Dr Anna Selmeczi, postdoctoral research fellow, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town

Gentrification is amongst the most significant contemporary processes that are reshaping cities globally. This aspect of urban renewal typically leads to the replacement of long term lower class inhabitants with new, middle or upper class residents. Gentrification contributes greatly to increasing inequality with the respect to access to adequate housing and living conditions in an increasingly urbanised world. Yet there are notable differences between northern and southern hemisphere gentrification in pattern and consequence. In South Africa the applicability of northern ideas for understanding gentrification is complicated by the persisting legacy of apartheid spatial planning. The first lecture will discuss these issues. Looking from the perspective of aesthetics, the second lecture will address the question of what the sensible consequences of gentrification are: how does it look, sound, feel and taste? Focusing on aesthetics in a more restricted sense, the final lecture will discuss the how public art is deployed to further and/or to challenge gentrification in South African cities.



1.    Gentrification: an introduction

2.    The aesthetics of the gentrifying city

3.    Public art for and against gentrification


Recommended reading

Lees, L. 2014. ‘Gentrification in the Global South?’ In The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South, edited by Susan Parnell and Sophie Oldfield, 506–21. London and New York: Routledge.

Lemanski, C. 2014. ‘Hybrid gentrification in South Africa: Theorising across southern and northern cities’. Urban Studies, Vol 51, Issue 14, pp. 2943–2960.

Tandiwe Myambo, M. 2017. ‘In their rush to become “global”, cities risk creating spatial apartheid’.

Date: Monday 15–Wednesday 17 January Venue: LT2, Kramer Law Building
Time: 1pm
COURSE FEES  Full: R310,00   Staff: R155,00   Reduced: R80,00