New from Johannesburg!

GS students working with people in Alexandra
‘Small Changes, Big Improvements’

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SABC 50-50 - 50/50 website
'Global Studio Johannesburg September 3, 2007'
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Invitation to participate

Global Studio Johannesburg will bring together students, academics and professionals in the city building professions from developing and developed countries to take part in an interdisciplinary forum and studio in Johannesburg in 2007. Global Studio provides opportunities to develop new modes of professional education and practice with policy and research implications as well as possibilities for developing networks and partnerships. Global Studio is an on-going teaching and research project.

South Africa

For many years South Africa was isolated. In the post apartheid era it has become one of the more connected countries in the world, and much admired for the peaceful transition from the apartheid to post apartheid era. While social problems, poverty and inequality still exist, much progress has been made. As former president Nelson Mandela once said ... after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

A key to this continual process of change is South Africa’s constitution, widely regarded as the most progressive constitution in the world. It was the result of ‘inclusive negotiations that were carried out with an acute awareness of the injustices of the country's non-democratic past. Among the rights stipulated are those of equality, freedom of expression and association, political and property rights, housing, healthcare, education, access to information, and access to courts’. The Constitutional Court, a building that has been carefully integrated through imaginative design with a former jail on Constitutional Hill, is testimony to the spirit of the new South Africa - moving forward but with the memories of the old.

Global Studio Johannesburg will also provide an opportunity to learn about Sub Saharan Africa.

General information about South Africa & Johannesburg

About Global Studio

About Global Studio

Building on Global Studio, Istanbul (2005) and Vancouver (2006) where students from more than 20 countries took part, Global Studio Johannesburg 2007 will offer two events: People Building Better Cities  (June 25-28) and a hands-on studio (June 30-July 19). People Building Better Cities is open to those with an interest in the topic. Global Studio participation is by application.  

Almost one billion people around the world live in slums, including 56 million in developed countries. If nothing is done this number will likely reach two billion by 2020. Africa faces huge challenges. The Millennium Project’s Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers spearheaded the Global Studio concept in 2004. Global Studio Istanbul   and Vancouver were developed by Global Studio founding partners, the University of Sydney (Australia), Columbia University (USA) and the University of Rome (Italy) and a consortium of universities.

To assist the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to meet the urbanization challenges, the task force’s report, A Home in the City (Earthscan 2005) advocates the need for city building professionals to contribute more effectively to improving living conditions of the urban poor by fully engaging with these communities and placing them at the centre of development plans and decisions that affect their lives. A Home in the City advocates city building strategies and policies that are economically, socially, culturally and environmentally sustainable, and argues that young professionals and communities from developing and developed countries have a crucial role to play in inventing this future.

Since its inception in 2005 Global Studio has had participants from a number of African countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Ghana. It is hoped that Global Studio Johannesburg - hosted by the University of the Witswatersrand (known as Wits) and partnered with the City of Johannesburg will be accessible to more African participants than in previous years.


June 25-28, 2007, Wits University, Johannesburg

A four day forum with international speakers and local presenters. Day 3 includes visits to townships and sites which explain the country’s history for visitors. Workshops will be offered to local and regional professionals as an alternative on Day 3.

Who should attend?

City building professionals, local government, NGOs, academics, students and communities with interest in People Building Better Cities, and the poverty reducing objectives of the Millennium Development Goals. Global Studio alumni. Registration opens April 1, 2007.


June 30- July 19, 2007, Wits University, Johannesburg

Students of the city building professions and related areas will work collaboratively in teams with local communities in Alexandra and Diepsloot  to develop propositions and strategies that can assist in improving people’s lives, while developing knowledge and skills in this area of work. 

Who should apply?

Students in the city building and related disciplines with an interest in participatory design and planning processes, innovation in teaching and practice and turning ideas into action, urban poverty alleviation,  and international work. Global Studio alumni cannot apply. Closing date March 19. Please follow the application instructions shown on the Applications page, and the Student application document.

Previous Global Studios

Global Studio Video (100 Megs)
Global studio Power Point presentation (8megs)