Kathryn Ewing is a Senior Lecturer – Urban Design in the post-graduate programme in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics at the University of Cape Town since 2018. Kathryn has architectural, urban design, planning and research experience working across informal and formal settlements through a transdisciplinary approach in Southern Africa. She is a founding Director and currently a Non-executive Director of Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) Non-Profit Company. As a practitioner on the VPUU Programme from 2010 to 2018, she held the position of Workstream Leader of Situational Crime Prevention – Built Environment, spanning the realm of the built environment with a focus on the implementation of strategic public investment projects to support the public realm in low income and informal neighbourhoods.
She was a Beit Trust Fellow at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, University of Glasgow, where she completed her PhD in 2004. In 2016, she was awarded the UDISA Roelof S. Uytenbogaardt Memorial Lecture Award for her contribution towards the development of safer, integrated and sustainable neighbourhoods in the Western Cape of South Africa. The award noted her work as having a significant impact in terms of research, education, advocacy and practice in the fields of Urban Design, Architecture and Planning in South Africa. Most recently, she is overseeing the education and membership portfolio of the Urban Design Institute of South Africa (UDISA) Committee.
Kathryn’s work focuses on safe and inclusive cities, participative design and public space, building on lessons from design practice for policy development and academic teaching and knowledge exchange, where social design of the public realm can influence positive urban change and appropriate place-making. She has keen interest and published on urban land tenure and the claiming of space in Zimbabwe. Her current research area is the everyday occupation of space and the changing informality in African cities.