Urban Festival 2022

by Nicolette Pingo
20 September 2022

Today, more people than ever live in cities. Cities have been and continue to be leaders in innovation as spaces where people come together to share experiences and ideas and shape new systems. They are places of social, economic and political opportunities and intense social interactions. In South Africa, where two-thirds of the population live in urban areas, cities are central to the development and at the forefront of the country’s economic, social, environmental and cultural life.


In 2022, the South African Cities Network (SACN) celebrates its 20th anniversary. Established in 2002, the SACN has been the custodian of South Africa’s urban story and is at the heart of urban research and practice through its flagship publications and urban conferences and events. The 20th anniversary offers the opportunity to tell the story of the past 20 years (including best practices, challenges and lessons) and to reflect on the future – what needs to happen over the next 20 years to achieve “liveable, safe, resource-efficient cities and towns that are socially integrated, economically inclusive and globally competitive, where residents actively participate in urban life”, as per the IUDF’s vision.


Under the theme of “Transforming cities through research and practice”, the festival is structured around critical recommendations emerging from the SACN State of the Cities Report 2021, which explores challenges in the South African Cities landscape to ensure more productive, well-governed, innovative, inclusive, sustainable and resilient Cities. In addition, the report highlights best practices that actively include partnerships between local government, the whole of government, and society.


The 2022 festival will take place from 26-28 October 2022 in Parktown, Johannesburg. A range of diverse voices, from whole-of-government to all-of-society, will come together to discuss a spectrum of issues affecting all aspects of city decision-making and social and economic investments. These dialogues will take the form of keynote speakers (local and global experts and practitioners from government, private sector and civil society), panel discussions (collaborative action-oriented sessions), masterclasses (speakers sharing real-world experiences of how to address the complex urban challenges), film and visual exhibits.


To tackle complex urban challenges requires partnership, collaboration and dialogue. In this spirit, the SACN organises and hosts the 2022 Urban Festival. Be part of this festival to join the global movement for a Better Urban Future.


If you would like to partner with SACN on a component of the festival, please get in touch with Ms Pholisa Magqibelo pholisa@sacities.net

Urban Festival 2022 Promo

Nicolette Pingo is the Programme Manager: Inclusive Cities. To contact her, email nicolette@sacities.net