Past Event

Repurposing the Geography of Apartheid

February 23, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Philosophy Hall, 1150 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027 202A

Repurposing the Geography of Apartheid

Graduate Scholars Lectureship by Stefan Chavez-Norgaard


As a former apartheid-era South African “Bantustan” capital city, Mmabatho (now Mahikeng) was planned in the 1970s as a receiving site of forced relocation. Its built environment reflected a set of desires for historical top-down planning and political-economic ‘separate development,’ driven by white supremacy, profit, and graft. In many ways Mahikeng’s built environment today still reflects these historic processes of displaced urbanization. Stefan Chavez-Norgaard explores how urban space in Mahikeng was produced and in what ways uses of space today match or diverge from original apartheid-era plans and visions. His presentation examines how various actors have responded to top-down planning and displaced urbanization through subtle and explicit repertoires of struggle.

Stefan Chavez-Norgaard is a PhD Candidate in Urban Planning at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Stefan is passionate about participatory democracy and how cities’ public/private arrangements affect equitable and sustainable urban development. His dissertation examines areas of apartheid-era forced relocation in South Africa and how master plans have been implemented and repurposed in these geographies by residents and planners.


Contact Information

Emeritus Professors in Columbia (EPIC)
(212) 854-8083