Professor Edgar Pieterse is Director of the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town and is South African Research Chair in Urban Policy. An expert on African urbanisation, Professor Pieterse knows what radical and rapid urban change means for a city, a country and a continent.
He is deeply fascinated by the drama of cities everywhere and at different moments in time, including the future and science fiction invocations. Simultaneously, he endeavours to remain grounded in the tough and messy realities of cities—invariably always on the move—working with materialist and aesthetic optics. As such he extends himself in research and teaching theoretical and applied concerns. He is currently engaged in several interrelated research topics: radical social economies; sustainable infrastructure; adaptive urban governance; speculative urban experiments; urban innovation systems as well as urban pedagogy and Southern urbanisms.
In his teaching practice he is currently immersed in the rollout of a new curriculum of a new Masters degree in Southern Urbanism. The programme seeks to create a pathway for a next generation of urban scholars from Africa rooted in a postcolonial Southern perspective.
He is latest book New Urban Worlds: Inhabiting Dissonant Times, co-authored with longstanding collaborator AbdouMaliq Simone, explores the emerging epicentres of global urbanisation through the detail of people’s lives.