Urban Festival 2021

The Rebuilt City: Rising from crises of emergency governance to a more sustainable and resilient future


The Urban Festival aims to provide a platform for learning, experimentation, and knowledge exchange on the implementation of a transformative urban agenda. The festival enables active dialogue between a range of urban actors.


The Urban Festival is hosted during October “Urban Month” and ends on UN Habitat’s World Cities Day which is on 31 October.

Curator Statement

The Rebuilt City, the 2021 edition of the Urban Festival, aims to map new frameworks, relationships, possibilities and designs for how our cities will recover and rebuild amidst multiple crises.


Through dialogues, workshops, activations, social media and creative engagements, The Rebuilt City invites a South African and global conversation that asks how our cities and towns can re-energise their commitments to becoming more sustainable and resilient.


The Rebuilt City seeks to uncover the constructive lesson in urban areas despite the challenging contexts presented in past and current crises. It will hold a space for different perspectives, generating new ideas and directions that do not discard the plans and projects that have been in-the-works for quite some time.


It is a call for all of society to capitalise on this moment in time and embrace the transformative – often audacious – actions to recalibrate and innovate for more liveable, safe, and resource-efficient cities and towns.


We would like to understand how cities could attract green industries and hence green jobs but ensure lasting benefits for communities.


We would like to learn about the progress cities are making in the race to decarbonise while brokering appropriate partnerships to ensure inclusive growth.


We would like to explore how rapidly delivering affordable housing could be a key driver in achieving more efficient and sustainable city centres.


How do we make cities and towns levers to create sustainable employment opportunities for the youth?


How can the relationships within and between different spheres of government be recalibrated for the greater good of society?


What is the potential for a scalable approach of community-led projects, elevating them from test sites to neighbourhood and city-wide impact?


This year’s edition of the Urban Festival presents the second chapter to be hosted in this pandemic-era by SA Cities Network in partnership with the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG), SALGA and the Department of Human Settlements curated by urbanist Rashiq Fataar of Our Future Cities.


We invite all civil society organisations, designers, planners, story-tellers, civil servants, city-dwellers and urban enthusiasts to participate in The Rebuilt City; to continue the virtual conversation toward more sustainable and resilient cities.

Day 1 Session Recordings

Session 1

Session 3

Session 2

Session 4

Day 2 Session Recordings

Session 5

Session 7

Session 6

Session 8

Day 3 Session Recordings

Session 9

Session 11

Session 10

Session 12

World Cities Day 2021