Urban LandMark and the Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS) are co-hosting a workshop in Johannesburg on 11-12 March 2013 called Knowledge production and research collaboration in the global South.
The workshop aims to develop a lexicon of case studies from the global South on urban land market issues, outline key messages in the design of urban land curricula, and reflect on empirical evidence and develop curricula that are appropriate to contemporary urban land markets.
Using case studies and empirical evidence, the two-day workshop will interrogate three key assumptions that underpin current land debates in Africa and assume that:
- with the 'right' interventions, informal markets will eventually be integrated into formal ones
- socially dominated markets are disorganised, unregulated and risky for urban dwellers to invest in
- the privatisation of land rights through state-issued title inevitably leads to access to financial markets and the unlocking of entrepreneurial initiative and greater productivity.
The idea that households invest in land in the absence of title implies that other registers of security and trust in local institutions come into play in the absence of formal title. The core questions which will inform the workshop discussions are therefore:
- what are these alternative registers of security, and how are they circulated, developed and embedded in local land practices?
- how do scholars and policy makers collect, analyse and make sense of this data?
- how do we develop teaching tools that help us to problematise the frames we use to understand land in Africa?
- importantly, how do we develop alternative ways of seeing, analysing and theorising urban land on the continent?