The scope of this annual report is the period August 2008 to July 2009. This period reflects that our ambitions for the past year have been realised and to some extent exceeded. At the end of our previous reporting period we indicated that we wanted to expand and consolidate our Cape Town based work and lay the foundations for growth in our Africa focussed programmes from late 2009 and 2010 onwards. This has indeed come to pass. Over the past year our Cape Town focussed CityLab and Cape Urban Observatory projects have truly come into their own and catalysed a number of interdisciplinary conversations on vital urban questions in the city. Furthermore, we have been able to cement consistent, challenging and mutually beneficial knowledge processes between the university, the public sector and various civil society interest groups with a focus on sustainable human settlements.
It is against this backdrop that this annual report seeks to provide a relatively detailed account of the these projects and a more synoptic overview of other equally exciting developments in the life of the Centre. We also provide an insight into new developments in the domain of teaching and capacity building; our research and publishing output and presence in the public domain through promoting public debate. After core information on the institutional issues such as staffing, governance and finances, we conclude the report with a synopsis of emerging thinking as we commenced a ten year strategic planning process, buoyed by the exceptional receptions we have received for our plans and work during the past year.