Prof Magidimisha is SARChI chair for Inclusive Cities is funded by National Research Council and South African City Networks. It is Hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal , under the school of Development studies and Built Environment Cluster. The SARChI Research Chair serves as a forum for initiatives in research for Prof Magidimisha, Academics within the school, postdoctoral fellows, postgraduate students and others working with her. The South African urban space provides a unique point of entry and discussion on the inclusive city in the sense that it goes beyond the conceptualization of urban space through the lenses of urbanization – but incorporates massive restructuring of urban spaces with the intention of ameliorating negativities arising out of the colonial and apartheid governments. This, in turn, complicates and repositions the debate beyond the mere articulation of principles of inclusivity by providing a platform for redefining these principles in the context of local dynamics.
In the process, new domains of inclusivity are explored while ramification of the existing domains is redefined. This proposed research recognizes, acknowledges and builds on existing work done by other researchers and organizations on the inclusive city which focuses on: Spatial Inclusion – which focuses on accessibility to affordable land and housing. Economic Inclusion – which focuses on accessibility to opportunities associated with economic development, empowerment and sharing in rising prosperity. Social Inclusion – which rests on the need for individuals’ access to their rights and participation in governance issues that promote their existence. The point of departure in this chair rests on the premises that the dimensions of the inclusive city outlined above fail to capture in detail vulnerable clusters of society (being women, children and the ageing); the minority clusters (i.e. the blind, the disabled) and migrants. In addition, it fails to recognize the increase of spatial inequality driven by racial and class differences – a factor that saw an increase in community violence and protests.