Smarter Cities — Imagination
14:00 to 16:00 - 13 Oct 2020

Smarter Cities Session

Smarter Cities — Imagination

Smarter Cities — Imagination

Smarter Cities — Imagination

The Smarter Cities” session titled “Imagination”, featured Thiresh Govender, an architect and Russel Hlongwane, a cultural producer and creative industries consultant. Who shared their insights on how we can transform our cities and settlements towards more sustainable and fulfilling possibilities through engaging our (African) imaginations. They implored the webinar participants to interrogate their perspectives around Afro-Smart cities and the narratives that have been created around socio-spatial spaces and new forms of data-driven urbanism.

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Session Speakers

Thireshen Govender

Director, Architect & Urban Designer (UrbanWorks); Unit Leader (Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg)

Thireshen Govender is an architect, urban designer, and educator working in Johannesburg, South Africa. A keen observer of the contemporary urban world, Govender is interested in the speculative nature of architecture and its ability to put forward necessary provocations and possibilities for post-traumatic sites and cities. Speaking back to society through a set of spatial tactics and strategies in order to make sense of, and build literacy around these troubled sites is central to his work. UrbanWorks Architecture & Urbanism, Govender’s design-research studio founded in 2008, employs innovative and responsive design strategies toward radical transformation in South African cities across cultural and economic infrastructures.

Govender also leads a design research Unit at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg investigating rogue, subversive spatial tactics and has recently co-authored the book Township Economies: People, Spaces and Practices which collates and distils nine years of research and insight into 11 townships across Southern Africa. The book was published by HSRC Press (February 2020).

Russel Hlongwane

Cultural producer and creative industries consultant

Russel Hlongwane is a cultural producer and creative industries consultant based in Durban, South Africa. His work obsesses over the tensions in Heritage/ Modernity and Culture/ Tradition as it applies to black life. His said practice includes cultural research, creative producing, design, film and curatorship.
He is part of a number of working groups spread across the Southern African Region, the African continent more broadly and internationally. He has shown work in Munich, Marrakech, Maputo, Karlsruhe, Harare, Bristol, Tokyo as well as throughout South Africa.



  • 14:00 - 16:00 : Smarter Cities — Imagination



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