School of Built Environment & Development Studies

Humanities Academic on The Planner’s Women of Influence List

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Professor Hangwelani Magidimisha-Chipungu of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies is on The Planner’s Women of Influence 2021 List announced on International Women’s Day.

Magidimisha-Chipungu was among those selected from 270 nominations world-wide for the list in The Planner which is the official magazine of the Royal Town Planning Institute in the United Kingdom.

This year’s list featured women working in planning who have had an impact over the past year – dominated by COVID-19 – in areas of planning reform, the relationship between health, inequality and the built environment, and the need to deal with the climate crisis.

Said Magidimisha-Chipungu: ‘I am extremely honoured and grateful for the recognition I have received for my hard work. Similar to many people, I have fallen several times but always get back on my feet and try again and again. At the end of the day, it is not about how many times you have fallen but how many times you have managed to stand up after falling. The more I fall the stronger I become.’

Commenting on the recognition, Dean and Head of the School Professor Ernest Khalema said: ‘Congratulations to Professor Magidimisha-Chipungu for this international recognition by her peers in her field of study. In the spirit of International Women’s Day we must recognise the efforts and leadership of women academics who are trail-blazing and cracking the glass ceiling wide open. She is among those in the School who effortlessly and intentionally contribute to transform the space. We are proud of her!’

Magidimisha-Chipungu became the first SARChI Chair in Inclusive Cities and at the same time the youngest SARChI chair. The Chair, funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and South African City Networks, supports research into spatial, economic and social inclusion within South African cities.

In 2020, she was also awarded the UKZN Vice-Chancellor’s Research AwardAs a practitioner she sits on numerous national and international boards and bodies, notably SACPLAN, which governs the teaching and practise of town planning in South Africa, and the 24-hour City project at the University of Politecnico di Milan DAStU in Florence, Italy.

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