Laura Nkula-Wenz


University of Basel

I am a human geographer by training with a passion for postcolonial urban theory, African urbanism, new pedagogies of the city, public culture, and design. My research has focused squarely on urban governance transformation, the construction of local political agency through international accolades, on urban experimentation and interurban knowledge networks, the nexus of cultural production and urban change, as well as the role of professional integrity in the urban development sector.

In pursuits of my diverse research interests I have collaborated with colleagues and organisations inside and beyond academia, including Transparency International, Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrade (VPUU), the City of Cape Town’s Department of Arts and Culture, UNESCO and Global Integrity. I am equally committed to emancipatory teaching and engaged scholarship, always looking for ways to ‘flip the classroom’ and encourage synergies between the two.

In the context of Governing through Design I will be continuing my research on design as an emerging governmental imperative in (South) African cities and how it is being embedded through notions of innovation, resilience and development.