School of Built Environment & Development Studies

UKZN celebrates World Town Planning Day

A World Town Planning day commemoration conference was presented by UKZN’s School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS) in partnership with eThekwini Municipality, the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN) and the South African Planning Institute (SAPI KZN).
UKZN staff and other delegates at the Town Planning conference.
UKZN staff and other delegates at the Town Planning conference.

Every year on 8 November, Town Planners around the world celebrate the day presenting an opportunity to look at planning from a local and global perspective and celebrate the profession’s achievements as well as showcase planning evolution.

The conference was aimed at reshaping the role of planners in driving spatial transformation and giving information and support to BEDS students.

The conference – themed: The Making of Modern African Cities – Quest for Radical Spatial Transformation – also attracted a number of senior planning officials from both the private and public sectors.

Dean and Head of the School Professor Ernest Khalema noted that ‘planners must make contributions to the land debate’, further highlighting the role of planners in South Africa’s projected new land policy.

UKZN lecturer Dr Koyi Mchunu argued that ‘planners need to focus on space co-production where the formal and informal can co-exist in a coordinated manner’.

Mr Musa Mbele of the eThekwini Municipality noted that ‘informality is part of our struggle but it cannot be accepted as a norm’.

UKZN Academic Leader of Housing and Planning and one of the conference organisers Dr Hangwelani Magidimisha-Chipungu said planners needed to design tailor made cities. ‘Planners must respond to people’s needs. In responding to their needs, we cannot remain ignorant of apartheid town planning which continues to haunt us. Apartheid planning was purposely designed to exclude people and it continues to do so despite our efforts to intervene.’

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From left: Mr Niq Mhlongo, Mrs Shantha Maharaj, Ms Darniel Small, Dr Patricia Opondo, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, Mr Mbuso Khoza, Dr Saleem Badat, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, Professor Nogwaja Zulu and Ms Xoliswa Zulu.

Humanities Academics spearhead research projects through the Mellon Foundation

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize and academics Professors Ernest Khalema, Maheshvari Naidu, Nobuhle Hlongwa and Nogwaja Zulu recently met with Dr Saleem Badat of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to discuss their research projects that were made possible through funding from the Foundation.

Exhibition images of Quarry Road West informal settlement.

Narratives of Home and Neighbourhood Photovoice Exhibition

The School of Built Environment and Development Studies in partnership with the residents of Quarry Road West (QRW) informal settlement and the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology hosted a photovoice exhibition showcasing photographs taken by residents as part of a broader Narratives of Home and Neighbourhood: Reimagining Urban Planning Project.

Dr Zifikile Phindile Shangase

PhD thesis explores barriers to smoking cessation among drug resistant TB patients

UKZN staff member Dr Zifikile Phindile Shangase received a PhD in Public Health for her study on the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of drug resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) patients with regard to smoking; the barriers to cessation among current smokers with DR-TB and hospital staff’s knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices with regard to smoking.