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Peter Ahmad

01 November 2019

Peter Ahmad



South Africa


Website References

Built environment

Climate Change/Resilience




Food security




Human settlements



Macro economics




Poverty & inequality

Social facilities


Solid waste

South Africa



Water and sanitation

Talking Transformation Podcast - NEW EPISODE

An open conversation addressing contemporary city building and spatial transformation issues in South Africa

Episode 16: Conversations from Down Under


About the Podcast

The recently launched Talking Transformation Podcast was five months old in December 2019! Fourteen episodes are in the bag and available to download and listen to free of charge! There's no charge or fee associated with the podcast! Slowly but surely an archive of material and perspectives is being made available to assist planners and others to reflect on and continue conversations that all too often are being forgotten about or missed in the daily activities.

It's been presented to provide a platform and a voice for built environment professionals and interest groups who are working towards transforming places and spaces in South Africa. And it's dedicated to the individuals and community groups who are driving the formal and informal process that shape South Africa's cities and spaces.

We're operating in an increasingly difficult global and national environment. Fake news, both the real and imagined, and populism are threats to our ability to communicate. Unemployment is sky rocketing. Commissions are exposing some scandalous activity within the state and corporate South Africa. The economy is failing and complex issues of housing, sanitation and land tenure remain perennial challenges to households, communities and institutions alike. The Talking Transformation Podcast is focused on reflecting on and celebrating achievements and milestones: the success stories and opportunities that are out there for us to all learn from.

As Talking Transformation Podcast anchor, Pete Ahmad says: "I've been a keen follower of podcasts for a number of years but it's always struck me that local, South African content about our towns and cities is in short supply. Lots of people come and visit and put us under an academic microscope but I'm not sure how many podcast about it. So the plan is that with the support of colleagues past and present and personalities from across the country we use the Talking Transformation pod to explore successes and review approaches used since 1994. Spatial transformation is big news right now...political destinies are being shaped by the successes or failures; critics suggest little has changed within our fragmented and racially divided spaces. There are just so many different elements and complexities at play and the aim is to break it down into a series of episodes for listeners to engage and digest diverse themes."

The podcast has already considered a range of topics including informal settlement upgrading, property markets, land and tenure reform, the National Development Plan and trauma and violence in communities. Skills development and the relevance and challenges of our traditional planning skills set have also been challenged in the series so far.  Interviews have been concluded and lined up with some of the leading practitioners in the country across the public and private sectors, academies and the NGO spectrum.

"We are deliberately trying to balance the views of the private sector, academia and advocacy groups. Our aim is not to provide definitive answers but to provide a series of perspectives and reflections, allowing the listener to decide if it makes sense or not."

Those involved in the Talking Transformation podcast do so in a voluntary and personal capacity. No funds are generated, and time and recording infrastructure are from the team's resources.

Although the team have worked in different government and private institutions, non-government organizations and academia, none have any formal training or broadcasting background. "We record and prepare these episodes in our spare time to assist our listeners and our ourselves in coming to terms with the challenges at hand. As the project grows it has already exceeded our initial expectations. We will approach a number of professional registration bodies and see how we can use these to support the professional development certification."

The team involved want it to be a professional and quality presentation and they look forward to hearing from you with ideas on how they can improve their efforts and perspectives.

You can follow the podcast, and leave your vocal comments, if you want to contribute to a topic via https://anchor.fm/talking-transformation-po

If you have engaged with the Talking Transformation Podcast please visit SurveryMonkey via this link and take two minutes of your time to reflect on what you liked / didn’t like. The feedback will assist in framing future conversations and topics.

You can also follow the podcast's activities via the twitter page: https://twitter.com/TalkingTransfo1

Information supplied by podcast owner

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