Cambridge Talks: GSD Talks: AbdouMaliq Simone, “Just the City.” With Edgar Pieterse, Moderated by Neil Brenner

Though contemporary theories of urbanization may have relegated the city to either an exhausted anachronism or a delirious object of speculation, the city perhaps remains as a critical device enabling experimentation with the position of human inhabitants as aspects of technical operations, i.e. forms of subjectivity and a means of making political claims not attributable to any particular subject.  The presentation will explore various entanglements of residents and built environments in the still intensely heterogeneous districts of inner city Jakarta.

AbouMaliq Simone is an urbanist engaged in various research and activism in numerous cities of Southeast Asia and Africa.  He is presently Research Professor at the University of South Australia, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and Visiting Professor at the African Center for Cities, University of Cape Town.

Professor Edgar Pieterse Edgar Pieterse is holder of the DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Urban Policy. He directs the African Centre for Cities and is Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, both at the University of Cape Town. The ACC is fast emerging as the preeminent urban research centre on the African continent. He previously served as Special Advisor to the Premier of the Western Cape Provincial Government in South Africa and directed a number of urban policy think tanks before his stint in government.
His most recent book is: City Futures: Confronting the Crisis of Urban Development (Zed Books, 2008). He has also edited or co-edited the following recent works: African Cities Reader II: Mobility & Fixtures (Chimurenga, 2011); Counter-Currents: Experiments in Sustainability in the Cape Town region (Jacana, 2010); African Cities Reader: Pan-African Practices (Chimurenga, 2010); Consolidating Developmental Local Government (UCT Press, 2008) and a notable earlier book: Voices of the Transition: The Politics, Poetics and Practices of Development in South Africa (Heinemann Publishers, 2004). He is also founding co-editor of a new urban magazine—CityScapes—focussed on urbanism in the global South.
Edgar’s research stems from the boderzone between geography, planning and cultural studies with a strong orientation towards political philosophy. As a result his research is wide-ranging covering themes such as: African urbanism, cultural planning, regional development, governance, sustainble infrastructure transitions, and macro development issues.
He is a founder member of Isandla Institute, serves on the Boards of Magnet Theatre, the Sustainability Institute and the Open Society Foundation of South Africa; and is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Gauteng City-region Observatory, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, LSE Cities, and the Low Carbon Mobility Stakeholder Board of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford. He regularly provides advisory services to international development agencies such as: UN-Habitat, African Development Bank, DBSA, National Planning Commission, OECD urban division, UNEP, amongst others. He also serves as a Faculty Member of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.
Edgar holds a PhD from London School of Economics, an MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (The Hague, The Netherlands) and BA-Honours from the University of the Western Cape. More info is available at:



Additional Speakers: 1703

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