South African tycoon to build a Johannesburg gated city

The latest of Johannesburg’s gated communities is in the process of construction by business magnate Douw Steyn. The estate is being advertised as a city in itself, set to contain shopping centres, office parks, medical facilities, private schools and a golf course. Steyn City is five times the size of Monaco – the world’s second […]

93% of houses in South Sudan are grass-thatched mud huts

The Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning in South Sudan released a study last week revealing that almost all of the country’s population live in grass-thatched mud-houses. Juba, the country’s capital, is not immune from this phenomenon. Sudan Tribune reports: “Despite the fact that individuals and families in South Sudan own those huts and the […]

Food crisis strikes Central African Republic

Humanitarian agencies have warned that a food crisis is imminent in the Central African Republic (CAR). In urban areas – usually least affected by the traditional lean season of April to September – the situation is dire. Food in Bangui’s markets is scarce and expensive; people are borrowing or trading for food. Those with access […]

Seeking safety in the city

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are forced from their homes by violence or natural disasters. But the face of displacement is changing: While the popular view of displacement is one of sprawling rural camps, displaced people are now just as likely to be living in urban areas, often hidden from view. The Humanitarian […]

New York City for Africa?

An ambitious plan to redress apartheid inequalities in one of Africa’s primary economic hubs will see the city become the “New York of Africa”. A 10 year, $10 billion plan is inspired by New York City’s transport system, roads, parks and bridges and aspires to see Africa’s richest city transformed. Plans include housing, extensive road […]

Fear of demolition grips Lagos slum dwellers

The urban renewal programme in Lagos is threatening the housing security of residents who live in the many ‘illegal’ settlements in the megacity. Beautification and channelization appear higher on the Lagos State Government’s list of priorities than secure housing for the city’s over 12 million residents. Tunji Bello, Commissioner for the Environment, visited an illegal […]

Plastic bottles bring light to Kampala’s informal settlements

Homes made from iron sheets in Kampala’s informal settlements are often plagued by darkness, with electricity being unaffordable or inaccessible. However, the Daylight Project has begun to solve this issue by creating lights out of household items.  IPS reports: The project uses plastic water bottles – something that has become an environmental nuisance in Uganda […]

Anti-government protests erupt in Morocco’s cities

The high cost of living, corruption and social grievances have been the reason for the breakout of urban protests across Morocco. Sudan Vision reports: “In Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, nearly 1,000 people gathered, chanting anti-corruption slogans, denouncing the sharp rise in prices, and calling for the release of jailed activists, a witness said. Around 300 […]

Security risks temper benefits of urbanisation for women in Africa

While urbanisation enables socio-economic opportunities for women – which is often emphasised by those in the development sector – urban environments also provide a greater risk to safety and welfare. “Unlike their rural counterparts, women in urban areas are thought to enjoy greater social, economic, political opportunities and freedoms. […] Even so, these women are […]

Kigali launches new city master plan

With the recently-launched Kigali Master Plan, Rwanda hopes to put forward an innovative urban development plan, transforming Kigali “into a ‘model’ city for the region, Africa, and the world.” The plan focuses on better preservation of nature and the use of natural cycles to provide efficient infrastructure. The Kigali City plan also aims to improve […]