The South African Informal City – ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

The South African Informal City – ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

Edited by Lone Poulsen and Melinda Silverman; curated by Karen Eicker

The first print run of ‘The South African Informal City’ book has sold out!  Fortunately, we are taking orders for a second print run – place yours NOW!

‘The South African Informal City’ book was launched at Planning Africa in Durban on 17 September and is the latest component of the South African Informal City project.  The initiative is a survey of South Africa’s most relevant and innovative design and research projects around urban informality in cities from across the country, in five categories: In-Situ Upgrading; Backyard Interventions; Inner City Informality; Catalytic Projects; Un-built Projects.

First showcased at the Bus Factory in Newtown in 2011 as one of the Technical Site Visits offered by the Local Government Programme for COP17, the project explores and showcases the important work being conducted in South Africa around informality, some of which is unique to the local context and some of which shares questions and concerns with other developing countries.

To further the project’s outcomes, the ‘The South African Informal City’ book was realised with the support of the SA Cities Network and Urban LandMark.  The objective is to open up dialogue and discussion around the critical issues of informality and urban development, in order to further cooperation, information sharing and positive action between policy makers, built environment professionals and the public.

The SAIC Project is an initiative of the Architects’ Collective, and was started in 2011 with the support of the Johannesburg Development Agency, the Neighbourhood Development Programme (National Treasury), the South African Cities Network, and the NRF Chair in Development Planning and Modelling. In 2012, the project was selected as a finalist in the Arts & the Environment category for the 15th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, supported by Anglo American.

For more information on the SAIC Project, please visit; and to order ‘The South African Informal City’ book, please contact:

Lisa Petrie
+27 72 144 8514

Some comments on the book:

The book is fantastic, very well received.” Monica Albonico, ASM Architects

I have just had a thorough read and what an excellent book! The integration of the seminar content, which was well summarised, adds greater depth.” Tasmi Quazi, Asiye eTafuleni

“Understanding Urbanity: 7 Must Read Books About Cities” by M Popova

Maria Popova, curator and editor of the website Brain Pickings, posted an interesting article “Understanding Urbanity:  7 Must Read Books About Cities” on 22 August 2011.  In her article, the must read books are listed together with a brief description, comment and extract from each book.

“Cities are the crucible of civilization,” proclaimed Geoffrey West at last month’s TED Global. Cities are where most of humanity’s creative and intellectual ideation, communication, and innovation takes place, so understanding cities is vital to understanding our civilization. To help do that, here is an omnibus of seven fantastic books exploring the complex and faceted nature, function, history, and future of urbanity’s precious living organism, from design to sociology to economics and beyond.

SAPI invites you to submit your comments and reviews on relevant articles and books to