New think tank tackles urbanisation in Africa

Partnership between Cities Alliance and the African Center for Cities tackles complexities of urbanization on the African continent.

A better zoning system for South Africa?

This paper considers the role of land use management within SPLUMA and the criteria for an appropriate system in circumstances of weak municipal government capacity.

Cairo by night

Urban Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan African Cities

A new report from the ACC explores the extent to which cities in Sub-Saharan Africa are harnessing urban land values to finance city infrastructure.

Inequalities in child mortality in ten major African cities

The existence of socio-economic inequalities in child mortality is well documented. African cities grow faster than cities in most other regions of the world; and inequalities in African cities are thought to be particularly large. Revealing health-related inequalities is essential in order for governments to be able to act against them.

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…

From “All for some” to “Some for all”? A historical geography of pro-poor water provision in Kampala

This article discusses the historical mechanisms and geographical factors that have formed the current structure of urban water provision in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The formation of the urban geography of Kampala dates back to the early colonial period. The high- and middle-income earners have settled on the hills while the poorest part of the population lives in the low-lying areas, dispersed as pockets of unplanned and informal settlements. Public services are…

Waste Management in Contemporary Nigeria: The Abuja Example

Environmental hazards of varying magnitude dangerously threaten human and animal lives in most urban centers in Nigeria. As the case of Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital, used in this study revealed, rapid urbanization, rural-urban migration, little or no town planning efforts coupled with attitudinal irresponsibility, lack of political will, ineptitude and graft have independently and collectively created environmental challenge in Nigeria. With human/solid waste decorating street corners and public space everywhere in Nigeria…

Angola’s planned and unplanned urban growth: diamond mining towns in the Lunda Provinces

Mining towns in Angola have followed a different growth trajectory from urban agglomerations elsewhere on the continent. Colonial mining cities were treated as regional strategic locations mainly under the direction of mining companies, with an orientation towards natural and human resources management and planned urbanisation. As Angola became engulfed in civil war after independence in 1975, urban planning and control fell into disarray, which led to rapid and unplanned urban growth as rural populations fled the insecurity of the countryside. In the provinces of…

Exploring the connections: mining and urbanisation in Ghana

Studies of mining and urbanisation have been primarily conducted independently of one another, with limited consideration of the inter-linkages between the two. This analysis seeks to fill this gap by exploring the links between mining and urbanisation in a Ghanaian context. Ghana is an interesting case as it is both endowed with significant mineral wealth and is highly urbanised, with a long history of urban settlement compared to most of sub-Saharan Africa. Mining and…

Mining, welfare and urbanisation: the wavering urban character of Zambia’s Copperbelt

This article focuses on the character of life and social welfare services in the mining towns of what was once the most urbanised country in central Africa. The services provided by mining companies varied over the years: from minimal at the time of the industry’s establishment in the 1920s; to a period of largesse between the 1950s and the late 1970s; and then a slow decline following the slide in world copper prices. The withdrawal of the mines from welfare provision from the mid-1990s to the present has radically altered not only people’s well-being, but…