Sue Parnell is an urban geographer in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is on the Executive of the African Centre for Cities at UCT. She has held previous academic positions at Wits University and the University of London (SOAS) and visiting research fellowships from the LSE, Oxford University, Durham University, the British Academy and was a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at University College London. She is the author of over 100 academic papers, 8 edited volumes and 2 co-authored books. Sue serves on the Editorial boards of many ISI ranked academic journals dealing with urban and development issues. She is also on the boards of several local NGOs concerned with poverty alleviation, sustainability and gender equity in post-apartheid South Africa and serves on a number of national and international advisory research panels relating to urban reconstruction. Sue's early academic research was in the area of urban historical geography and focussed on the rise of racial residential segregation and the impact of colonialism on urbanisation and town planning in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1994 and democracy in South Africa her work has shifted to contemporary urban policy research (local government, poverty reduction and urban environmental justice). By its nature this research is not been purely academic, but has involved liasing with local and national government and international donors.