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Focus Areas

The PSUG research programme embraces three main approaches of state practices in urban governance - 1) interface between state and urban society; 2) politics of urban policy instruments; and 3) state officials’ practices in the city - and a broad diversity of research topics falling under them.

However the PSUG programme has also developed specific collective expertise on two focus areas, based on established or developing relationships with diverse state institutions, in particular in the City of Johannesburg: the governance of informal economies and the governance of urban parks.

The governance of informal economies 

There is a long-standing tradition of engaged research in CUBES, providing research support to street trader organisations in their relationship with the City of Johannesburg, and various forms of engagement with both trader organisations and relevant City institutions. Based on this the PSUG programme is developing a deeper understanding of how state practices towards informal economies are shaped in the city. Read more here

The governance of urban parks

Based on ongoing research partnerships with Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) interested in fostering practices of community engagement, a number of research projects have focused on analysing how parks and nature reserves are governed in contemporary Johannesburg. Read more here.

 Street trading stall in the CBD.