• Building a city of neighbourhoods

    Mokena Makeka is a Cape Town-based architect responsible for the redesign of the city’s main transit station – the heart of a 20-year vision of high-density neighbourhoods – and the celebrated Thusong Service Centre in Khayelitsha. Brett Petzer spoke with him about the wait for better spaces. Brett Petzer: Why, within walking distance of Cape […]

  • New African urbanisms: a view from Luanda

    Twenty years ago, Western scholars declared African cities to be in crisis. [1] Years of rapid unplanned urban growth under conditions of economic crisis had taken their toll and observers warned that without ‘good governance’ these cities would be lost beyond repair. Post-war urban development in Luanda as described by the South African anthropologist Claudia […]

  • Examining Nairobi’s split personality

    Walking through certain parts of Nairobi, one is struck by the formal elements that highlight the city’s conscious march towards becoming a “world-class city.” Images of the formal or “modernity,” such as the development of public commuter rail, shopping malls with mega supermarkets and organic food outlets, and tall, all-glass skyscrapers that house multinational corporations […]

  • Staking a claim: mining Johannesburg’s new resources

    Johannesburg is a space of intense paradox. It is a city where fortunes have been made, lost and made again; a place where lives are lived in glittering luxury and/or dire poverty. The state is both absent and present; residents are visible and invisible, profoundly connected to each other and in states of intense disconnection, […]

  • Kigali 2020: the politics of silence in the city of shock

    Few governments in Africa have been as ambitious as Rwanda’s when it comes to thinking about their urban future. To anyone who knows the country, this intensity of ambition should come as no surprise. Rwanda’s ‘Vision 2020’ strategy paints a picture of a middle-income country in the year 2020: a regional economic powerhouse serving as […]

  • Dakar unsettled

    By the dawn of 2006, Dakar, Senegal, seemed on the brink of great metamorphosis. Across the coastal capital city, the struggling nation’s grand potential was being declared through poured concrete and rising skeletons of steel. Drawing inspiration from the spectacular rise of global cities like Dubai, Senegal’s then-president Abdoulaye Wade and his allies imagined large-scale […]

  • Gaborone aspires to be a major player among African cities

    Botswana’s capital was initially planned for 15,000 people and is now home to 300,000. Kibo Ngowi’s documentary film examines Gaborone as ‘the Rising City,’ illustrating its history, present circumstance and view for the future. Leta Mosienyane, author of Gaborone City plan (2009-2021), presents an overview of the history of Botswana’s capital. Emerging in the 1960s […]

  • Lagos to represent Africa at international conference on urban social challenges

    The Nigerian capital is one of 22 cities nominated to present problems and solutions to issues afflicting cities across the globe. The conference will be hosted in San Francisco in May. While half of the nominees are from Spain, Britain and the USA, Lagos is Africa’s only representative. Cities Pilot the Future  intends to match […]

  • Five ideas from London that could work in Cape Town

    London may not be able to compete with Cape Town’s weather and scenery, but we’ve narrowed down a list of five great aspects of London that could work just as well in the Mother City. 1. SHARED SPACE: EXHIBITION ROAD Credit: Charlotte Gilhooly This portal to some of London’s best museums allows for the (reduced) flow of vehicular traffic, […]

  • 10, 000 condominium homes handed to Addis Ababa residents

    In 2004, the Ethiopian government launched the Integrated Housing Development Programme (IHDP) to reduce slum areas and unemployment in Addis Ababa through low- and middle-income housing projects. Yesterday, the IHDP produced results and the city transferred 10,000 condominium houses to their future residents. According to AllAfrica, “to date, the Addis Ababa City Administration has transferred […]