• What is the good city?

    The development of industrial capitalism in Europe gave rise to conditions that motivated the rise of modern urban planning. In Africa, urban models for ordering society emerged in the late 1930s. Andrew Byerley looks at the laboratory of urban Africa. Download full article here.

  • 2 billion strong: a regenerative solution to building sustainable African cities

    “2 Billion Strong” is a collaborative contribution of insights, expertise and experience made by the individuals who comprise the communiTgrow team. The title makes reference to the projected population of Africa by 2050: 2 billion people. The report offers valuable insight into communiTgrow’s mission to build new regenerative cities throughout Africa. communiTgrow has shared their intellectual property in this format, to inspire others and to illustrate how a sustainable Africa…

  • Social Impact Assessment: International Principles

    This document serves as a discussion document for the impact assessment community. It promulgates a new understanding of SIA. It is intended that this be available to practitioners around the world. It can provide them with the basis for developing national guidelines in consultation with a range of stakeholders and users in their own countries. Download article here.

  • City-Level Decoupling: Urban Resource Flows and Governance of Infrastructure Transitions

    It is generally accepted that the defining social character of our age is that the majority of people on the planet now live in cities. The 2.5 billion people that will take the global population from the current 7 billion to the projected 9.5 billion by 2050 will end up living in African and Asian cities. The end result will be the urbanization of nearly 4 billion people between 1950 and 2030, mainly in the cities of the global South. At the same time, it is also generally accepted…

  • Making a case for evidence-informed decision making for participatory urban design

    Urban regeneration has emerged as a response to government attempts to reverse the blight of industrial decline in the United Kingdom. The challenge has however been in developing sustainable solutions while meeting the needs of the citizens. Design-led initiatives have come under a lot of criticism for its subjective approach to urban design, focussing on the requirements of the developer or designer, but failing to meet the needs of the citizen or end user. This article offers a critical review and analysis…

  • Malawi Reports: Urban Profiles of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba

    UNHabitat released a series of urban profiles on Malawian cities Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu, as well as a National Urban Profile. The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) is an accelerated and action-oriented urban assessment of needs and capacity-building gaps at national and local levels. It is currently being implemented in over 30 countries in Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific Region.

  • Reclaiming Reusable and Recyclable Materials in Africa: A Critical Review of English Language Literature

    The sight of people rummaging through rubbish bins is ubiquitous in many African cities. Yet, aside from the well-documented and widely celebrated case of the zabbaleen in Egypt, Africa does not generally feature within current international debates on people who extract useful materials from the waste stream. Although a significant amount of research has, in fact, been conducted on this topic, to date there has not been a systematic effort to bring this literature together in order to distil key insights regarding the African experience. This paper seeks…

  • Resurgent African Cities?

    There is a welcome new narrative about Africa as a continent on the move and verging on economic take-off. The old assumptions of political mismanagement, economic failure and entrenched poverty have been replaced by an optimistic scenario of growing prosperity rooted in stable democracies.

  • Packaging Township Development Projects

    This module will examine how the inputs for successful township development projects can be mobilised and managed through the course of a project. Any physical intervention project – be it the establishment of a node, an activity spine or improving an open space system – needs four inputs to be mobilised and applied: 1. Land, 2. Capital, 3. Human resources and skills and 4. Statutory approvals and authorisations. To secure these inputs, a fifth condition is required: leadership. Someone needs to drive the complex…

  • Improving urban management in townships

    This module explores the urban management challenge. It defines urban management, reviews its specific functions, explores the historical origins of the present management deficit in townships and isolates the factors that inhibit effective urban management today.