The South African Cities Network (SACN) is partnering with the City of Tshwane, the Department of Cooperative Governance, and the South African Local Government Association to convene the Fourth South Africa Urban Development Conference in March 2015.

In 2016, the SACN will produce its 4th State of South African Cities Report (SOCR), the main barometer of city development performance in the country. The SoCR has traditionally been preceded by a national urban development conference, which gives the range of urban sector stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the emerging data and analyses towards this important report. 2015 also happens to mark an important year for South Africa’s urban agenda as public consultations around South Africa’s first national urban policy, the Department of Cooperative Governance-led Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), are in motion.

Furthermore, in 2015 South African cities will be hosting two pre-eminent Pan-African urban development events, namely the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum (ACCSF) being hosted by the City of Tshwane in June 2015, and the seventh AfriCities Summit being convened by the United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG Africa) and being hosted by the City of Johannesburg in December 2015.

The 2015 Urban Conference is thus being convened on 4-5 March 2015 in the City of Tshwane to encompass these flagship initiatives – dialogue and debate towards informing the SoCR, the IUDF, ACCSF and AfriCities. It intends to lead the engagement by asking the bold question “Are cities effective drivers of local and national development?”

The envisaged outcomes of the Urban Conference are to:

  1. Facilitate urban policy and planning dialogue with key urban development stakeholders, experts and partners (local and international);
  2. Interrogate and enhance preliminary data and findings towards the State of South African Cities Report (SoCR) IV;
  3. Contribute to strengthening of the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF); and
  4. Build up national content towards the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum and 7th AfriCities.

Building upon the success of the Spatial Transformation Conference held a year ago in Johannesburg, this conference intends to convene urban sector experts and stakeholders through an interactive and rigorous programme of dialogue and engagement. The event is to be held in the City of Tshwane, South Africa from 4 to 5 March 2015, with additional media- and side-events (by invitation) held throughout the week.

If you are an urban sector stakeholder, please join us in sharing our respective knowledge and perspectives, thus helping to further develop our common understanding of the state of urban South Africa, and identifying core urban development priorities.

In association