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Staff Profile

Professor Alan Mabin

QualificationsPhD, MA, BAHons, MSAPI
Phone 0117177726
Organisational Unit School of Architecture and Planning

Current research concerns changing ideas and practices of metropolis and city region in Paris, S?o Paulo and Johannesburg/Gauteng.

A lan Mabin is Professor of urbanism in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg and was previously head of the School (2005-10). He holds a doctorate from Simon Fraser University, Canada, and a masters degree from Wits, and is a member of the South African Planning Institute.

Alan has worked in a variety of development fields for 25 years. He was involved in several aspects of the transformation of local government in South Africa, particularly in Johannesburg, and has collaborated with colleagues in Brazil, France and other countries on several projects.

Alan helped to establish Planact in 1985, an NGO working with communities to "make cities work for people". He was a member of the Board of Planact, for many years. He leads the Wits research initiative on cities and is a member of CUBES. He works closely with the >Gauteng City Region Observatory.


Contributions to reports on cities
Alan Mabin contributed the section on Gauteng Urban Region to The State of African Cities 2008 (UN Habitat, Nairobi)

Journal articles

  • A Mabin and P Harrison 2006, -Security and space: managing contradictions of access restriction in Johannesburg, -Environment and Planning B 33 (1) pp. 3-20 profharrison.pdf
  • A Mabin 2005, -Suburbanisation, segregation and government of territorial transformations, -Transformation 36 pp. 41-64 mabin_transformation_article.pdf
  • S Oldfield, S Parnell and A Mabin, 2004 -Engagement and reconstruction in critical research: negotiating urban practice, policy and theory in South Africa, -Journal of Social and Cultural Geography 5 (2) 2004 pp. 285-299
  • A Mabin, 2004, Suburbanizzazione, segregazione e gestione delle trasformazioni del territorio - (translated by Rosa Sodero), in L. Fregolent, F. Musco (eds), Le trasformazioni dei paesaggi sudafricani Archivio Di Studi Urbani E Regionali ASUR, n. 79, 2004, pp. 61-80
  • A Mabin 2001, Contested urban futures - Report on a global gathering in Johannesburg??, 2000, International Journal of Urban and Regional 25 (1) 2001 pp. 180-184
  • A Mabin and D Smit 1997 'Reconstructing South Africa?s cities' The making of urban planning 1900-2000, Planning Perspectives 12 (2) 1997 pp. 193-223
  • A Gilbert, A Mabin, M McCarthy and V Watson 1997 ?Low-income rental housing: are South African cities different??, Environment and Urbanisation 9 (1) 1997 pp. 133-147
  • *SM Parnell and A Mabin 1995 Rethinking urban South Africa, Journal of Southern African Studies 21 (1) 1995, pp. 19-38 ()
  • A Mabin 1992 Comprehensive segregation: the origins of Group Areas, c. 1935-1955, Journal of Southern African Studies 18 (2) 1992, pp. 406-429
  • A Mabin 1991 Is this our future? Learning from Sao Paulo, Brazil?, Urban Forum 2 (2) 1991, pp. 81-89
  • A Mabin 1991 The impact of apartheid on rural South Africa, Antipode 23 (1) 1991 pp. 33-46
  • A Mabin 1990 Limits of urban transition models in understanding the dynamics of urbanisation in South Africa, Development Southern Africa 7 (3) 1990, pp. 311-322
  • A Mabin 1989 Struggle for the city: urbanisation and political strategies of the South African state, Social Dynamics 15 (1) 1989, pp. 1-28
  • A Mabin 1987 The land clearances at Pilgrims Rest, Journal of Southern African Studies, 13 (3), 1987, pp. 303?319
  • A Mabin 1986 Labour, capital, class struggle and the origins of residential segregation in Kimberley 1880-1920 , Journal of Historical Geography, 12 (1), 1986, pp. 4?26
  • A Mabin 1986 The rise and decline of Port Elizabeth 1850-1900 , International Journal of African Historical Studies, 19 (2), 1986, pp. 275?303

Chapters in scholarly books

  • A Mabin 2007 Johannesburg--(South) Africa?s aspirant global city, in K Segbers, S Raiser and K Volkmann (eds) The Making of Global City Regions: Johannesburg, Mumbai/Bombay, S?Paulo and Shanghai (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press) pp. 32-63 Download PDF here
  • A Mabin 2006 Local government in South Africa's larger cities in U Pillay, R Tomlinson and J du Toit (eds) Democracy and Delivery: Urban Policy in South Africa (Pretoria: HSRC Press) pp. 135-156
  • A Mabin 2006 La suburbanisation en Afrique du Sud: entre heritage et innovation, in J. Lombard, E. Mesclier, S. Velut (ed) La Mondialisation Cot?ud: Acteurs et Territoires (Paris : Editions de l IRD - Presses de l ENS), pp. 273-286
  • A Mabin 2005, Suburbs and Segregation in South African Cities: A Challenge for Metropolitan Governance in the Early Twenty-First Century, Chapter 13 in David Varady (ed) Desegregating the City: Ghettos, No; Enclaves, Yes (State University of New York Press) (refereed published conference papers) pp. 221-232
  • A Mabin 2002 Local government in the emerging national planning context, Chapter 4 in Susan Parnell, Edgar Pieterse, Mark Swilling, Dominique Wooldridge (Editors) Democratising Local Government: the South African Experiment (Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press, 2002) pp. 40-54 A Mabin 2001 Past formation, present recomposition and future significance of public space(s) in South Africa, in Cynthia Ghorra-Gobin (ed) Reinventer le sens de la ville: les espaces publics a l?heure globale (Paris: l?Harmattan, 2001) pp. 245-258 A Mabin 2000 Varied legacies of modernism in urban planning, in G Bridge and S Watson (eds) A Companion to the City (Oxford UK and Malden Mass: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 555-566
  • A Mabin 1999 The urban world through a South African prism, in Robert Beauregard and Sophie Body-Gendrot (eds.) The Urban Moment (Los Angeles: SAGE Urban Affairs Annual Reviews, 49, 1999), pp. 141-152
  • A Mabin 1999 Le monde urbain a travers le prisme Sud Africain, in Th?se Spector et Jacques Theys (eds.), Villes du XXIe siecle: Entre villes et metropoles: rupture ou continuite- Synth- du colloque de La Rochelle 19 ? 20 ? 21 octobre 1998 (Paris: Certe, 1999), pp. 62 - 74
  • A Mabin 1999 Reconstruction and the making of urban planning in twentieth century South Africa, in I Vladislovic and H Judin (eds) blank____Architecture, apartheid (Rotterdam, Netherlands Architectural Institute, 1999) pp. 268-277
  • A Mabin 1995 - On the problems and prospects of overcoming segregation, fragmentation and surveillance in southern Africa?s cities in the post-modern era?, in S. Watson and K. Gibson (eds.), Postmodern Cities and Spaces (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995), pp. 187-198.
  • A Mabin 1992 ?Dispossession, exploitation and struggle: an historical overview of urbanisation in South Africa?, in D.M. Smith (ed.) Urbanisation in Contemporary South Africa: the Apartheid City and Beyond (London: Routledge) 1992
  • A Mabin 1991 ?The dynamics of urbanisation since the 1960s?, in M. Swilling, R. Humphreys and K. Shubane (eds) Apartheid City in Transition (Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1991) pp. 33-47

Edited book

  • P Gervais-Lambony, S Jaglin and A Mabin (eds) 1999 La question urbaine en Afrique australe: Perspectives de recherche (edited collection, Paris: Karthala, 1999) ISBN 2-86537-890-X.


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