We are delighted to welcome Shuaib Lwasa, founder of the Urban Action Lab at Makerere University, to the African Cities Research Consortium’s senior management team.

Shuaib will lead on specific aspects of ACRC’s capacity strengthening work, including the integration of knowledge from North, South and across Africa; ensuring that the implementation phase brings together knowledge of both professionals and academics; and guiding our decolonising agenda.

He will also attend senior management team meetings, contribute to the strategic direction of the consortium and represent the consortium at academic, policy and other events.

Urban expertise

Bringing a wealth of urban geography research and teaching experience in Uganda and sub-Saharan Africa to the consortium, Shuaib’s research interests include cities and climate change from the global South perspective, particularly working on adaptation and mitigation possibilities for transformative urban development with inter- and transdisciplinary approaches.

He has been involved in projects on urban heterogeneous infrastructure, urban inequality, land rights and transformative spatial and urban planning for sustainable development. His published work covers urban mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, urban ecological management, urban inequality, spatial planning, and disaster risk reduction and urban sustainability.

Shuaib was also coordinating lead author of the chapter on urban systems and human settlements in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR6, Working Group III (Chapter 8), and lead author for the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land.

Currently Principal Researcher on Adaptation Governance and Transformation at Cape Town University’s Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, Shuaib also lectures at the University of Twente, Netherlands and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and supervises geography Master’s degrees and PhDs at the University of Makerere.

Capacity building

The Urban Action Lab, which Shuaib established in 2010 and previously directed, has incubated novel ideas of urban transformation and sustainability, in partnership with low-income communities and vulnerable groups in Uganda.

Until 2020, Shuaib was also an active member of the UN Habitat Partner Universities Initiative, which aimed at, among others, capacity building in urban planning for sustainability.

Commenting on Shuaib’s appointment, ACRC’s CEO Diana Mitlin said: “We very much welcome Shuaib to the African Cities Research Consortium. He brings a wealth of knowledge about how to use research to catalyse urban reform, and how to strengthen partnerships between the academic, grassroots communities and relevant state agencies. His research concentration on climate change further strengthens the expertise of the consortium in this critical area.”

We look forward to working with Shuaib over the next stages of our research programme and having him lead our vital capacity strengthening and knowledge sharing remit.

Listen to Shuaib in conversation with ACRC co-research director Seth Schindler about urban planning and knowledge co-production below.

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Header photo credit: Frank van den Bergh / Getty Images. Aerial view of Kampala, Uganda.

Note: This article presents the views of the author featured and does not necessarily represent the views of the African Cities Research Consortium as a whole.

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