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Talking Transformation

Talking Transformation

By Talking Transformation Podcast
An open conversation addressing contemporary city building and spatial transformation issues in South Africa.
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TTPod COVID Diary 6: “Freetown and Land of the Free” Contrasts, commonalities and leadership in the time of Coronavirus (Sierra Leone and USA)

Talking Transformation

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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
58:46
September 3, 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
41:53
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 
1:19:12
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
46:35
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
53:32
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
32:26
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
42:25
June 6, 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
39:28
June 3, 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
1:12:14
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
53:34
May 1, 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
1:00:39
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"
46:08
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
49:26
April 5, 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"
46:20
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"
44:08
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"
18:52
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
1:00:29
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 
30:39
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.
1:05:53
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
44:27
March 9, 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.
55:54
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
46:05
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.
04:37
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.
1:22:58
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. 
1:30:48
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.
40:25
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 membership@cifa.org.za 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!
10:33
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
1:08:59
November 9, 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
45:19
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 
37:58
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
04:51
October 3, 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
54:09
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
44:49
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
56:28
September 8, 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 
05:21
September 2, 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
50:51
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
50:51
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.
1:27:33
August 3, 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
42:43
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.
06:41
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
34:36
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
1:17:25
July 9, 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
37:50
July 8, 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
28:40
July 8, 2019
July 7, 2019
00:58
July 7, 2019