• Urban Studies and Themes

Urban Studies and Themes

SACN undertakes occasional research on important and emerging topical issues, with the intention of contributing to urban development thinking, practice and governance. Two specific areas of focus are Secondary Cities and Africa Studies.


  • Informal Cities Reader. Part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Informal City Dialogues (IDCs), this book chronicles stories from the informal realm. It offers a window into the lives of street vendors, waste-pickers, and even home-based beer brewers.
  • Outside the Core: Towards an Understanding of Intermediate Cities in South Africa. This study builds upon the 2013 secondary cities study. It takes a deeper look into six intermediate cities with the aim of contributing to our understanding of what might be different or unique about these places.

Caring Cities

Cities can exercise caring using the tools of planning, infrastructure development, social support, job creation and promoting participation.

Study into Impact of Municipal Action on Households

Indicators are critical to effective planning and management in increasingly complex urban contexts, organising information sets into simple, easy to grasp and easy to compare ‘measures’ of what is happening.


HIV and Aids are arguably the greatest challenges facing South Africa in recent times.