Sue Parnell

Sue Parnell

Prof. Sue Parnell (susan.parnell@uct.ac.za) is an urban geographer in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is on the Executive Committee of the African Centre for Cities at UCT. She has held previous academic positions at Wits University and the University of London (SOAS) and visiting research fellowships from the LSE, Oxford University, Durham University, the British Academy and was a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at University College London in 2012. She is a widely published author of scholarly papers. Recent co-edited books include Climate at a City Scale, A Routledge Handbook of Cities of the Global South and Africa’s Urban Revolution. She serves on the Editorial Boards of many ISI ranked academic journals dealing with urban and development issues.

Sue’s early academic research was in the area of urban historical geography and focussed on the rise of racial residential segregation and the impact of colonialism on urbanisation and town planning in Sub-Saharan Africa. Post democracy in South Africa much of her work focused on issues of urban transformation (local government, welfare and urban environmental justice. By its nature this research was not purely academic, but involved liasing with communities, local and national government and international donors. This mode of translational research now forms a core mode of work at the African Centre for Cities. ). Recently Sue has returned to historical research, working with a number of other partners on explaining the planning deficits of African cities.

Sue has a prominent position with UCT leadership structures, served on the boards of several local NGOs concerned with poverty alleviation, sustainability and gender equity, and is a regular keynote speaker and is part of national and international advisory research panels.