Contemporary Africa is undergoing a period of unprecedented urban expansion, which is throwing up new challenges in the provision of essential services and contentious questions about ownership of urban spaces. This volume explores the interconnections between these processes, whilst avoiding the tendency to forget that cities are also embedded in deeper historical processes that are integral to the framing of entitlements. Histories of migrancy and the creation of urban 'stranger' communities are fundamental in deciding who lives where and what this means, materially and socially. The gated communities that are springing up are often layered across older forms of urban segregation and/or segmentation. Urban water and food supply, the management of urban land claims, inequality and popular culture are closely examined.
The book contains 17 chapters with material from 13 African countries, from Egypt to Swaziland and from Senegal to Kenya. Most of the authors are young African academics. The focus of the volume is the multitude of voluntary associations that has emerged in African cities in recent years. In many cases, they are a response to mounting poverty, failing infrastructure and services, and more generally, weak or abdicating urban governments. Some associations are new, in other cases, existing organizations are taking on new tasks. Associations may be neighbourhood-based, others may be city-wide and based on professional groupings or a shared ideology or religion. Still others have an ethnic base. Some of these organizations are engaged in both day-to-day matters of urban management and more long-term urban development. Urban associations challenge the monopoly of local and central government institutions.
In this groundbreaking book, Garth Myers uses African urban concepts and experiences to speak back to theoretical and practical concerns. He argues for a re-visioning - a seeing again, and a revising - of how cities in Africa are discussed and written about in both urban studies and African studies. Cities in Africa are still either ignored - banished to a different, other, lesser category of not-quite cities - or held up as examples of all that can go wrong with urbanism in much of the mainstream and even critical urban literature. Myers instead encourages African studies and urban studies scholars across the world to engage with the vibrancy and complexity of African cities with fresh eyes. Touching on a diverse range of cities across Africa - from Zanzibar to Nairobi, Cape Town to Mogadishu, Kinshasa to Dakar - the book uses the author's own research and a close reading of works by other scholars, writers and artists to help illuminate what is happening in and across the region's cities.
The book focuses on contemporary African cities, caught in the contradiction of an imperial past and postcolonial present. The essays explore the cultural role of colonial architecture and urbanism in the production of meanings: in the inscription of power and discipline, as well as in the dynamic construction of identities. It is in these new dense urban spaces, with all their contradictions, that urban Africans are reworking their local identities, building families, and creating autonomous communities – made fragile by neo-liberal states in a globalizing world. The book offers a range of scholarly interpretations of the new forms of urbanity. It engages with issues, themes and topics including colonial legacies, postcolonial intersections, cosmopolitan spaces, urban reconfigurations, and migration which are at the heart of the continuing debate about the trajectory of contemporary African cities. The collection discusses contemporary African cities as diverse as Dar Es Salaam, Dakar, Johannesburg, Lagos and Kinshasa – offering new insights into the current state of postcolonial African cities. This was previously published as a special issue of African Identities.
This book highlights the use of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructures in order to develop smart cities and produce smart economies in Africa. It discusses a robust set of concepts, including smart planning, smart infrastructure development, smart economic development, smart environmental sustainability, smart social development, resilience, and smart peace and security in several African cities. By drawing on the accumulated knowledge on various conditions that make cities smart, green, livable and healthy, it helps in the planning, design and management of African urbanization. In turn, it fosters the development of e-commerce, e-education, e-governance, etc. The rapid development of ICT infrastructures facilitates the creation of smart economies in digitally served cities and towns through smart urban planning, smart infrastructures, smart land tenure and smart urban policies. In the long term, this can reduce emissions of CO2, promote the creation of low carbon cities, reduce land degradation and promote biodiversity.
This volume brings together a unique set of interventions from a variety of contributors to bridge the gap between research and policy with a distinct focus on Africa, drawing on work conducted as part of multiple interconnected research projects and networks on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and global policy implementation in African cities. Through the framework of the SDGs, and in particular Goal 11, the book aims to contribute to generating new knowledge about approaches to SDG localization that are grounded in complex and diverse local contexts, needs and realities, integrated perspectives and collaborative research. The volume draws together contributions from urban experts from different professional and disciplinary backgrounds, ranging from the fields of governance, planning, data, sustainability, health and finance, to provide critical insight into the current dynamics, actors, blind spots, constraints and also good practices and opportunities for realizing the SDGs in Africa. Readers will gain detailed and informed insight into the African experience of SDG localization, monitoring and implementation based on multiple case studies, and will learn of the practices needed to accelerate action towards achieving the SDGs in urban contexts. This book will be of interest to researchers and planners focusing on SDGs implementation in Africa, as well as government organizations, development practitioners and students committed to long-term, inclusive sustainable and participatory development.
This book provides a framework to rethink postcoloniality and urbanism from African perspectives. Bringing together multidisciplinary perspectives on African crises through postmillennial films, the book addresses the need to situate global south cultural studies within the region. The book employs film criticism and semiotics as devices to decode contemporary cultures of African cities, with a specific focus on crisis. Drawing on a variety of contemporary theories on cities of the global south, especially Africa, the book sifts through nuances of crisis urbanism within postmillennial African films. In doing so the book offers unique perspectives that move beyond the confines of sociological or anthropological studies of cities. It argues that crisis has become a mainstay reality of African cities and thus occupies a central place in the way these cities may be theorized or imagined. The book considers crises of six African cities: nonentity in post-apartheid Johannesburg, laissez faire economies of Kinshasa, urban commons in Nairobi, hustlers in postwar Monrovia, latent revolt in Cairo, and cantonments in postwar Luanda, which offer useful insights on African cities today. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of urban studies, urban geography, urban sociology, cultural studies, and media studies.
This book provides readers with a wide overview of place-based planning and design experiments addressing such powerful transformations in the African built environment. This continent is currently undergoing fast paced urban, institutional and environmental changes, which have stimulated an increasing interest for alternative architectural solutions, urban designs and comprehensive planning experiments. The international and balanced array of the collected contributions explore emerging research concepts for understanding urban and peri-urban processes in Africa, discuss bottom-up planning and design practices, and present inspirational and innovative co-design methods and participatory tools for steering such change through public spaces, sustainable services and infrastructures. The book is intended for students, researchers, decision-makers and practitioners engaged in planning and design for the built environment in Africa and the Global South at large.