Nexusing Water, Energy and Food to Increase Resilience in the Cape Town Metropolitan Area

Prof. Dr. Mark Swilling

Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Development in the School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University

Principal Investigator of the WEF project in Cape Town

Prof. Dr. Mark Swilling is also a visiting Professor at the Universities of Sheffield and Utrecht, and Edward P. Bass Visiting Environmental Scholar at Yale University (2018). He is Academic Director of the Sustainability Institute and Co-Director of the Stellenbosch Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST). He has a PhD from Warwick University (1992). 


Moreover, he co-authored with Eve Annecke Just Transitions: Explorations of Sustainability in an Unfair World (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2012); co-edited with Adriana Allen and Andreas Lampis Untamed Urbanism (New York and London: Routledge, 2016); co- edited with Josephine Musango and Jeremy Wakeford Greening the South African Economy (Cape Town: Juta, 2016); lead author of the multi-authored report Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is Being Stolen (Stellenbosch University and University of the Witwatersrand, 2017); co-author with Ivor Chipkin et. al. Shadow State: Politics of State Capture (WITS Press in 2018).

He is a member of UNEP’s International Resource Panel acting as Coordinator of the Cities Working Group ( and is on the Board of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (serving as Chairperson of the Board since January 2019). He is co-lead author of The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization, published in 2018 by the International Resource Panel and his latest book will be published in 2019 entitled The Age of Sustainability: Just Transitions in a Complex World.

Within the consortium he will contribute his international research expertise on the urban transition and governance of urban infrastructures in East Africa. The project will benefit from his extensive experience in coordinating collaborative research programs, e.g. as the director of an interdisciplinary program on urban infrastructures in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi and co-director of a program on the vulnerability and resilience of critical infrastructures. Beyond his own active involvement in the research, he will supervise the postdoctoral researcher at Utrecht University, and together with Mark Swilling monitor the project management and progress, coordinate the consortium’s collaboration and chair the advisory board.