1st Edition

World City Syndrome Neoliberalism and Inequality in Cape Town

By David A. McDonald Copyright 2008
    384 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    382 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The literature on ‘world cities’ has had an enormous influence on urban theory and planning alike. From Manila to London, academics and policy makers have attempted to understand, and to some extent strive for, world city status. This book is a study of Cape Town’s standing in this network of urban centres, and an investigation of the conceptual appropriateness of this world city hypothesis. Drawing on more than a dozen years of fieldwork in Cape Town, McDonald provides an historical overview of institutional and structural reforms, examining fiscal imbalances, political marginalization, (de)racialization, privatization and other neoliberal changes. By examining and analyzes these reforms and changes, McDonald contributes the first radical critique of the world city literature from a developing country perspective.

    Introduction: World City Syndrome  1. Cape Town as World City  2. Cape Town as Capitalist City  3. Cape Town as Neoliberal City  4. Respatializing Cape Town (I): Local Government Restructuring  5. Respatializing Cape Town (II): Investments in the Built Environment  6. Privatizing Cape Town  7. Cost Recovering Cape Town  8. Disciplining Cape Town  9. (De)Africanizing Cape Town  10. Keep Left for Cape Town: Alternative Development Strategies


    David McDonald is Director of Global Development Studies and Associate Professor of Geography at Queen’s University, Canada. He is the editor or co-editor of The Age of Commodity: Water Privatization in Southern AfricaCost Recovery and the Crisis of Service Delivery in South Africa;  Environmental Justice in South AfricaTransnationalism and New African Immigration to South Africa; Destinations Unknown: Perspectives on the Brain Drain in Southern Africa; The Legacies of Julius Nyerere: Influences on Development Discourse and Practice in Africa; and On Borders: Perspectives on International Migration in Southern Africa.