A 50th Anniversary Special Talk | Featuring Sophie Oldfield on “High Stakes, High Hopes: Collaborative Urbanism in South Africa”

Date and Time

October 18, 2023

4:00 pm to 5:30 pm


CPR Conference Room and Online via Zoom

Sophie Oldfield

Chair and Professor, City and Regional Planning, Cornell University

Moderator Mukta Naik

Fellow, CPR

The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) presents a 50th Anniversary special talk on:

High Stakes, High Hopes: Collaborative Urbanism in South Africa

Speaker: Sophie Oldfield, Chair and Professor, City and Regional Planning, Cornell University

Wednesday, 18th October 2023, 4 PM IST at the CPR office conference room (dharma Marg, New Delhi) and online via Zoom.

Register to attend in person.

Register to attend on Zoom.

About the Speaker:

Sophie Oldfield is internationally recognized for her research on cities in the Global South through her theoretical and primary research. From 2016 to 2021, she held the University of Cape Town and the University of Basel Professorship in urban studies. Passionate about fieldwork, theory, and practice, Oldfield’s work is grounded in empirical and epistemological questions to engage debates on informality, planning, and governance in African cities. She has a track record of excellence in pedagogy and collaborative research practice, challenging how academics work in and between “university” and “community.” Commitment to this collaborative approach lies at the heart of her research and writing on cities of the Global South. She holds degrees in geography from Syracuse University and the University of Minnesota.

About the Talk:

The struggles of Southern cities to deliver services and manage conflict amid incessant growth and expansion have been intertwined with questions of rights and resources in contexts of structural and historical inequalities. Drawing from her new book, ‘High Stakes, High Hopes: Urban Theorizing in Partnership’, the speaker will dwell on how collaborative urbanism, in this case through partnerships between the neighbourhood and the university, reshapes and informs urban theory. The book builds on the speaker’s reflections from a decade-long urban research and teaching partnership in Cape Town, South Africa, and focuses on how ordinary people – activists, residents, students, and researchers – experience everyday realities and work out their differences. In elaborating on how collaborations are negotiated, the talk is expected to resonate with researchers and urban practitioners working in Indian contexts, who also explore similar methods and explore questions of collaboration, participation and coproduction of neighbourhoods and the city.