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Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town

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Pippin Anderson

Pippin Anderson

Department of Environmental and Geographical Science and
The African Centre for Cities
University of Cape Town, South Africa

Pippin Anderson works at the University of Cape Town in South Africa where she is lecturer and director of graduate studies in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science and urban ecology researcher at the African Centre for Cities. With a Masters degree in Conservation Biology and a PhD in Plant Ecology, Pippin has always had an interest in peopled-landscapes. In the last few years she has turned her interests to urban ecosystems and this informs her current teaching and research. Pippin lives in a dense suburb close to the city centre in Cape Town, yet from her roof (she goes up there for purposes of sanity) she can see Table Mountain National Park. She loves this dichotomy where city and nature must coexist, with their different temporal and spatial scales, and each so variably imagined by the population of the City. She enjoys grappling with the messiness of the ecology of human dominated landscapes.

January 7, 2015

“Because then it becomes a beautiful self-driven machine. Nature driving people driving nature. Where the word is spread and the pride is shared and spread and it spills over (in the community). Everyone wants to feel proud of something that is on their doorstep“. —Kelvin Cochrane, baker and community-activist, Bottom Road Sanctuary, Cape Town This … Continue reading Small Civic-Led Indigenous Planting Schemes: Simply Feel Good Stuff or a Real Ecological Contribution?

June 18, 2014
Local kids throwing seed bombs

Spurred on by some students who asked me earlier in the year what sort of personal activism I pursue in relation to my views around the importance of forwarding and preserving functioning urban ecologies, I decided to embark on a bit of guerilla gardening in the form of a seed bombing exercise. In addition to … Continue reading Driving Social and Ecological Change: My Experiment with Guerilla Gardening

December 14, 2013
Save the rhino girl

Graffiti, revered and loathed by turn, provides insights into societal attitudes and perceptions. In this short photo essay I present nature-related graffiti from the City of Cape Town. Cape Town still bares the hallmarks of apartheid with significant race-based development and wealth discrepancies. It is situated in the middle of a global biodiversity hotspot. And, … Continue reading What Does Urban Nature-Related Graffiti Tell Us? A Photo Essay from the City of Cape Town

May 15, 2013

I have three jobs—lecturer, facilitator of academic research, and mother of two nature-engaged kids. My three experiences lead me to think we have a core problem in urban social-ecology: that we let our fealty to discipline-specific methods get in the way of true multidisciplinary work that is key to real understudying in urban social-ecological systems. … Continue reading Though There is Method, There is Madness In It: How Silos of Methods Impede Cross-Cutting Research

February 13, 2013

Its 11 o’clock on a Saturday night and my husband and I have just returned home from a dinner party. Driving home we encountered Chital deer (Axis axis) grazing outside the Table Mountain National Park boundary and right on the verge of a busy highway. These deer don’t belong here, and by here I mean … Continue reading What We Want and What We Don’t: Forging an Urban Nature that Works for Everyone