International symposium on pandemics and cities: learning from state and civil society response

Location: Hybrid event (online and in-person at University of the Western Cape, South Africa) | Map
Language: English/Spanish (with translation)

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International symposium: Pandemics and cities

Faced with the asymmetrical distribution of Covid’s effects, cities have a critical role in building local resilience. Globally, both pandemic and control measures have severely affected urban residents’ ability to meet basic needs, particularly relating to food, services (e.g. health, education, childcare), and access to reliable information. Central state-led pandemic responses have often fallen short of the appropriate and effective interventions needed at the local scale. Community-based organisations (CBOs) have played a decisive role in pandemic response in many low-income neighbourhoods, mitigating vulnerabilities by responding to gaps in basic needs provisioning. In some cases, they have been supported or partnered by municipal institutions. The pandemic’s critical juncture offers transformative potential for cities, and this workshop explores learnings from state and civil society responses at the urban scale, based on preliminary findings from two projects funded by the Urban Studies Foundation’s Pandemics and Cities fund. Participants include community leaders from Cape Town (South Africa) and Cali (Colombia) alongside representatives of the City of Cape Town.

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"With an International Fellowship I was able to receive the mentorship, time and resources that I needed to help me sit in my ideas. As a result, I am now more confident that the ideas I endeavour to put forward, informed, predominantly, by African and Southern experiences and theories, have value beyond my immediate geographies."

Dr Wangui Kimari, International Fellowship

Urban Studies Foundation is a registered Scottish charity. Registration number SC039937.

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