Suraya Scheba
Dr Suraya Scheba

Dr Suraya Scheba
Room 4.11
PhD Human Geography, University of Manchester (2015)



Academic Profile

Suraya is interested in urban socio-material struggles and emancipatory futures and has explored this through a focus on the politics and struggles over water and housing infrastructure. A central research interest is urban occupations and movements, where she has sought to undertake more comparative and collaborative research across cities of the Global South, as a part of the City Occupied project (see for details). She aims to continue and advance this work, guided by a commitment to engaged scholarship and comparative dialogue. She is also an Urban Studies Foundation Fellow, affiliated to the University of Amsterdam during the Fellowship period in 2022.

Selected Publications:

Scheba, S. (forthcoming). Knowing the city through body, home & land. In Barnett, C., Oldfield, S. & Selmeczi, A. (eds), Knowing the City (Book chapter)

Scheba, S. (forthcoming). The South African Water Sector: Municipal Dysfunction, Resistance, and Future Pathways. Water Alternatives

Cirolia, L. R., Ngwenya, N., Christianson, B., & Scheba, S. (2021). Retrofitting, repurposing and replacing: a multi-  media exploration of occupation in Cape Town, South Africa. Planext.(online first, DOI: 10.24306/plnxt/69)

Scheba, S. (2021). Pathways toward a dialectical urbanism: Thinking with the contingencies of crisis, care and capitalism. In Lancione, M. & McFarlane, C. (eds), Global Urbanism (pp. 176-182). Routledge.

Millington, N., & Scheba, S. (2021). Day Zero and The Infrastructures of Climate Change: Water Governance, Inequality, and Infrastructural Politics in Cape Town's Water Crisis. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 45(1), 116-132.

Cirolia, L. R., & Scheba, S. (2019). Towards a multi-scalar reading of informality in Delft, South Africa: Weaving the ‘everyday’ with wider structural tracings. Urban Studies, 56(3), 594-611.

Selected Public-facing outputs:

City occupied collective. Documentary with fil-maker Sara Gouveia. Available at

City occupied collective. Cissie Gool House: A city occupied zine (2021) and featured here:

Scheba, S. (2021). New Packaging, Same Deal. (Also featured on Daily Maverick news-site, UCT News

Scheba, S. (2020). Covid-19 and the Virulence of Capitalism