UKZN First University in Africa to Receive Honorary ISOCARP Bronze Membership
The School of Built Environment and Development Studies within the College of Humanities has been awarded honorary Bronze Membership by the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP).
UKZN is the first university in Africa to receive such membership since the establishment of ISOCARP 57 years ago.
This award, which includes free membership of the society for three years, was presented to Town Planning lecturer Professor Hangwelani Magidimisha-Chipungu, who has been co-rapporteur for ISOCARP for the past two years.
‘This is a symbolic gesture of honour for me in the Discipline of Town and Regional Planning,’ said Magidimisha-Chipungu. ‘It comes against a backdrop of years of committed leadership in the Discipline during which I supported the School, colleagues and the student body. It is also a reward for work I am doing behind the scenes for ISOCARP dating back to 2015.’
Magidimisha-Chipungu considers obtaining this membership as ‘a reflection of the institutional support for the University which over the years, endorsed partnerships for future growth with members of ISOCARP. In this regard, it symbolises a new chapter in the growth of the Discipline as it positions itself for an international platform. More so, it is unprecedented in the history of the School and the College, thus contributing to a new era for a global audience.’
Dean and Head of the School Professor Ernest Khalema applauded Magidimisha-Chipungu for her achievement saying, ‘The UKZN flag is flown high through her exceptional leadership. Congratulations to the Discipline, the School and the University for always supporting us.’
ISOCARP President Mr Martin Dubbeling added, ‘Magidimisha-Chipungu is still active and was instrumental in the success of both the 56th and 57th ISOCARP World Planning Congresses. The Board of ISOCARP appreciates the time and efforts she has put in the co-ordination of all papers and in all necessary preparations.’
Over the years, Magidimisha-Chipungu has been collecting accolades at personal, institutional, national and international levels - all of which she values highly. She noted that the Bronze Membership elevated her recognition on the international platform.
‘It tells the story of my life behind the scenes involving hard work, sacrifice and resilience - and informs the international market while broadening my career prospects beyond national horizons. The good which we do in our lives is not a story born out of our own words, but a recognition born out of those whose lives we impact positively,’ she added.
The theme of the 57th ISOCARP World Planning Congress is Planning Unlocked: New Times, Better Places, Stronger Communities. The hybrid format allows delegates to attend the sessions in person in Doha in Qatar as well as virtually through modern online technologies.
Words: Melissa Mungroo