The African Centre for Cities, a UCT signature research theme, received a boost when it signed a memorandum of understanding with the Council for the Built Environment, an agreement that comes with an annual award of R350 000.
The council is a statutory body established by Parliament to provide sustainable built-environment professions that serve the public and national interest. The funding is to support master's and doctoral students who are undertaking research linked to the agenda of the centre, specifically to its core project of sustainable human settlements.
The signing of the memorandum on 9 May followed a similar agreement with the City of Cape Town a few weeks ago, and another is being finalised with the Western Cape government. Each agreement is worth R350 000, funding for the employment of researchers.
Professor Vanessa Watson of the centre said cities and towns are under pressure from urbanisation, lack of services, and the growing threats of oil prices, climate change and food insecurity. "Finding different, and sustainable, ways to plan, build and service urban areas is no longer a 'nice to have', but probably the most critical issue of the 21st century."
Watson said one of the greatest drawbacks to achieving this is a lack of human capacity, and the funding would help to address that.
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