ISBN 9781920489991
ePub ISBN 9781920677572
Pages 144
Dimensions 203 x 127 mm
Published 2013
Publisher African Minds Publishers, South Africa
Formats Paperback, eBook

Trading Places

Accessing land in African cities

by Stephen Berrisford, Caroline Wanjiku Kihato, Rob McGaffin, Mark Napier, Lauren Royston

Trading Places is about urban land markets in African cities. It explores how local practice, land governance and markets interact to shape the ways that people at society’s margins access land to build their livelihoods. The authors argue that the problem is not with markets per se, but in the unequal ways in which market access is structured. They make the case for more equal access to urban land markets, not only for ethical reasons, but because it makes economic sense for growing cities and towns. If we are to have any chance of understanding and intervening in predominantly poor and very unequal African cities, we need to see land and markets differently. New migrants to the city and communities living in slums are as much a part of the real estate market as anyone else; they’re just not registered or officially recognised.

This book highlights the land practices of those living on the city’s margins, and explores the nature and character of their participation in the urban land market.
It details how the urban poor access, hold and trade land in the city, and how local practices shape the city, and reconfigures how we understand land markets in rapidly urbanising contexts. Rather than developing new policies which aim to supply land and housing formally but with little effect on the scale of the need, it advocates an alternative approach which recognises the local practices that already exist in land access and management. In this way, the agency of the poor is strengthened, and households and communities are better able to integrate into urban economies.

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About the Authors

Stephen Berrisford

Stephen Berrisford is an independent consultant specialising in the legal and policy frameworks governing urban land and development. He is trained as a lawyer and urban planner, with degrees from the Universities of Cape Town and Cambridge. He works primarily in southern and eastern Africa as well as on global initiatives for agencies such as UN-Habitat, Cities Alliance and the World Bank. Stephen is an adjunct associate professor at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town and visiting professor at the University of the Witwatersrand. He was the governance coordinator for the Urban Land Markets Programme Southern Africa (Urban LandMark), a UK aid-funded think tank focused on making urban land markets in southern Africa work better for the poor.

Caroline Wanjiku Kihato

Dr Caroline Wanjiku Kihato is an independent researcher and writer. In 2011, she received a MacArthur award on Migration and Development and spent a year as a visiting fellow at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Her career has involved both teaching and conducting research in the academy and the non-profit sector in South Africa. Since 2006, she has worked with Urban LandMark as a regional theme coordinator. She was previously a policy analyst at the Development Bank of Southern Africa and a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture and Planning at Wits University. She is the co-editor of Urban Diversity: Space, Culture and Inclusive Pluralism in Cities Worldwide published by Johns Hopkins. Her forthcoming book In Between City:Migrant women’s experiences in Johannesburg will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in September 2013.

Rob McGaffin

Rob McGaffin is a town planner and land economist. He has worked as town planner with the City of Cape Town and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and has worked in property finance at several financial institutions. He was the coordinator for the markets theme at Urban LandMark. He currently lectures in the Department of Construction Economics and Management at the University of Cape Town and is a Mistra Urban Futures researcher with the African Centre for Cities.

Mark Napier

Dr Mark Napier is a principal researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria. He was programme director of Urban LandMark from 2006 to 2013. Mark, an architect by profession, graduated from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and studied housing at postgraduate level at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He has spent time in government, setting up a research unit in the national Department of Human Settlements. He has researched and published in the areas of housing extensions, home-based enterprises, environmental aspects of informal settlements, and land and housing markets.

Lauren Royston

Lauren Royston is an independent consultant at Development Works, specialising in land and housing, and development planning, with a current emphasis on urban tenure security in South Africa and the southern African region. A development planner by training, Lauren has worked in the non-governmental and public sectors. She has a long association with a community of inner city residents in Johannesburg and their legal advisors, whom she supports on resisting eviction, housing policy advocacy, and facilitating community participation. She was theme coordinator of the tenure theme area at Urban LandMark and is manager of the Tenure Security Facility Southern Africa, where she advocates for urban tenure security in informal settlement upgrading.