James Duminy


James Duminy is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the PEAK Urban project at the African Centre for Cities. His research examines the historical and contemporary interface between scientific knowledge, urban policymaking and urban governance in Cape Town and South Africa.

James has a background in science, urban planning and urban history, and is interested in the historical emergence of contemporary problems, ideas and practices of governance.

He joined the ACC as a researcher in 2010. His past work at the ACC focused on enhancing urban planning education and urban research in sub-Saharan Africa through the Association of African Planning Schools, of which he is General Secretary, and the African Urban Research Initiative, which he helped to establish.

James is also interested in emerging approaches to theorising and researching African and Southern cities and urbanisation, and the ethics of planning thought and praxis in the urban South. Some of his previous research has examined the post-apartheid dynamics of South African cities in terms of spatial growth trends, place-naming practices, and the application of the ‘right to the city’ discourse.

James holds an undergraduate degree in biosciences from Rhodes University, a Master of Town and Regional Planning from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a MA in Urban History from the University of Leicester, and a PhD from the University of Cape Town. His doctoral research examined how food scarcity emerged as a problem of government in colonial Kenya, and was undertaken as part of the ‘Consuming Urban Poverty: Food Systems Planning and Governance in Africa’s Secondary Cities’ project at the ACC.

Cape Town
James describes his PEAK Urban research