacting with them? The cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town in particular have seen front-page and social media headlines in the administration’s efforts to enforce by-law interventions and fining of informal traders and homeless individuals who are most likely to fall foul of those by-laws relating to Streets, Public Places and the Prevention of Noise Nuisances. Seldom do the by-laws does refer to “homelessness” instead focusing on “prohibited behaviour” in public places: bathing, urinating, or defecating in public; consuming alcohol or drugs in public; starting or keeping a fire in an unauthorised area; sleeping or camping overnight or “[erecting] any shelter”, unless in a designated area. High-profile cases have also found their way into the courts and been challenged in court. Is anyone benefiting from this? In an era of recession and failing state machinery the need to work in collaboration and with a common purpose is fundamental to the humanity and dignity of all our citizens, across party lines, across income groups and between communities. In today’s episode we try and understand the fundamentals; the circumstances and the challenges that prevail within homeless communities. It is a complex and frequently divisive topic. Fear, trauma, discrimination and prejudice, isolation, dislocation – these are some of the realities facing those living on our streets. On the other hand, the negative perceptions of the homeless on neighbourhood character, amenity and environment are negative issues stated by ratepayers and residents’ associations who claim not enough is being done to maintain those same issues. what more can be done in partnership and consensus on what can be done? We’re assisted in unpacking these aspects by the founders of the Cape Town’s Souper Troopers: a non-profit organisation staffed by both homeless and “home full” volunteers. Founder Kerry Hoffman tells us her personal and life-changing approach to the challenges of Cape Town’s homeless community. She is joined by our host for the discussion and fellow Souper Trooper Caryn Gotkin who joined Kerry three years into the project. We hear about their journey, the challenges their troopers face and aspirations for the future. I learnt a great deal talking to them. As much as I was reminded that this is a complex issue that has no easy answers or solutions, equally it re-affirmed some of the basics we all seek, irrespective of our circumstances: dignity, respect and love. Recorded 6th March 2020
March 09, 2020
Episode 19: Growing Pains of Integration and Community Building: The Cosmo City Story
In 2004, to the north of the Johannesburg’s urban fringe - a “peri-urban area” in old planning terms - the City of Johannesburg broke ground on the R3,5bn project: ComsoCity. It bookended ten years of democracy and the housing programme which had already delivered a million housing opportunities across the country. What makes and made Cosmo “special”? What did it take to bring this initiative to fruition? How many years of planning, of engagement with communities – both for and against the development – of legal challenge came before this moment. How important was the concept of a public-private partnership? 15 years on – a generation of Cosmopolitans later – how does the settlement “fit” within the success stories of human settlements in South Africa? Carte Blanche saw fit to highlight Cosmo’s booming property market in 2019. How do we measure success in other ways? What’s been learnt about integration, spatial transformation, “mixed typologies” and income groups and the concept of “well-located” land? Keep in mind the President’s New City in waiting – Lanseria - is located a stone’s throw to the north along MalibongweDrive. So many questions! Who better to ask and look at this case study than Yasmin Coovadia and Tiaan Ehlers who were the Northern Johannesburg local council executive officers for housing and planning respectively during the planning years of Cosmo. Both have served the communities of Johannesburg and Gauteng for decades in various roles. In Yasmin's case she has worked in the executive management of the Gauteng Housing Department and also within the corporate and private worlds. Since 2010 she has been a leading personality in the National Treasury’s Cities Support Programme. As one of the consulting team responsible for amongst other things the Built Environment Performance Plan and spatial targeting initiatives across the country. Tiaan has spent decades serving the communities of Johannesburg. He has spent extended periods as the Executive Director for planning, environment and infrastructure and currently serves as a s special advisor to the City Manager. Their expert and hands-on experience of the project makes for a fascinating and insightful, thought-provoking conversation in the second of our deep dive housing series. As always we are indebted to our guests for sharing their experience and taking time out to talk.
February 29, 2020
Episode 18: The Heart of the Matter [Setting the Scene for "We've GOT to talk about Housing"]
The Talking Transformation Podcast conversations planned in the coming weeks are being scheduled as a “deep-dive” series of conversations with a wide variety of practitioners active in the South African housing field. We're looking back at the achievements and shortcomings of 26 years of implementation; considering current challenges and looking ahead to the future of human settlements. In this first episode of the series, we speak with Monty Narsoo who has served at the forefront of housing policy, programmes and delivery since 1994. His CV is a testimonial to activism, public service and contribution to the housing field and built environment more generally. He has served at the executive level of Gauteng Province Housing Department, as the founding Chief Executive Officer of the South African Cities Network and as Deputy Director General at the National Department of Housing. Since 2008 has been governance advisor to the National Department of Human Settlements. Few are better placed to look back and reflect objectively than Monty. We ask about the vision and the aspirations of the Mandela administration under the leadership of Joe Slovo; the tenets of the Reconstruction Development Programme (RDP) and the Housing White Paper of 1994. TTPod caught up with Monty whilst he was in Cape Town leading a capacity-building team from the National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP). His reflections set the tone and foundation for the conversations to come. Enjoy! Recorded Feb 25th 2020
February 28, 2020
Talking Transformation Podcast: Bulletin February 2020
It’s been a busy month of planning for the Talking Transformation Podcast. We’ve taken a recording breather after the successful FutureCast panel collaboration with the Architects, Planners, Engineers and Surveyors society. If you haven’t yet caught that episode it makes for interesting listening. It was a very special event with passionate speakers and an audience who came out to Hout Street, cape Town in big numbers. It was a lively event with strong ideas and perspectives on where we need to go and what lessons we should take head from. The planning throughout February has sought to secure an exciting programme of guests to assist with a deep dive series on housing and human settlements. Few issues in South Africa are as emotive as housing and the progressive rights enshrined in the Constitution determining that “Everyone has a right to have access to adequate housing”. Together with health and education the housing programme has been a foundation of post-democratic governance and a yardstick against which we measure the country’s progress. In our first episodes of the TTPod we have already considered questions of informal settlement upgrading, infill housing and housing markets. The intention is to broaden this foundation and to look at a structured set of conversations looking back at the historical context, case studies, contemporary issues and the future of the housing and accommodation “game” in the coming decade. Madiba's vision for housing,; the RDP; social housing; homelessness; integration and housing activism, each of these themes and others will be covered in the coming weeks series titled: “We’ve GOT to talk about housing – 26 years and counting”. Beyond the interviews we will be working towards a round-table, panel discussion to reflect on the main take home points of the series - the "SO WHAT!?" part. It promises a lot and has taken a lot of behind-the-scenes work – so apologies for the delay in content and episodes in February. Rest assured there’s more to come. Finally, a quick word on accreditation for those listeners who are registered with professional bodies. The South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN) has recently officially endorsed the Talking Transformation podcast and members registered, requiring constant and development programme (CPD) points can now generate points for reviewing, contributing our producing podcasts. Reviews of episodes – each worth 3 points - can for the time being be submitted via Survey Monkey. The link can be found via our twitter feed - @talkingtransfo1 Guests on the podcast are able to gain 5 points. That WAS a driving ambition of this podcast and we hope we can extend this reach into other professional bodies in the months to come. Again watch this space… We are looking to recruit agents of change and thought-leaders into the podcast. Got an idea you want to explore? Want to support the content? Have a guest in mind? Let us know through that same twitter feed. Coming up soon…our first episodes in the deep dive series (planned for release 27-29th March 2020. Enjoy.
February 27, 2020
Episode 17: "TTPod FutureCast": Panel discussion - Review of 2019 and what lies in store for 2020 and beyond...
Our most ambitious project yet! After four months of planning, the Talking Transformation Podcast, in collaboration with APES+ Society, brings you the inaugural “Talking Transformation FutureCast” episode. In Cape Town’s Hout Street, on a warm summer’s evening, an enthusiastic and engaged audience of 60 guests gather to listen to a diverse panel of built environment practitioners. In the hour and a half that followed we reflected on “2019: the year that was” and then looked ahead to the rest of 2020 and next decade. What are the contemporary and future built environment issues that matter? Which of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead do you agree with? Listen to the perspectives of our panel and audience and you decide. The panel comprises (in alphabetical order and with their requested perspective to inform their contributions): Jodi Allemeier - “The Dreamer”: PWC Lwazi Nobaza – “The Last Minute Substitute and Activist Public Official”: City of Cape Town (CoCT) Barabara Southworth – “The Experienced Hand”: GAPP Architects Elisabeth Varghese – “The Newbie”: Graduate Intern (CoCT) Prof. Francois Viruly – “The Academic: Urban Real Estate Unit, University of Cape Town There are familiar themes – of disaffection and disappointment at the pace and nature of change… There are reminders that South Africa is not unique – that discord and political polarisation are contemporary global issues… And not least a proposition that change and progress is likely to come from individuals and collaborations and that small wins may be the order of the day. Recorded on 22nd January 22nd, the Talking Transformation Podcast is indebted to the panel members, the APES+ Committee and the audience who supported the event. We hope and trust that this first venture proves the start of a series of collaborations with partners sharing the same ideals and vision for the future. Minimal edits for quality and continuity have been made to the published content. Recorded January 22nd 2020 in front of a live audience. Venue CIFA House, Hour Street, Cape Town.
January 25, 2020
Episode 16: Conversations From Down Under
In this first TTPod episode of 2020 - and the new decade - we take a journey "Down Under" and discuss challenges - new and old - facing two built environment professionals who have transferred skills and perspectives from South Africa to Australia. The loss of professional talent to the international market has become a major capacity constraint for both the public and private sector here in South Africa - and it's not just the built environment that is feeling that pressure. It’s not just the talent but the experience that is being eroded and whilst this will always provide opportunities for the next generation of South African built environment professionals the loss of creativity and committed professionals for a variety of reasons is a significant challenge. Tony Marks and Marco Geretto have proven track records of excellence in South Africa supporting dynamic development processes and initiatives. Both have served within the public and private sector and contributed to spatial targeting initiatives such as the Voortrekker Road Integration Zones and land packaging of public land (in Tony’s case) and informal settlement upgrading guidelines and numerous urban design initiatives in Marco’s. Marco was also one of the driving forces of the Open Streets initiative in Cape Town – an initiative which continues to challenge the status quo and car-based design and use of space (NB: he's also the designer of the TTPod logo!). We hear about (and travel on) public transport, property markets driving rapid city building and economic growth, the influence of international money and the unintentional. We reflect on societal challenges issues of homelessness and drug dependency and climate change. There's plenty to reflect on and think about. Consider this a "busman's holiday" for the podcast and a warm welcome back to 2020.
January 17, 2020
Episode 15: “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”: Dr. Anele Horn - Efficacy of urban edges / growth boundaries in post-1994 South Africa
It’s estimated that between 1990 and 2015 South Africa’s population grew from 37 million to 54 million. Much of this growth located within towns and cities, driven by the economic and social opportunities afforded in these centres and followed the global trend of mass urbanisation. Post-1994, many of the South Africa’s towns and cities were – quite literally - bursting at the seams. Growth of the formal and informal sectors have continued to push the limits of organic and managed growth and infrastructure: the pipes, the roads, the public transport and social amenities have been pushed to breaking point. Concurrently, democratic planning conventions and policy have demanded compact and integrated cities and spaces and spatial transformation that is inclusive in terms of race and income and more efficient in terms of form and function. These objectives and outcomes – the polar opposite of the apartheid planning philosophy - were well defined in legislation in the Development Facilitation Act, the foundation of reformed planning legislation and more recently in the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act. Spatial targeting in our municipalities: defining where resources should be deployed and to maximise public spending and enable the private sector is an additional concept supporting the growth of our urban centres. Today we consider the genesis of some of growth management approaches that have been introduced to meet these demands and directives. We consider some of the tools that have been employed, and in particular urban edges and growth boundaries. How did they come about, what led to their introduction and how effective were they? Dr. Anele Horn has dedicated much of her career to understanding the issues of growth management. She has worked extensively within the metropolitan spatial planning teams in both Johannesburg and Cape Town where she was responsible for the conceptualisation and implementation of metropolitan growth management policies. In 2018 she completed her PhD dissertation investigating decision-making and the successes and failures of urban growth management in Cape Town to inform the doctoral research. She is presently based at the Centre for Regional and Urban Innovation and Statistical Exploration (CRUISE) at the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Stellenbosch and has researched and lectured there since 2011. Anele's review of the past successes and shortcomings has direct relevance for our contemporary thinking and decision-making as we once again grapple with growing informality, load-shedding and worsening congestion. We hope and trust you will enjoy her insights! Recorded December 3rd 2019.
December 13, 2019
Talking Transformation Podcast: (Late!) Bulletin November 2019
We're headed towards the year-end and festive season as at a rapid rate and this November month has been light on content and episodes after a generally busy first four months of the Talking Transformation Podcast. We did celebrate a fascinating insight into the housing market here in SA and there’s a lot of recorded material from my UK travels which may find its way onto the podcast in the new year. Things have been busy however behind the scenes... We've successfully concluded the logistics of our collaborative live "FutureCast" event, on January 22nd 2020 with the Society of Architects, Planners, Engineers, Surveyors (APES+). Our diverse and talented panel members include: Prof. Francois Viruly: Urban Real Estate Unit UCT Barbara Southworth: Director GAPP Architects Jodi Allemeier: PwC South Africa Elizabeth Varghese: CoCT Graduate Intern Mandisa Shandu: Director Head of Law Ndifuna Ukwazi The panel and audience will review the 2019 year from the perspectives of each panelist and look ahead to the balance of 2020 what intrigues, what frightens and what enthuses the panel? Where are we going and what can we each contribute in this space? The audience will have a chance to make their own inputs and reflections and take the opportunities to draw on the expertise and perspectives of the panel. The content will form the basis of one of our first episodes of the new year. I am delighted to announce the confirm the following panelists speakers –some are familiar names and organisations, others are forging the next generation of built environment thinking and it promises to be a very special and unique evening and we would encourage you to RSVP on a first come, first served basis via firstname.lastname@example.org it makes for a very unique and interesting evening. Many thanks to the Ron Haiden and his committee team at APES+ for allowing us to keep the entry to a minimal R50 for general entry and free for students. We are hoping for a large and enthusiastic audience on Hout Street. And again we would encourage you to RSVP on a first come, first served basis! Do it, do it now! We’ve also partnered up with the Urban Knowledge Exchange Southern Africa (UKSEA) with a view to hosting some of the supporting material and content promoting the podcast there. Thanks so much to Mark Napier and his team for reaching out and providing this new platform. I’ve given up on the website thing! The Survey Monkey questionnaire has been updated and if you haven’t already taken 2 minutes of your time to fill it in online please head over to the site via this link direct your thoughts and answers there. We have at least four interviews scheduled for the new year so the expanding editorial team will be hard at work to bring you the best and most diverse topics and thought leaders in the built environment. This is likely TTPod's last bulletin for the year and we want to thank all of the our listeners and contributors for all their effort and support. 1,800 listeners and 14 episodes down in a 5 month period is something we should celebrate and look to expand on in the new year. All the best to all in the coming festive season!
November 30, 2019
Episode 14: Blockchains and Housing Ladders
For most of us a house is the most significant asset we can own. This is amplified for low income property-owning urban households where the affordable housing market offers significant wealth creating potential for beneficiary households. However, in this market the ability of households’ to realise value from their housing assets is frequently and significantly hampered by a number of challenges. Some quick numbers! • Affordable properties represent a substantial portion of the residential property market in South Africa • 60% of the 6.3 mill formal, registered properties were valued
November 09, 2019
Episode 13: "It's the [food] economy stupid!"
“If planners are not conscious [of food issues], then their impact is negative, not just neutral” (Pothukuchi & Kaufman, 2000). With over 50% of South Africans estimated to be food insecure or at risk of food insecurity this episode of Talking Transformation is a timely wake-up call to all built environment activists and practitioners. Arguably a lesser-understood, “rural planning issue” this episode challenges directly this preconception and reminds us that food security is less about the supply quantum of food as it is access to [healthy and a variety of] food sources. Taking its lead from Consuming Urban Poverty’s (CUP) project and toolkit - “Incorporating food into Planning” the episode hosts Robyn Park–Ross and Alison Pulker both of who have researched the topic extensively. In Robyn’s case she contributed to the CUP toolkit during her research work with the ACC and has published research on urban food security focusing directly on the informal trading associated with the Bellville transport interchange precinct What is food insecurity, where in the world has this been addressed successfully and what is it we should be challenging in our daily choices, policy-making and decision-taking? This episode demonstrates that the next generation of built environment researchers and activists are taking charge, leading the debate and challenging the older generation. It makes for an insightful and educational listen. All material referenced is available via the links embedded in this introduction or or via https://consumingurbanpoverty.wordpress.com As always, we trust you enjoy. Be sure to share the learning and the podcast links… Recorded 28th October 2019
October 30, 2019
Episode 12: 4IR - Decoding the Jargon and Embracing the Future
In this episode of the Talking Transformation Podcast we revisit a theme we've touched on in previous episodes: smart / digital cities and the implications of the fourth industrial revolution or 4IR as it has become known. Listeners may recall that State President Ramaphosa talked about this in this in his 2019 State the Nation Address at Parliament a number of months ago. The questions remain: if this is the aspiration: How do we do it? What does it require? And what are the benchmarks and lesson learnt around the world that might influence how we go about our business? We're joined by guests Associate Professor Nancy Odendaal and Luke Boyle, both of whom are working from the University of Cape Town. In this episode, they take listeners through the concepts and the differences and answer these questions. They also address some of the limitations of these concepts. It makes for an insightful and fascinating listen. We trust you enjoy! Find the publications Luke has been working on via this and this link. Recorded October 9th 2019
October 10, 2019
Talking Transformation Podcast: Bulletin October 2019
In this bulletin we celebrate 1100+ listens over our starting 11 episodes - all in less than three "live months"! We reflect on September's three informative and engaging episodes and look to January 2020 and the "FutureCast" planned with our friends @ APES+. We're really excited about this new collaboration. Learn how you can get involved and who has committed to being part of the panel looking back on 2019 and forward to 2020. It's quite a line-up! Be sure to engage with us through our Twitter-feed @talkingtransfo1 and / or leave us a voice message on the Anchor Podcast platform. If you've engaged with us and would want to assist us with our survey to help us understand who is listening out there and to help us with CPD plans please head over to SurveyMonkey and follow this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H6VR6NK Recorded Sept 30th 2019
October 03, 2019
Episode 11: The Integration Syndicate: Conversations and provocations designed to confront and progr
In this episode of Talking Transformation we consider the work and findings of the Integration Syndicate, an initiative that took place in Cape Town under the auspices of the African Centre for Cities (ACC). Our guest, Professor Edgar Pieterse, the founding director the ACC, reviews the method, approach and findings of the Syndicate that sought to explore the obstacles and practical solutions to social-spatial integration in the Cape Town metropolitan region. The Syndicate's process and publication comes at a time when the public voice of advocacy groups has exploded in addressing issues of inequality and the slow speed of spatial and socio-economic transformation – most publicly within the inner-city areas of Cape Town. Professor Pieterse outlines why he believed it is a much broader spatial issue and how it led him to frame a series of propositions and provocations via the Syndicate. Three strategic sites in Cape Town (Two Rivers Urban Park, Bellville and Philippi) and each of the five “provocations” are considered within this insightful episode. The content captures the essence of the Talking Transformation Podcast. The podcast comes shortly after the release of the Integration Syndicate publication which is available as a free download as well as for purchase. Recorded 20th Sept 2019
September 24, 2019
Episode 10: #money4meerkats: Co-ordinating Complexity and Spatial Priorities
How the public sector spends its money is increasingly being scrutinised by the public and private sectors alike. Limited funds, flatlined economy, austerity: increasingly there’s a need to do more with less and demonstrate tangible value for money and impact within our communities To achieve this, and to address the complexity and the variables impacting on decision-making requires institutional co-ordination, inter-disciplinary approaches and inter-governmental cooperation. It means a collective effort with the limited funds at hand to achieve the transformation of our landscapes, maximise service delivery and maintain the economic foundations of the cities and country. In this episode we talk to two of the three Directors of Novus3 - James Scheepers and Bernard van Biljon. Together with Jaco de Vries, they have a wealth of experience in developing methods and tools to support decision-making, assist the technical and political prioritisation processes and to demonstrate the spatial and socio-economic impacts of public spending. Their expertise and insights are derived from almost two decades of service, understanding and developing approaches to support these challenges. Their insights and approaches have served a diversity of clients including Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), a number of Metros, National Departments and SOEs. Their reflections in this interview offer the listener unique and comprehensive perspectives on the scale and complexity of the challenges and the means to address these issues. Recorded 18th Sept 2019
September 23, 2019
Episode 9: “Trying to stop a tsunami.” Public transport and the role of technology in advancing mobility in cities.
In this episode, we consider issues of mobility, public transport and the role that technology can play in meeting the increasing challenges of movement in and around our towns and cities. The South African mobility landscape sees an estimated 15 million people dependent on minibus taxis every day as their commute mode. Then there’s the historic rail systems and “new wave” of bus routes – typified by the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure of the metros that were introduced in support the FIFA World Cup 2010. Yolisa Kani is an experienced and highly respected professional who has worked extensively within metropolitan transport authorities and helped shape the new wave mobility strategies. For the last four years she has taken up an executive role with Uber - arguably the leading tech-based disruptor in “e-hailing” app based platform – as their Head of Policy. Given these dual perspectives of public and private sector, Yolisa is ideally placed to consider the efforts made and opportunities available to address our urban mobility challenges from both these perspectives. We are indebted to her for making the time to speak to the Talking Transformation podcast. Recorded September 6th 2019
September 08, 2019
Talking Transformation Podcast: Bulletin September 2019
The Talking Transformation Podcast has been live for just short of two months. In that time we've published eight in-depth interviews with guests with a story to tell and lessons to be learnt. Listeners and interest have grown by the week on the back of some exceptional guests and the insights they've kindly shared. This short, sharp bulletin takes a quick look back at the last four episodes and looks forward to coming topics we aim to cover. Many thanks to each and everyone of you who has taken the time to contribute, listen, and encourage. If you've enjoyed to date, please spread the word and links! Please remember that the Talking Transformation Podcast is available via a number of platform, not just the Anchor host platform - click on the links below. APPLE PODCASTS SPOTIFY GOOGLE ANCHOR BREAKER
September 02, 2019
Episode 8: “The Original Sin”: Presidential Land Reform Panel Report - Unpacking the origins and findings
The issue of land reform in South Africa is arguably the most politically charged issue facing the country, its citizens and politicians charged with leading a transformation agenda. In October 2018, President Ramaphosa stated “…Our nation is focused on the effort to correct the original sin of land dispossession”, a month after he appointed an expert advisory panel on Land Reform and Agriculture. Releasing the panel’s final report in July 2019, Chairperson Dr Vuyokazi Mahlati suggested that: “The urgency and Constitutional imperative of land reform in South Africa can neither be taken lightly nor postponed.” Today’s Talking Transformation Podcast guest is Professor Ruth Hall, (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape), one of Dr Mahlati’s fellow panel members. A distinguished expert in issues of agrarian reform she holds a DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford where she focused on the interests, actors and discourses that influenced the development of South African land reform policy. In this episode she summarises the background to the report, a number of its key findings and recommendations. Her expert oversight and clarity of perspective provides an hour-long, unmissable “master class”. The content is topical, urgent and a must-listen for listeners who have not yet considered thePanel’s issues and findings. Recorded August 21st 2019
August 23, 2019
Episode 7: "Here to Stay": Enhancing Informal Settlement - Insight, reflection and lessons learnt from SERI's research
In July 2019 the Socio-Economic Research Institute (SERI) published a series of research reports reflecting on three informal settlements: Ratanang in Klerksdorp, North West Province; Marikana in Philippi, Cape Town, Western Cape; and Siyanda in KwaMashu, eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal. Today’s Talking Transformation Podcast guest is SERI Senior Research and Advocacy Associate Lauren Royston who led the research team. In this episode she summarises the approach and main findings from SERI’s detailed research (available via this link). A development planner by trade, Lauren has been a leading advocate on land and tenure issues in South African and regionally for many years. She has worked with number of different organisations and recently co-authored “Untitled” a book publication on urban and rural tenure security in South Africa. Her insight and reflections make for essential listening for anyone engaging on issues of informality, community dynamics and policy formation. Recorded August 12th 2019
August 13, 2019
Episode 6: “Here Be Dragons...”: The case for evidence based decision making (and how to go about it…)
In today’s Talking Transformation Podcast we hear from three very different planning personalities (in order of appearance), Claus Rabe, Jaco Petzer and Eloise Rousseau. All share at least three things in common… They’re professional town planners by trade; They’ve worked together in the same metropolitan planning team; and Each has had to consider alternative skills and approaches to support their work. In an era of “Big Data”, data science and coding languages like Python, this three-part conversation reflects on three personal journeys. It broadens the scope and debate about the skills and techniques that may prove useful in addressing complex and wicked urban challenges facing communities and professionals alike. It’s a discussion about remaining relevant, useful and functional within civil society and political spaces and coming to terms with new technology and approaches that are not necessarily taught at school / varsity. This episode begins to expand horizons and considers opportunities that some of us may not yet have begun thinking about. Recorded July 2019 Read Eloise's blog via this link. The OECD report Claus cites is available via this link.
August 03, 2019
Episode 5: #DreamingOfWakanda: (A "New" SA City) Noble Aspiration or Pure Folly?
A month ago State President Ramaphosa announced his ambition of a new city, connected to other cities by a bullet train and led, by the 4th industrial, tech revolution. Following this announcement via his state of nation address, commentators have applauded and scorned the ambition in equal measure. This week I invited Dr Geci Karuri-Sebina to air her views on the matter. Geci is one of the pre-eminent commentators and observers on South African towns and cities having worked for many years as an associate at the South African Cities Network and researcher with, amongst others, the CSIR and HSRC. Her views are compelling, insightful and frank. She offers not only observations on the new, hi-tech city debate but also delivers a sobering assessment of existing cities, institutional structures and the global perspective she has cultivated during her professional and personal life travelling the globe. Recorded Thursday 18th July 2019
July 26, 2019
Talking Transformation Podcast: Bulletin July 2019
The Talking Transformation Podcast has been live for two weeks now... Since then I’ve had an overwhelming positive response to the episodes and personalities we’ve presented via the podcast platform. Many thanks to each and everyone of you who has taken the time to listen and engage and encourage. This short bulletin reflects on the last few weeks; the podcast content - past and future; and outlines ways for listeners to get more directly involved. It also takes a few moments to reflect on the passing of two giants of South African culture and remembers Madiba via the preceding week's Mandela Day celebrations and initiatives.
July 22, 2019
Episode 4: A tour of duty...and of service: Peacemaking and healing in communities affected by trauma and violence
Our special guest this episode takes us on a very different and compellingly tour of duty and service. Jana El Horr - who was visiting South Africa and the Western Cape - recounts her own story from war torn Lebanon and Iraq to the US where she is now based. Her skills and talents, as both an economist and peacemaker, are helping communities across the globe come to terms with the aftermath of conflict, violence and trauma. In a month where troops have been deployed in a number of communities in Cape Town to combat violence and gang-related crime her reflections on the process of transformation, healing and community engagement are timeous and moving. Recorded Wednesday 17th July 2019 Send us feedback via @talkingtransfo1
July 17, 2019
Episode 3: “Pushing the Boundaries” – the remarkable story of Port Elizabeth’s infill housing successes
Beyond the theory, beyond the rhetoric... This episode finds us in the Friendly City of Port Elizabeth. Our guest Lance del Monte recounts his journey as one of the pioneers of high density, mixed typology and infill, susbsidised housing in South Africa. With support from General Motors and the beneficiary communities he has served, he has transformed the landscape of many parts of the city and impacted directly on the lives of the communities who live in the spaces he has imagined, designed and executed. This is a lengthy podcast and a deep dive into the practical and ideological challenges and lessons learnt along the way: from Missionvale to Walmer Link and beyond. Lance and his team have taken the subsidised human settlement grants and demonstrated pretty much the full array of IRDP, social housing, FLISP housing typologies. Sectional title, subsidised housing? Yes, they are busy with it… Beyond this audio record Lance has kindly shared material and literature which goes further into the principles and design aspects. You can find pdfs of these user friendly and information packed documents via our twitter feed. Put on the coffee, start the car and settle in for a masterclass… Recorded Friday 5th July 2019 Send us feedback via @talkingtransfo1
July 09, 2019
Episode 2: Revisiting Jozi City’s Corridors of Freedom Initiative “Leveraging value from colours on the map”
In this second episode, we are privileged to talk with former City of Johannesburg Executive Director, Yondela Silimela about her experience implementing the Corridors of Freedom spatial restructuring initiative. Yondela is an inspirational leader and built environment professional. She has recently taken up an executive position with the World Bank and joined us from her new base in Paris. She talks about the challenges and ingredients for success in the Corridors initiative and lessons learnt. She also provides an interesting take on NIMBY-ism, land value capture and tax increment financing and the strengths and weaknesses of these tools. The episode reflects on the roles and skills both hard and soft, required to make a difference in the public and political realm. It makes for compelling listening… Recorded: Saturday 29th June 2019 Send us feedback via @talkingtransfo1
July 08, 2019
Episode 1: “The Buffalo in the Room” - Revisiting the National Development Plan (NDP)
In this, our first episode, we talk to former National Planning Commissioner Professor Philip Harrison. Presently the Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (Wits University), Phil reflects on the exciting period that led up to the publication of the NDP and the strengths and challenges associated with implementation. His strong and grounded views will be of interest to anyone who is interested in understanding how the plan sought to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality in South Africa by 2030. These approaches included: drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capacity, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society. The interview reminds us that it’s not only the spatial dimension that requires transforming: the economy, health and education are all topics which are reflected on here. Recorded: Saturday June 15th 2019 Send us feedback via @talkingtransfo1
July 08, 2019
July 7, 2019
July 07, 2019