Dr Margot Rubin
Lecturer in Spatial Planning
I am an urban geographer and planner who is interested in working across and between spatial and political disciplines. My work is comparative, largely focused on the Global South, and draws on embedded and well-established research networks that span multiple countries. My research explores key questions of urban sustainability through various lenses, such as housing provision and mobility, framed by broader theoretical analyses of governance and gender. My research projects have ranged in focus from urban housing, land use management, transit-oriented development, to urban governance, questions of mobility and accessibility, and work on gender and the Geographies of Care. This has given me the scope to engage with broad conceptual themes of socio-economic rights, urban sustainability, spatial change and identity politics and their relationship to the City through comparative studies. These have included comparisons between Delhi, India and Johannesburg; Johannesburg and Cairo, Egypt; and I am currently involved in a comparative mobility study with colleagues in Maputo, Mozambique, and study of the housing/employment nexus of the urban youth in Hawassa, Ethiopia and Ekangala, South Africa.
Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Planning and Political Studies, 2013, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Courting Change: the role of the apex courts and court cases in urban governance: a Delhi-Johannesburg comparison.
Master’s Degree in Urban Geography, 2004, University of Pretoria. Landscapes of reality and imagination: the Jewish Community of Johannesburg, 1886–1939.
Honours in Geography and Environmental Studies, 1999, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Bachelor of Arts, 1998, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
2021: Reference Committee Member, Department of Cooperative Governance, Small Town Regeneration Strategy
2020: Advisor to the City Support Programme, South African National Treasury, Gender Mainstreaming for National Metro Level Indicators
2020–Current: Team member on National Upgrading Support Programme for the National Department of Human Settlements Informal Settlement Upgrading Capacity Building Programme
2020: Member of the organising committee. Southern Africa City Studies Conference, 2020,
2019–Current: Editorial Board member for the Journal: Third World Quarterly
2019–Current: Editor for Journal: African Studies
2019–Current: Co-convener for the national Gender Urban Research Network
2019–Current: Convener National Inclusionary Housing Network
2019: Advisory member to Kaplan Centre, University of Cape Town regarding publication on Jews of Johannesburg publication
2019: Member of the team to review and advise on the Built Environment Performance Plans, National Treasury’s City Support Programme
2019: Selected for British-Academy, Academy of Science of South Africa Early Career Research Symposium entitled Urban Lives
2019: Selected for British-Academy, Academy of Science of South Africa Early Career Research Symposium entitled Governing Future Inclusion
2018: Invited panellist on Inclusionary Housing and accommodation, Nelson Mandela Foundation Dialogue
2018: Invited panellist and contributor, inclusionary housing, City of Johannesburg and South African Property Owners Association joint event
2017–2018: Invited presenter North Eastern University, South African fieldtrip
2016–2018: Invited presenter and reviewer of Washington University in St Louis Urban Studio, Johannesburg
2016: Invited to review proposal to the NRF/Swedish Foundation for International Co-Operation in Research and higher education (STINT) Science and Technology Research Collaboration 2016
2016–Current: Been invited to review articles for: Antipode, Agrarian Studies; African Studies; Cities; Social Dynamics; Urban Studies; Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography; Progress in Planning; Urban Geography
2014: Invited to be a Research Associate with Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP), University of the Witwatersrand
2014: Facilitator for the pilot training for Informal Settlement Upgrading, National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP), an initiative of the Department of Human Settlements
2014: Member of the team developing material for Informal Settlement Upgrading training material for councillors, officials, and community members, for the National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP), an initiative of the Department of Human Settlements. Contributor to modules for the training programme.
2013: Member of team developing a response to backyard housing in South Africa, South African Local Government Association
2013: Reviewer of Socio-Economic Rights Institute publication on South African Housing Policy
I am currently teaching the undergraduate module on Society, Diversity and Planning and the post-graduate course on Sustainability in Planning. I have previously taught under-graduates modules in the history of human settlements, urban sustainability, urban politics and housing and given guest inputs on transit-oriented development, mobility and gender.
2019–2022: Co-investigator: Off-Grid Cities: South African National Research Foundation funded
2019–2022: Co-Investigator: Youth and the work/housing nexus in Ethiopia and South Africa, British Academy Funded
2019–2020: Co-Investigator: Micro-dynamics and Macroprocesses: a Maputo-Johannesburg comparative study of intra-household decision-making and stateinvestment in transit, Volvo Research and Education Foundation
2019–2021: Primary Investigator: Just Urban Imaginaries, Southern Centre for Inequality Studies
2018–2019: Primary Investigator: Families in the City: Gauteng City Region Observatory
2016–2017: Primary Investigator: Comparison between Inequality in Cairo and Johannesburg with Takween Integrated Community Development, African Universities Research Initiative
2017–2018: Primary Investigator: Infrastructures of Inequality, Southern Centre for Inequality Studies
2016–2018: Team Member: Governing the Future City: A comparative analysis of governance innovations in large scale urban developments in Shanghai, London, Johannesburg, ESRC Funded
2016–2017: Off-the-Grid Case study: Parkhurst, Gauteng City Region Observatory