Co-Producing Urban Knowledge: Experimenting with Alternatives to ‘Best Practice’ for Cape Town, South Africa

2015, International Development Planning Review 37: 187-203

As an alternative to ‘best practice’, a City–University partnership in Cape Town has been influencing the development trajectory of the city through the co-production of knowledge by practitioners and academics. The partnership allows for sharing and a deepening of substantive knowledge about Cape Town and also acquisition of tactical knowledge about the regulatory decision-making process in the city. The new networks of knowledge generation transcend institutional boundaries. The impacts of the programme are not confined to the outcomes generated; value also derives from the varied modes and processes of the co-production of useful knowledge about the city. Co-produced interventions in cities are an alternative inspiration to off-the-shelf or best practice ‘solutions’ that are uncritically replicated between cities.

Zarina Patel, Saskia Greyling, Susan Parnell & Gordon Pirie