Dr Edgar Pieterse

Director of African Centre for Cities, 

South Africa

PhDs supervised to completion

Research Focus

In my research and teaching I extend myself across theoretical and applied concerns. As an urbanist, I am deeply fascinated by the drama of cities everywhere and at different moments in time, including the future, the past and science fiction invocations. Simultaneously, I endeavour to remain grounded in the tough and messy realities of cities—invariably always on the move—working with materialist and aesthetic optics. My own work is rooted in two South African cities, Johannesburg and Cape Town but I also track the fortunes of African cities as part of larger discourses on sustainable urban transitions and Southern urbanism.

Research Groups

  • African Centre for Cities


  • Future Resilience for African Cities & Lands (FRACTAL)
  • Governance dynamics of “turn-around” cities (Lagos, Luanda & Johannesburg)
  • Integrated Urban Development Framework for South Africa


  • Director of African Centre for Cities
  • Visiting Extraordinary Professor at the University of Stellenbosch

Global goals

Target 1.5
Target 3.6
Target 11.1
Target 11.3
Target 11.6

Professional Organisations

  • Scientific Committee of the International Panel on Social Progress


  • South Africa

Find me online