• New African suburbanisation? Exploring the growth of the northern corridor of eThekwini/KwaDakuza

    Suburbanisation, understood as ‘the combination of non-central population and economic growth with urban spatial expansion’ has been on the rise in African cities, as well as internationally, and has taken on diverse forms.

  • Housing the poor in African cities: quick guides

    The Quick Guides on Housing the Poor in African Cities series aims to improve the understanding by policy makers at national and local levels of pro-poor housing and urban development within the framework of urban poverty reduction.

  • Water in Nairobi: Unveiling inequality and its causes

    Water in Nairobi: Unveiling inequality and its causes. Les Cahiers d’Outre-Mer, 263: 335-348. Water and sanitation in Nairobi face problems common to many cities of the developing world which grow too fast. This situation allows the stark differences in socio-economic between the wealthy and the poor to translate into unequal and inequitable consumption of available […]

  • Urban lecture series: How can we transcend slum urbanism in Africa?

    Edgar Pieterse in this lecture argues that data about economic incorporation into the labour market and living conditions demonstrate that the majority of African urban dwellers live in conditions of vulnerability, and that economic insecurity reinforces slum living and makes it difficult for states to access sufficient tax revenues to address a variety of urban […]

  • Cities With Slums

    Although one of the last continents to urbanise, Africa is now experiencing rapid urbanisation, the scale of which exceeds its cities’ capacity to absorb migrants and is exacerbated by high rates of natural growth.[i]  Much of this urbanisation is taking the form of informal settlements, often on the periphery[ii] of large towns and cities or […]

  • The Informal City Reader

    During 2013, Next City chronicled stories from the informal realm as part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Informal City Dialogues. Through photography, film and well over a hundred blog posts, those stories became a running narrative of the lives of informal workers and settlers in the six cities that participated in the project. From those cities, we offered a window into the lives of street vendors, slum-dwellers, waste-pickers, even home-based beer brewers. Now, Next City has released an ebook…

  • Vulnerability of Poor Urban Coastal Communities to Flooding in Lagos, Nigeria

    This paper considers the risks from and vulnerabilities to flooding in four urban poor communities close to the coast in Lagos, Nigeria. Drawing on interviews with inhabitants and key informants and also on group discussions, it documents the scale and frequency of flooding in these settlements and the impacts, as well as the individual, household and community responses. It also considers the factors that have contributed to increasing flood risks in Lagos, including the uncontrolled expansion of the built-up area, the lack of infrastructure and the failure not only to expand stormwater drainage but also…

  • 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…

  • Poor Urban Communities and Municipal Interface in Ghana: A Case Study of Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis

    Like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana, is undergoing a rapid pace of urbanization associated with socio-economic, environmental, and institutional challenges for urban residents and local government authorities. Under Ghana’s laws, Metropolitan Assemblies (large city local governments) have overall responsibility for the development of their respective cities. This article explores the poor urban communities—municipal interface based on a study carried out in the largest (Accra) and third largest (Sekondi-Takoradi) cities. The study concludes…

  • The Case of Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka is the capital city of Zambia, a country in the Central African Plateau with an average altitude of 1,000 to 1,400 m above sea level. Zambia is generally considered to be a Southern African country, because of its strong social and economic ties with the countries in the Southern African sub-continent rather than those in Central and Eastern Africa. Zambia lies between latitudes 100º and 180º south and 220º and 330º east. It is landlocked and shares borders with eight neighbouring countries. Zambia has a land area of 752,614 km and a population of just over 10 million…