Trustee tenure: 2022-Present
Associate Professor of Human Geography,
Environmental and Geographical Sciences,
University of Cape Town,
Cape Town, South Africa
Zarina Patel is an Associate Professor of Human Geography in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town. Her research addresses the politics and practices of achieving just and sustainable urban transitions. The distinctive focus of her scholarship is the focus on transdisciplinary approaches to navigate alternate insights and responses to complex urban issues in southern contexts. Her publications on sustainable urban transitions and urban knowledge include joint authorship collaborations with knowledge brokers beyond the academy, foregrounding the diversity of knowledges that are recognized as authoritative in these debates. Her committed to social justice and transformation of the higher education space, is demonstrated through the partnerships she builds; her focus on supporting early career scholars; and her contribution to strategic interventions aimed at fostering institutional change.
International collaborations and research leadership have been developed through the Mistra Urban Futures Programme (2012 – 2019) a knowledge co-production programme with partners from the Global North and South; the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Cities and Urbanisation (2019); and Pan-African collaborations focussing on transdisciplinary urban research through the Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030, known as LIRA 2030 (since 2017).
She is the Principal Investigator of the project The New African Urban University, funded by the Worldwide Universities Network Research Development Fund. By engaging partners from the global north and south, this project aims to set the agenda for a more global and inclusive understanding of the scope of systems changes required by universities in Africa to advance SDG 11.
Zarina is an editor of Environmental Planning F and former Editor in Chief of Urban Forum, she serves on the editorial boards of Local Environment, and npj Urban Sustainability.