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The University of Cape Town
invites you to an Inaugural Lecture
by Professor Nancy Odendaal 

Topic: Reframing African Smart Urbanism

Through this lecture, Professor Odendaal will counter mainstream claims that the standardised smart city represents a panacea for intractable urban problems. The lecture will argue for a celebration of place and local practices, in reframing smart urbanism. This approach embraces the material features of contemporary cities, considers the interface with livelihoods and technological innovation, and gives insights into digital appropriation at the socio-economic margins. The notion of African Smart Urbanism is explored relationally and granularly to contest the universalist claims of the platform economy and data-driven governance.

Date: Tuesday, 24 October 2023
Time: 17:15 SAST
Venue: Snape Teaching Studio 3B, Snape Building, UCT Upper Campus


About our speaker

Nancy Odendaal is an urban planner with a keen interest in contemporary cities, focusing primarily on the relationship between urban infrastructure, spatial transformation, and livelihoods. Her recent research has focused on smart urbanism and how that manifests in African cities. Her recent book, ‘Disrupted Urbanism: Situated Smart Initiatives in African Cities’, explores the interface between digital platforms and spatial change.  

Nancy is a former chair of the Global Planning Education Association Network, and the Association of African Planning Schools, a peer-to-peer network of over 50 planning schools on the continent and served on the International Advisory Board of the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre.