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Prof. Ivan Turok
Distinguished Research Specialist
Equitable Education and Economies

Prof Ivan Turok is a Distinguished Research Fellow in the Inclusive Economic Development (IED) research programme at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). He was awarded a NRF Research Chair at the University of the Free State in 2020. He has been with the HSRC since 2010 and previously held the position of Executive Director in the Economic Performance and Development programme. An economist and geographer by training, he has been a Professor of Urban Economic Development at the University of Glasgow (1996-2010), a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Strathclyde (1995-1996), Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town (2010-2015) and is currently an Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow (2010-to date).

His research covers various aspects of urban and regional economics and development, including the economy of cities, urbanisation, urban policy, affordable housing, tradable services, township economies, labour markets and regional economic development. Professor Turok directs an NRF-funded research programme on city-region economies, which considers the obstacles and opportunities for inclusive growth in South Africa cities. He is also co-investigator of an international study on sustainable and inclusive cities and neighbourhoods. Previous studies include the spatial impact of Covid-19, recovery of central cities, social housing and upward mobility, vertical upgrading of informal settlements, tradable urban services with southern Africa, township economic development, national urban policies and the green economy.

Prof Turok holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Reading, UK, a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Wales, and a BSc in Geography from the University of Bristol. His doctoral thesis was an evaluation of local economic development in post-War Britain. Ivan has (co-)authored and edited fifteen books, published over one hundred refereed journal articles and over fifty book chapters, produced countless research reports, and presented more than two hundred local and international invited lectures and conference papers, including many keynote addresses.

Authored books include Restoring the Core: Central City Decline and Transformation in the South (Progress in Planning). Edited books include Transitions in Regional Economic Development (Routledge), Value Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa (Springer) and Changing Cities: Rethinking Urban Competitiveness, Cohesion and Governance (MacMillan). Monographs include Spatial Inequalities and Policies in South Africa (Progress in Planning), The Evolution of National Urban Policies: A Global Overview (UN-Habitat), and Twin Track Cities: Competitiveness and Cohesion in Glasgow and Edinburgh (Progress in Planning).

Prof Turok is currently Editor of the journals Area Development and Policy and Development Southern Africa; former Editor-in-Chief of the journal Regional Studies, and is on the editorial board of the journal Local Economy. He was recently Chairman of the City Planning Commission for Durban, and a board member of the Regional Studies Association. He is an occasional adviser to the United Nations, OECD, African Development Bank, UNDP, UNECA and several national governments. He has a B1 rating from the NRF.