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 this since the establishment of ISOCARP 57 years ago.
This Bronze Institutional Membership includes three years of free membership to ISOCARP and was awarded 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. It comes at a backdrop of years of committed leadership to the Discipline where I sacrificed my time in support of the School, colleagues and the student body. In the same vein, it is symbolic of the ultimate reward of work I am doing behind the scene for ISOCARP which dates back to 2015,’ she said.
Magidimisha-Chipungu considers obtaining this membership as ‘a reflection of the institutional support of 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 an unprecedented occurring in the history of the School and the College at large, thus contributing to the 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 coordination of all papers and in all necessary preparations.’
Over the years, Magidimisha-Chipungu has been collecting accolades at personal, institutional, national levels and international– all of which she considers a special meaning to her career. She noted that the Bronze Membership by ISOCARP elevates her recognition to an international platform.
‘It tells the story of my life behind the scene – that of hardworking, sacrifice and resilience and sells it to the international market. Indeed, it is this new dimension which broadens my career prospects beyond our 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 life we impact positively,’ she said.
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 (Qatar) as well as virtually through modern online technologies.