This article examines the relation between the University of Pretoria and the City of Tshwane, outlining seven different kinds of relation as they have taken shape historically. The first type relation between the University and the City presented here, establishes correspondences in public architecture at the height of apartheid modernity, between structures marking and shaping political convergences. The second type of relation is premised on the walling in and fencing off of the University from the City; the Metro musings exhibition inaugurating the ‘Capital Cities’ project looks across the divides thus cemented, from within the confines of the University. The third type of relation is that of ‘Community Engagement’ culminating in the annual Mandela Day activities, impelled by ideas on the Developmental State featuring in the National Development Plan. In the fourth type of relation, corporate models of municipal governance find common cause with the corporate management styles of the University, expressed in corporate partnerships combining a ‘University of Excellence’ with ‘the African City of Excellence’. The strategies envisaged for social intervention emerging from this ‘partnership’ form a sixth type of relation between the University and the City. In the process of pitting property and law against poverty and lawlessness, new civic challenges are emerging for transformative constitutionalism and for the University. In both arenas, this article concludes, what is at stake is a seventh type of relation between the University and the City – outside of the ‘legal’-‘illegal’ distinction. For the University, in particular, this would entail a productive idea of ‘dissensus’.