Talking Transformation

Talking Transformation

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An open conversation addressing contemporary city building and spatial transformation issues in South Africa.


Episode 28: “One Year On” - Reflecting on and celebrating a year of Talking Transformation
Oct 8 • 50 min
It’s been over a year since the launch of the Talking Transformation Podcast, and to celebrate the first anniversary, we’ve taken a moment to reflect on how far we have come and where we want to go! In this episode host, Pete Ahmad, is in the hot seat,…
TTPod Bulletin - Sept 2020 Showcasing Urban Festival 2020
Sep 30 • 14 min
A quiet month of September from the Talking Transformation Podcast ends with a bulletin communicating the Urban Festival 2020 event and program with festival coordinator, Rashiq Fataar. Rashiq talks about the diverse and extensive program during the…
Episode 27: “Masterclass!”: Reflections on global approaches to urbanisation and settlement upgrading - Claudio Acioly Jr.
Sep 3 • 58 min
In this Talking Transformation Podcast episode we hear from renowned architect and urban planner, Claudio Acioly Jr.: the latest in our “We’ve GOT to talk about housing!” - 26 Years and counting! ‘Deep-Dive Series’. Four decades of practical and research…
Episode 26: “New Arrivals and New Horizons” Insights and reflections from founder of Women in Planning South Africa (WiPSA): Gugu Ngobese
Aug 25 • 41 min
As Women’s Month draws to a close, we thought it fitting to hear from the newest voice and professional organisation in the planning collective - Women in Planning South Africa, WiPSA. In this episode, Founder, Gugu Sithole-Ngobese, sheds light on their…
Episode 25: The Future of Planning (in South Africa) - reflections and aspirations from recent online survey
Jul 31 • 79 min
In July, after four months of lockdown here in South Africa - the podcast ran a survey to canvass opinion an feedback form planners across the country, across the public, private and research sectors and across the generations: planners young and old(er).…
Episode 24: #PlantheWorldWeNeed - Learning from the Royal Town Planning Institute’s response and value add during the pandemic
Jul 17 • 46 min
The Royal Town Planning Institute – RTPI - formed in 1914 – has over 100 years of history serving its members and the interests of planning and built environment community. Based in the UK and Ireland it is an organization that has international reach and…
Episode 23: Talking ‘bout the next generation…2020 SACN Young Planner and Designer Competition
Jun 22 • 53 min
It’s Youth Month here in South Africa and to celebrate, the Talking Transformation Podcast sits with three young planners: the winner, the runners-up and co-ordinator of the South African Cities Network’s Young Planner and Designer Competition, 2020. All…
TTPod COVID Diary 12: Integrating Health in Urban and Territorial Planning
Jun 17 • 32 min
A new Sourcebook “Integrating Health In Urban And Territorial Planning” has recently been launched by the World Health Organisation and UN-Habitat. It could not be more appropriate and timely given the COVID-19 pandemic. It also considers a range of…
TTPod COVID Diary 11: “When the Streets Have No Names” The importance of addressing as the basis for responsive service delivery and governance
Jun 6 • 42 min
The ability to track and trace movement of citizens to assist with monitoring and evaluation of COVID-19 has been one of the main responses of governments health authorities globally. Mapping where new infections are occurring, where patients have…
TTPod COVID Diary 10: Driving to Florida! [Road - KZN] - Adapting our streets in the time of COVID
Jun 3 • 39 min
Increasingly, the conventional role and design of our streets is being rethought and challenged. Longer running initiatives such as Open Streets here in Cape Town, the critical mass cycle rides in some of our cities and now the challenge of social /…
TTPod COVID Diary 9: Gearing up for the “New Normal” – town planners’ perspectives on the road ahead for South Africa’s development industry
May 18 • 72 min
In recent weeks, the Talking Transformation Podcast has considered the impact of COVID-19 on different cities around the world: how it has impacted on daily activities, impaired movement and forced a rethink on built environment issues such as density,…
TTPod COVID Diary 8: “Deciphering De-densification” Spatial and socio-economic implications of urban density and accelerated informal settlement relocations
May 1 • 53 min
Since the advent of COVID-19 here in SA our post-apartheid housing themed episodes have taken a back seat to the conversations locally and around the world with our COVID dairies. This episode bridges directly and indirectly the built environment, housing…
TTPod COVID Diary 7: “On your marks, (re)set, GO!?” Considering the structural and institutional opportunities for socio-economic and spatial change Post-COVID
Apr 16 • 60 min
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. We continue to speak with professionals working around the globe and ask them to share their perspectives and…
TTPod COVID Diary 6: “Freetown and Land of the Free” Contrasts, commonalities and leadership in the time of Coronavirus (Sierra Leone and USA)
Apr 14 • 46 min
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. We continue to speak with professionals working around the globe and ask them to share their perspectives and…
TTPod COVID Diary 5: “Ground Zero” – A visitor’s guide to Wuhan: China
Apr 5 • 49 min
Today we hear from the City of Cape Town’s Tim Hadingham (Investment Facilitation) who reflects on his recent month-long busman’s holiday to China and the City of Wuhan. His work in support of the Atlantis Special Enterprise Zones (SEZ) supported by the…
TTPod COVID Diary 4: “East meets West…North and South” New York Enters the Conversation
Mar 29 • 46 min
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. We continue to speak with professionals working around the globe and ask them to share their perspective and…
TTPod COVID Diary 3: “End of Days or New Horizons?” – During and after COVID 19 – what can we expect from SA’s property market
Mar 28 • 44 min
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. We continue to speak with professionals working around the globe and ask them to share their perspective and…
TTPod COVID Diary 2: “View from the Balcony” - Hong Kong from on High
Mar 25 • 18 min
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. In what we anticipate will become an ongoing and dynamic initiative we speak with professionals working around…
Episode 22: Incremental Densification - The rise and rise of backyard and micro units in our cities
Mar 25 • 60 min
In this episode of the TTPod we look at the growth of backyarding and so-called, “micro” units within many urban areas of South Africa and the economic and accommodation opportunities they afford. Our research journey takes us to Gauteng and the Western…
TTPod COVID Diary Entry Number 1: Nairobi and Bucharest Calling [March 22nd 2020] - Global conversations on the COVID 19 pandemic
Mar 22 • 30 min
In these troubling times, the Talking Transformation Podcast team remains committed to bringing you conversations from South Africa and beyond. In what we anticipate will become an ongoing and dynamic initiative we speak with professionals working around…
Episode 21: “The Road to Ficksburg” The B(uilt) E(nvironment) I(ntegration) T(ask) T(eam) journey - reflections on governance and transformation in democratic South Africa
Mar 19 • 65 min
There are many spatially transformative proposals in the plans and programmes of local government. National, provincial and local government are all committed - on paper at least - to “Spatial Transformation”. But what does it actually mean? Why is…
Episode 20: “Dignity, Love and Respect” - Homelessness and the search for connection on our cities’ streets
Mar 9 • 44 min
Today we are looking at issues of homelessness in our cities. This is the third episode of our “deep-dive” series: “We’ve GOT to talk about housing!” - 26 years and counting… We consider the challenges faced by the homeless, what circumstances can lead to…
Episode 19: Growing Pains of Integration and Community Building: The Cosmo City Story
Feb 29 • 55 min
In 2004, to the north of the Johannesburg’s urban fringe - a “peri-urban area” in old planning terms - the City of Johannesburg broke ground on the R3,5bn project: ComsoCity. It bookended ten years of democracy and the housing programme which had already…
Episode 18: The Heart of the Matter [Setting the Scene for “We’ve GOT to talk about Housing”]
Feb 28 • 46 min
The Talking Transformation Podcast conversations planned in the coming weeks are being scheduled as a “deep-dive” series of conversations with a wide variety of practitioners active in the South African housing field. We’re looking back at the…
Talking Transformation Podcast: Bulletin February 2020
Feb 27 • 4 min
It’s been a busy month of planning for the Talking Transformation Podcast. We’ve taken a recording breather after the successful FutureCast panel collaboration with the Architects, Planners, Engineers and Surveyors society. If you haven’t yet caught that…
Episode 17: “TTPod FutureCast”: Panel discussion - Review of 2019 and what lies in store for 2020 and beyond…
Jan 25 • 82 min
Our most ambitious project yet! After four months of planning, the Talking Transformation Podcast, in collaboration with APES+ Society, brings you the inaugural “Talking Transformation FutureCast” episode. In Cape Town’s Hout Street, on a warm summer’s…
Episode 16: Conversations From Down Under
Jan 17 • 90 min
In this first TTPod episode of 2020 - and the new decade - we take a journey “Down Under” and discuss challenges - new and old - facing two built environment professionals who have transferred skills and perspectives from South Africa to Australia. The…
Episode 15: “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”: Dr. Anele Horn - Efficacy of urban edges / growth boundaries in post-1994 South Africa
Dec 13, 2019 • 40 min
It’s estimated that between 1990 and 2015 South Africa’s population grew from 37 million to 54 million. Much of this growth located within towns and cities, driven by the economic and social opportunities afforded in these centres and followed the global…
Talking Transformation Podcast: (Late!) Bulletin November 2019
Nov 30, 2019 • 10 min
We’re headed towards the year-end and festive season as at a rapid rate and this November month has been light on content and episodes after a generally busy first four months of the Talking Transformation Podcast. We did celebrate a fascinating insight…
Episode 14: Blockchains and Housing Ladders
Nov 9, 2019 • 68 min
For most of us a house is the most significant asset we can own. This is amplified for low income property-owning urban households where the affordable housing market offers significant wealth creating potential for beneficiary households. However, in…
Episode 13: “It’s the [food] economy stupid!”
Oct 30, 2019 • 45 min
“If planners are not conscious [of food issues], then their impact is negative, not just neutral” (Pothukuchi & Kaufman, 2000). With over 50% of South Africans estimated to be food insecure or at risk of food insecurity this episode of Talking…
Episode 12: 4IR - Decoding the Jargon and Embracing the Future
Oct 10, 2019 • 37 min
In this episode of the Talking Transformation Podcast we revisit a theme we’ve touched on in previous episodes: smart / digital cities and the implications of the fourth industrial revolution or 4IR as it has become known. Listeners may recall that State…
Talking Transformation Podcast: Bulletin October 2019
Oct 3, 2019 • 4 min
In this bulletin we celebrate 1100+ listens over our starting 11 episodes - all in less than three “live months”! We reflect on September’s three informative and engaging episodes and look to January 2020 and the “FutureCast” planned with our friends @…
Episode 11: The Integration Syndicate: Conversations and provocations designed to confront and progr
Sep 24, 2019 • 54 min
In this episode of Talking Transformation we consider the work and findings of the Integration Syndicate, an initiative that took place in Cape Town under the auspices of the African Centre for Cities (ACC). Our guest, Professor Edgar Pieterse, the…
Episode 10: #money4meerkats: Co-ordinating Complexity and Spatial Priorities
Sep 23, 2019 • 44 min
How the public sector spends its money is increasingly being scrutinised by the public and private sectors alike. Limited funds, flatlined economy, austerity: increasingly there’s a need to do more with less and demonstrate tangible value for money and…
Episode 9: “Trying to stop a tsunami.” Public transport and the role of technology in advancing mobility in cities.
Sep 8, 2019 • 56 min
In this episode, we consider issues of mobility, public transport and the role that technology can play in meeting the increasing challenges of movement in and around our towns and cities. The South African mobility landscape sees an estimated 15 million…
Talking Transformation Podcast: Bulletin September 2019
Sep 2, 2019 • 5 min
The Talking Transformation Podcast has been live for just short of two months. In that time we’ve published eight in-depth interviews with guests with a story to tell and lessons to be learnt. Listeners and interest have grown by the week on the back of…
Episode 8: “The Original Sin”: Presidential Land Reform Panel Report - Unpacking the origins and findings
Aug 22, 2019 • 50 min
The issue of land reform in South Africa is arguably the most politically charged issue facing the country, its citizens and politicians charged with leading a transformation agenda. In October 2018, President Ramaphosa stated “…Our nation is focused on…
Episode 7: “Here to Stay”: Enhancing Informal Settlement - Insight, reflection and lessons learnt from SERI’s research
Aug 13, 2019 • 50 min
In July 2019 the Socio-Economic Research Institute (SERI) published a series of research reports reflecting on three informal settlements: Ratanang in Klerksdorp, North West Province; Marikana in Philippi, Cape Town, Western Cape; and Siyanda in KwaMashu,…
Episode 6: “Here Be Dragons…”: The case for evidence based decision making (and how to go about it…)
Aug 3, 2019 • 87 min
In today’s Talking Transformation Podcast we hear from three very different planning personalities (in order of appearance), Claus Rabe, Jaco Petzer and Eloise Rousseau. All share at least three things in common… They’re professional town planners by…
Episode 5: #DreamingOfWakanda: (A “New” SA City) Noble Aspiration or Pure Folly?
Jul 26, 2019 • 42 min
A month ago State President Ramaphosa announced his ambition of a new city, connected to other cities by a bullet train and led, by the 4th industrial, tech revolution. Following this announcement via his state of nation address, commentators have…
Talking Transformation Podcast: Bulletin July 2019
Jul 22, 2019 • 6 min
The Talking Transformation Podcast has been live for two weeks now… Since then I’ve had an overwhelming positive response to the episodes and personalities we’ve presented via the podcast platform. Many thanks to each and everyone of you who has taken the…
Episode 4: A tour of duty…and of service: Peacemaking and healing in communities affected by trauma and violence
Jul 17, 2019 • 34 min
Our special guest this episode takes us on a very different and compellingly tour of duty and service. Jana El Horr - who was visiting South Africa and the Western Cape - recounts her own story from war torn Lebanon and Iraq to the US where she is now…
Episode 3: “Pushing the Boundaries” – the remarkable story of Port Elizabeth’s infill housing successes
Jul 9, 2019 • 77 min
Beyond the theory, beyond the rhetoric… This episode finds us in the Friendly City of Port Elizabeth. Our guest Lance del Monte recounts his journey as one of the pioneers of high density, mixed typology and infill, susbsidised housing in South Africa.…
Episode 2: Revisiting Jozi City’s Corridors of Freedom Initiative “Leveraging value from colours on the map”
Jul 8, 2019 • 37 min
In this second episode, we are privileged to talk with former City of Johannesburg Executive Director, Yondela Silimela about her experience implementing the Corridors of Freedom spatial restructuring initiative. Yondela is an inspirational leader and…
Episode 1: “The Buffalo in the Room” - Revisiting the National Development Plan (NDP)
Jul 8, 2019 • 28 min
In this, our first episode, we talk to former National Planning Commissioner Professor Philip Harrison. Presently the Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (Wits University), Phil reflects on the exciting period that led up to the…
Talking Transformation (Trailer)
Jul 7, 2019 • 0 min
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