Rush hour rest stop

Shortly before the N3 negotiates the final coastal ridge that skirts central Durban, this busy motorway passes the northern border of Cato Manor, a well-known residential enclave with a tragic history. Known locally as Umkhumbane, it is this site and its complex history that informs an art-minded architectural project a little further along the N3, […]

Lagos Wide and Close: an Interactive Journey into an Exploding City

(Cross-posted from FutureLagos) I have just been introduced to a sensory exploration of Lagos that uses various perspectives to explore the multifaceted city. This interactive documentary is based on the Lagos research project by Rem Koolhaas and The Harvard Project. In 2001, architect Rem Koolhaas and filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak went to Lagos to […]

New master plan for Nairobi

The failure to realise much of Nairobi’s 1973 Nairobi Metropolitan Growth Strategy, combined with a need to plan a livable city for the estimated 5.2 million people that will live in Nairobi by 2030, has led to the development of the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan (NIUPLAN).

In Accra, a need to re-claim open spaces and re-gain community?

Traditionally, recreation and social interaction were a matter of course for African societies, finding expression in the built form from the compounds in multi-family dwellings to community durbar grounds. The very form of the built environment ensured the requisite interaction. However with urbanisation and a misconceived notion of modernity, the experience of social interaction is changing in form, substance and scale.

Planning for open streets in Cape Town

The busy hum of collaboration filled the Department of Design in Cape Town Wednesday night. The team at Open Streets Cape Town brought together citizens who share the belief that ‘Cape Town’s streets could be so much more’ for a workshop about the upcoming Open Streets events for 2014. Based on the concept of Bogota’s […]

Cities as “sites of chaos”

I think of cities as essentially sites of chaos.” With this sentence, Dr. Alan Mabin, head of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, starts a lecture about what he describes as the chaotic phenomenon of cities around the world.

Eko Atlantic City: the journey to completion

Article first published by Future Lagos. Eko Atlantic City is a 10 square kilometers city being built as an extension of Victoria Island, South of Lagos. It is one of the new ‘utopian’ style cities being planned in Africa. It’s comrades are Hope City (Accra, Ghana), Tatu City (Nairobi, Kenya), Century City (Abuja, Nigeria), Kilamba (Luanda, […]

Slums in Ghana – Tackie’s take

Join Frank Tackie, past president of the Ghana Institute of Planners, with guests, in a 50-minute discussion about slums and urban sprawl in Ghana.            

Plant a tomato and a potato might come out: Ethiopia’s urban development challenges

Ethiopia’s cities are currently facing rapid population growth, leaving them with the challenge of accommodating an increasing number of inhabitants on tight individual and public budgets. At the same time, changing ideas of modern urban representation influences the development agenda. Zegeye Cherenet, an architect and university teacher based at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building […]

An air of nostalgia at Cape Town’s Grand Parade

If you walk down Darling Street in Cape Town towards the City Hall, you will come across the Grand Parade. This square is a rough-fitting assemblage of informal trade, passers-by, security guards, littered plastic and pigeons, but also a national monument since 1962, deemed to be South Africa’s most historic public open square. Up until […]