Cities in perspective – the Global Urban Lectures series

As urbanafrica announced recently UN-Habitat’s Global Urban Lectures series is available online. Here’s a list of some of the best talks. 1. In Making Room for a Planet of Cities professor Shlomo (Solly) Angel, based at NYU, introduces a new paradigm for ‘making room.’ He highlights the need to plan the growth of urban territories […]

Residents dismayed by poor workmanship at Pelican Park

Rahat* and his family recently moved into their new state-subsidised house in Pelican Park, on the edge of Grassy Park in Cape Town, from an informal settlement in Ottery. He has three children but only his youngest lives with him. The bedroom designated for the children stands empty. The entire house, in fact, is still […]

5 must-watch videos about urbanization in Africa

It’s unnecessary to say that African urban populations are growing and urbanisation is becoming one of the most important and highly topical concepts in the management of African cities. There are many books, reports and papers on African urban issues but less audiovisual material. Here’s a selection of the best videos from around the web. […]

Can Cape Town’s apartheid structure be undone?

(Republished from Future Cape Town). Living in the Cape Town CBD, I forget that the area of the city is 2,455 km², which is actually bigger than Johannesburg, at 1,645 km². Then why does Cape Town feel so small for some and so large for others? Last week, Future Cape Town traveled to Langa for […]

Africa’s great urban migration

(Republished from UCT’s Monday Monthly). Africa is urbanising rapidly. The ongoing human migration – of people pulling up roots in rural areas and resettling in cities – that happened in the Global North over a period of 200 years, is happening in the Global South (including Africa) in less than half the time. This rapid […]

Nairobi’s first birthday

Reposted from Africa Research Institute March 27, 2014, was the first anniversary of the swearing in of the devolved Nairobi County government headed by Dr Evans Kidero. In recent press articles, Nairobi has been touted as “Africa’s most expensive capital”, “one of the most livable cities in Africa” and an “emerging wealth hub” for ultra-high […]

Nairobbery: life in the fenced city

Last September the world was shocked by terrorist group al-Shabaab’s killing of 67 people in Nairobi’s Westgate mall. But long before al-Shabaab’s brazen mall attack, in retaliation for Kenyan military intervention in Somalia, Nairobi already had a reputation for being one of the most dangerous cities in Africa. So much so that it has earned […]

Saving Swahili urban landscapes

There is more to East African coastal cities than the typical honeymoon pictures of white sand beaches they produce. The cobbled streets of Lamu Old Town (Kenya), Zanzibar’s Stone Town (Tanzania) and Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique) are lined with Swahili architecture, including former stately homes of Swahili Sultans.

Nigeria’s super rich embracing ‘climate apartheid’?

The Guardian recently ran a scathing article on Eko Atlantic, a city in the making that will be built on an island of dredged sand off Lagos, Nigeria’s capital.

Where can we find alternative African urban futures?

Available options for the future of African cities appear to be limited to a binary choice between apocalyptic disorder and an irrepressibly optimistic orderliness – between the slum and the tech park.