New Articles Published (2018)


Émilie Guitard (2018). «Between Municipal Management and Sorcery Uses of Waste», Cahiers d’études africaines [En ligne], 231-232 | URL : http://journals.openedition.org/etudesafricaines/23453

Abstract

Many city-dwellers from Garoua and Maroua, northern part of Cameroon, identify bodily excretions and discarded intimate items as tools for an instrumental sorcery, based on a continuity seen as irreducible with the body and what is rejected from it. Facing with these sorcery uses of waste, the public authorities’ position inherits from older conceptions of great accumulations of waste, seen as gathering ambivalent and versatile “forces” that can be harnessed by powerful individuals for purposes of domination and increase in wealth. Far from questioning these conceptions, the initiatives taken in 2008 by the authorities to manage garbage collection and street cleaning in both cities, with the help of a private company, induces rather a renewal of this sorcery of refuse.


Michelle T Kuenzi, Gina M S Lambright (2018). Decentralization, Executive Selection, and Citizen Views on the Quality of Local Governance in African Countries, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, , pjy031, https://doi.org/10.1093/publius/pjy031

Abstract

Do institutions influence the quality of local governance in Africa? We examine determinants of citizens’ perceptions of the quality of local government using Afrobarometer survey data for twenty-six sub-Saharan African countries and country-level variables. We find that the method of selecting chief executives is a significant factor in citizen evaluations of local governance. Citizens tend to view local governments as less responsive when the chief executive is directly elected. They also perceive the performance and probity of local government more negatively when the chief executive is appointed by the national government. Greater expenditure control is a double-edged sword. Citizens in areas with greater local control over public expenditures perceive local officials to be more responsive, yet also more corrupt. Citizens in areas with greater administrative decentralization tend to view corruption as less widespread. These results suggest that the direct election of local executives is not a panacea and the capacity of local governments should be considered before decentralization is deepened.


Buyana, K., Byarugaba, D., Sseviiri, H. et al. (2018). Experimentation in an African Neighborhood: Reflections for Transitions to Sustainable Energy in Cities. Urban Forum (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12132-018-9358-z

Abstract

Studies on transitions to sustainable energy in cities point to different types of experimentation including niche experiments, bounded socio-technical experiments, transition experiments and grassroots experiments. This paper argues that experimentation in African cities cannot be definitively framed into such types because each case harbors a unique perspective with implications for how it is understood conceptually. This is based on a transdisciplinary inquiry into waste to energy pilots in an informal neighborhood of Kampala city, which demonstrated how a network of community actors overcome not only energy but also health and poverty-related challenges, through recycling waste materials for production of energy briquettes. Their experimentation is majorly driven by the following: (i) the desire to overcome confinement to services regulated by government and (ii) promoting alternative sources of cooking energy that stem from locally available technologies. Overall, the case study points to how transitions to sustainable energy in cities can start in experimentation at neighborhood scale, using alternative cooking energy solutions as the anchorage.


Oussama A. Hadadi & Shin Lee (2018) The climate change mitigation potential of Algiers URT through mode shift from the car to rail – assessing CO2 emissions reductions on the basis of savings in fuel consumption, International Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13563475.2018.1535960

Abstract

This paper attempts to assess the potential of a transport policy to mitigate climate change by assessing the impacts of urban rail transit (URT) investments on travel mode choice and carbon dioxide emission reductions in Algiers, the capital city of Algeria. The objectives are: (1) to assess the extent of travel mode change from private automobiles to rail for commuting trips as an effect of the URT operation; (2) to identify complementary measures which might be adopted to enhance the effect of the URT; and (3) to quantify the CO2 emission reductions on the basis of the fuel saved per person as a result of the travel mode change that occurred, following the IPCC guideline methodologies. A questionnaire survey of the URT users was conducted to observe the behavioural changes. Positive effects of rail projects in terms of attracting car users to the new travel modes have been evidenced, resulting in a significant extent of carbon emission reductions, which signifies a contribution to sustainable urban mobility and climate change mitigation. The findings also show reinforcing effects of both fuel price increases and parking restrictions on mitigating transport-related carbon emissions.


Michelle T Kuenzi, Gina M S Lambright (2018). Decentralization, Executive Selection, and Citizen Views on the Quality of Local Governance in African Countries, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, , pjy031, https://doi.org/10.1093/publius/pjy031

Abstract

Do institutions influence the quality of local governance in Africa? We examine determinants of citizens’ perceptions of the quality of local government using Afrobarometer survey data for twenty-six sub-Saharan African countries and country-level variables. We find that the method of selecting chief executives is a significant factor in citizen evaluations of local governance. Citizens tend to view local governments as less responsive when the chief executive is directly elected. They also perceive the performance and probity of local government more negatively when the chief executive is appointed by the national government. Greater expenditure control is a double-edged sword. Citizens in areas with greater local control over public expenditures perceive local officials to be more responsive, yet also more corrupt. Citizens in areas with greater administrative decentralization tend to view corruption as less widespread. These results suggest that the direct election of local executives is not a panacea and the capacity of local governments should be considered before decentralization is deepened.


Re-Imagining African Cities. The Arts and Urban Politics (Guest editors: Fiona Siegenthaler and Till Förster)

Till Förster & Fiona Siegenthaler (2018) Introduction: Re-Imagining Cities in Africa, Social Dynamics, 44:3, 395-404, DOI: 10.1080/02533952.2018.1512938

Abstract

The introduction presents the key concepts and core arguments of this special issue Re-Imagining African Cities: The Arts and Urban Politics that results from a workshop hosted by the Visual Culture Research Group at the Department of Anthropology, University of Basel, in 2016. Summarising and presenting the essays, it offers insights into how urban imagination and the physical cities interrelate in urban aesthetic practices. How do artists articulate their experiences and observations of the city? What position and relevance do the material city, the city image and the urban imagination have in the practice of these visual and performing artists? How does their work relate to the urban as a social space on the one hand and as an imagined entity on the other? The African and diasporic cities of Kinshasa, Paris, Cape Town, Lagos, Bamenda, Freetown, Johannesburg and Kampala are both the sites and research subjects of the authors and of the artists they present. The focus on visual and performative arts provides the vehicle and the critical means of observing, articulating and representing these entanglements of the material cities, their images and their societal as well as artistic imagination.


New Articles Published (2019)


Murtah Shannon (2019). “African Urban Development in a Post-Aid Era: The ‘Dutch Approach’ to Urban Restructuring in Beira City, Mozambique,” Built Environment 44, 4 (January 2019): 397-419, special issue on urban land grabs in Africa, https://www.alexandrinepress.co.uk/built-environment/urban-land-grabs-africa

Abstract

A new era of African urban development is emerging at a time when global aid regimes are undergoing fundamental shifts, becoming increasingly competitive and centred on donor 'value for money'. For aid-dependent countries in Africa, these shifts are likely to have an influence on the priorities and interests associated with urban development. So far, however, their implications remain unexplored within this context. Taking this research agenda as a starting point, this article presents in-depth empirical research on a novel country/city modality established between the Netherlands and Beira City, Mozambique, known as the Beira Partnership. By means of a new masterplan and numerous follow-up projects this partnership represents an unprecedented effort at restructuring Beira City, while securing Dutch interests in the process. By unpacking the various interests and initiatives associated with this partnership, the article demonstrates how it represents an eff ort to institutionalize new claims to Beira's urban land which is fundamentally at odds with certain pre-existing land claims of the urban poor. With many similarities to exploitative developments observed elsewhere in Africa, the article demonstrates how the Beira Partnership cannot be explained as an encroachment of global capital but instead as a decidedly trans-local initiative aimed at securing Dutch influence abroad. The findings point to a distinctly geopolitical agenda which has largely alluded contemporary debate which is likely to become more pronounced as urban development continues to gain momentum.


Kei Otsuki (2019). “Who is ‘the Public’: Infrastructure of Displacement and Urban Resettlement in Mozambique,” Built Environment 44, 4 (January 2019): 493-508, special issue on urban land grabs in Africa, https://www.alexandrinepress.co.uk/built-environment/urban-land-grabs-africa

Abstract

This paper explores possibilities of inclusive urban development by examining the relationships between physical infrastructure, displacement and resettlement. It pays particular attention to the notions of 'development' and 'the public'. Infrastructure as public works often justifies the displacement of people for the sake of the wider population's 'development'. It can also serve to benefit the displaced people if it includes them in the 'public' that participates in the 'development', especially in the form of ensuring a sound resettlement experience. The question is: how can this inclusion be envisioned and practised? To answer this question, this paper examines recent experiences of development-induced displacement and resettlement in Mozambique by using two examples: the Maputo?KaTembe bridge and its resettlement programme, as debated at the recent National Conference on Resettlement and in published sources, and the resettlement programme of the Limpopo National Park, based on primary field research. The paper analyses these resettlement experiences through three major accounts of infrastructure centred on state-building and formalization, co-production and heterogeneity, and open source and sharing urbanism. The paper argues that recognizing the heterogeneity and sharing aspects of infrastructure development in the post-resettlement context is key to reconstituting the public and promoting inclusive urban development in the major infrastructure development that accompanies displacement and resettlement.


Fält, Lena (2019). New Cities and the Emergence of 'Privatized Urbanism' in Ghana. Built Environment, Volume 44, Number 4, January 2019, pp. 438-460(23)

Abstract

New cities are increasingly presented as a solution to contemporary challenges of rapidly urbanizing African cities. A growing body of research has, however, questioned the appropriateness of these megaprojects on the basis of their governance structures, underlying planning principles and target groups. Yet little is known about the local constellations of government that enable and/or hinder these megaprojects to materialize. Drawing on the notion of governmentality, this paper seeks to deepen our knowledge about how particular new cities in Africa are governed and the rationalities behind them. Through an in-depth case study of Appolonia City ? a new private satellite city under construction outside Accra, Ghana ? the paper demonstrates how this example of privatized urbanism has reached its recent stage of implementation through a speci fic constellation of government that includes state actors at all levels, traditional authorities and private developers. The engagement of these actors is based upon multiple rationalities, including an advanced liberal rationality that emphasizes the superiority of private-led urban development; spatial rationalities that seek to form 'world-class' environments and subjects through a strong emphasis on urban formality and ordered aesthetics; prospects of economic pro fit-making; and assumptions on how the 'mixed city' model can provide sustainable and inclusive urban milieus. These rationalities partly conflict and Appolonia risks becoming yet another elitist urban megaproject despite its stated aim of creating a sustainable and inclusive urban environment. There is thus an urgent need to (re-)politicize the urban question in Africa in order to enable future city developments that benefit the many and not the few.


Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues (2019). Climate Change and DIY Urbanism in Luanda and Maputo: New Urban Strategies?, International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development (2019) (Published online: 04 Mar 2019)

Abstract

Climate-related phenomena historically have had an impact on the lives of urban dwellers of Luanda and Maputo. Recently, however, urban expansion and congestion of different sorts, aggravated by climate change impacts, call for renewed responses on the part of residents. Rising sea levels and harder impacts of flooding are the most disturbing issues in the two coastal capitals, demanding both institutional responses and strategies of urban residents, particularly the most vulnerable. Based on qualitative data collected in Luanda and Maputo, this article describes how urban residents aim to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change and by doing so, shape the cities they live in and their environment.


Alice Nikuze, Richard Sliuzas, Johannes Flacke, Martin van Maarseveen (2019). Livelihood impacts of displacement and resettlement on informal households - A case study from Kigali, Rwanda, Habitat International, Volume 86, Pages 38-47

Abstract

Cities in Sub-Saharan Africa are undergoing massive socio-spatial transformations. Many old inner-city neighbourhoods are being demolished to give way to modern commercial and residential developments, and generally, to a more modern living environment. These ambitions often lead to manifold displacement and resettlement projects that affect the livelihoods of millions of people, including many from informal settlements. Given the novelty of urban space transformations in Sub-Saharan African countries, empirical research on the impacts on affected urban households is rare. Based on research conducted in Kigali, Rwanda, this paper discusses livelihood impacts, of urban redevelopment and disaster risk mitigation induced resettlement projects, on affected informal settlement households. This contribution draws on interviews and focus group discussions undertaken with both households to be displaced and resettled households, as well as interviews with key informants during fieldwork. The findings highlight that, irrespective of potential opportunities of resettlement projects to deliver improved housing to poor informal households, most displaced informal households in Kigali endure several adverse impacts on their physical, financial, social, and human livelihood assets. While previous studies narrowed displacement impacts to post-relocation impacts, this research shows that affected informal households also endure significant adverse livelihood impacts in the pre-relocation stage. Uncertainties during the pre-relocation phase are significant causes of impoverishment risks among the households likely to be displaced. Accurate and detailed information of the resettlement projects need to be communicated in the early stage of the process to avoid the unnecessary impoverishment risks of affected households. Clear transparent guidelines on entitlements and compensation for each displacement type need to be disclosed and discussed with affected communities. We conclude that an understanding of livelihood impacts in both the pre- and post-relocation stages offers a holistic conceptualisation, which is required to mitigate impoverishment risks and to protect and improve the livelihoods of affected households throughout the entire relocation process.

Keywords: Urban development; Disaster risk; Induced displacement; Resettlement; Livelihood impacts; Informal settlements; Master plan; Kigali

Download full text (pdf): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197397518309330/pdfft?md5=340281f5caa8b4a3bb9c06a511607a1a&pid=1-s2.0-S0197397518309330-main.pdf&isDTMRedir=true&download=true


Urban Land Grabs in Africa?

Built Environment, Volume 44 – Number 4, 2019

https://www.alexandrinepress.co.uk/built-environment/urban-land-grabs-africa


Stefania Almazán-Casali, Jose F. Alfaro, Steve Sikra (2019). Exploring household willingness to participate in solid waste collection services in Liberia, Habitat International, 2019, ISSN 0197-3975

Abstract

Liberia faces increasing challenges with solid waste management as more than 70% of households abandon their waste in unauthorized sites. Urbanization and population growth will increase Liberia's need to develop an effective waste management system. This study performed 240 household surveys in Paynesville, Liberia, to explore residents' waste disposal practices and their satisfaction with waste collection services. Survey results point to improvement opportunities and some dissatisfaction with existing household services. Burning or burying of waste were common disposal practices and few households separate or recycle waste. The study included a choice experiment (CE) to assess households' valuation of specific attributes of waste collection services. Estimates of a mixed logistical model suggest that households highly value having waste collected at home and negatively value separating waste. These findings highlight the potential for improving Liberia's solid waste management by structuring reliable services around household collection.


Martin Oteng-Ababio, Richard Grant (2019). Ideological traces in Ghana's urban plans: How do traces get worked out in the Agbogbloshie, Accra?, Habitat International, Volume 83, 2019, Pages 1-10, ISSN 0197-3975

Abstract:

Neoliberalism, rights to the city, and sustainable development are systems of ideas competing for the attention of policymakers and citizens worldwide. Analyzing Ghana's key urban reports, we produce a heat map of the intensity and fragility of ideas concerning the urban poor. We employ the Agbogbloshie informal settlement as a case study to explore conflicts among diverse planning goals: urban entrepreneurialism, environmental protection, formalization of parts of the informal economy, the reframing of citizenship, and settlement upgrading. Decongestion exercises, shack demolitions, and threats of relocation are strategies employed to restore order, but the settlement's regeneration is beset by transience and piecemeal actions. We introduce hypocrisy as a theoretical analytical perspective to call into question pro-poor urban planning interventions as a way of responding to continuous ambivalent planning measures and framing. Hypocrisy prompts an alternative focus on inconsistencies and contradictions in the planning system.

Keywords: Neoliberalism; Rights to the city; Sustainable development; Informal settlement; Agbogbloshie; Accra

Download full text (pdf): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197397518305903/pdfft?md5=604eb9f927d02a33cedff5456106df28&pid=1-s2.0-S0197397518305903-main.pdf


Doris Wieser and Ana Filipa Prata (eds.). (2019). Cities of the Lusophone World. Literature, Culture and Urban Transformations. Oxford and New York: Peter Lang

(ISBN: 978-1-78874-253-5) DOI: https://doi.org/10.3726/b13189

Cities of the Lusophone World addresses diverse literary and cultural representations of urban settings produced in the period from the 1960s to the present day and originating from the Island of Mozambique, Lisbon, Luanda, Macau, Maputo, Porto Alegre and São Paulo. The volume contributes to the interdisciplinary research field of urban cultural studies, which lies at the crossroads between the social sciences and the humanities. The essays gathered here consider the city not only as a geographical configuration, but also as a historical discourse where space and time merge and where different individual and collective practices and actions take place. They explore how memories and identities are framed, how people at the margins create discourses of resistance, and how processes of migration and urban transformation disrupt established social and cultural borders.


Amine Kasmi (2019) The plan as a colonization project: the medina of Tlemcen under French rule, 1842–1920, Planning Perspectives, 34:1, 25-42, DOI: 10.1080/02665433.2017.1361335

Abstract

In the nineteenth century, Algerian cities were the first medinas in the Arab world to be colonized by a European power. Tlemcen, a medieval medina involved in this historical event, was marked by a relentless struggle on the part of the French administration to transform it into a city conforming to modern standards. The antagonism between two urban systems – the ‘Islamic city’ and the modern city – takes a problematic form when confronted with urban interventions that had colonizing aims. This paper will argue that the plan of the colonial city introduced a new order, subjecting the medieval medina within a set/subset relationship. Through urban subordination, the French military–civil administration used the plan layout as an instrument to control and dominate the medina of Tlemcen. In order to verify this hypothesis, a thorough study of documents dating from the early years of the French occupation was undertaken; thus, this paper is constructed as an urban study, based on a historico-morphological approach.


Patrick Brandful Cobbinah & Michael Addaney (2019). The Geography of Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Africa. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan

This book take a comprehensive look at several cases of climate change adaptation responses across various sectors and geographical areas in urban Africa and places them within a solid theoretical context. Each chapter is a state-of-the-art overview of a significant topic on climate change adaptation in urban Africa and is written by a leading expert in the field. In addition to the focus on the geography of urban adaptation to climate in Africa, this collection offers a broader perspective by blending the use of case studies and theory based research. It examines transformations in climate change adaptation in urban Africa and its future orientation from the perspectives of urban planners, political economists, environmentalists, ecologists, economists and geographers, thereby addressing the challenges facing African cities adaptation responses from all angles. Providing up-to-date and authoritative contributions covering the key aspects of climate change adaptation in urban Africa, this book will be of great interest to policymakers, practitioners, scholars and students of geography, urban development and management, environmental science and policy, disaster management, as well as those in the field of urban planning.

https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-04873-0


Jacob Rasmussen & Alex Wafer (2019) Documentary evidence: Navigating identity and credibility in Africa’s urban estuaries, African Studies, 78:1, 74-90, DOI: 10.1080/00020184.2018.1540528

Abstract

In this article we argue for closer intellectual attention to the intersection between the unstable materiality of urban spaces on the one hand, and anxieties about the materiality of official documents on the other. Based on initial evidence from two cities in Africa, namely Nairobi and Johannesburg, we have observed that official documents as material objects matters most in precisely those parts of the city where formal state and civil society institutions appears most absent, i.e. those marginal or estuarial urban spaces, characterised by precarity, informality and mobility, where the majority of African urban residents reside. This is because anxieties about credibility, legitimacy and belonging are most acute in precisely these grey spaces. Yet we argue that the preoccupation with the materiality of these documents does not only reflect broader anxieties about inclusion into or exclusion from the wider urban economy. Instead we suggest that the materiality of documents is more deeply implicated into the unstable material conditions which characterise these estuarial spaces. As these estuarial spaces manifest fluid and sometimes illegible forms of policing and social order, so the variable material qualities of documents simultaneously proffers or eschews the credibility of the bearer in particular situations. This ambiguous relationship to absolute status subverts the bio-political pretensions of contemporary institutions of government, but serves as a crucial tactical vocabulary in navigating the precarious and unstable materiality of the contemporary African city. While the evidence presented here is drawn from ethnographic research in two such ‘urban estuaries’, we suggest that these observations might resonate more broadly, and might open up new avenues for thinking about the relationship between the material and the bio-political in Africa.

download full text (pdf): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00020184.2018.1540528?needAccess=true


A. M. Martin & P. M. Bezemer (2019) The concept and planning of public native housing estates in Nairobi/Kenya, 1918–1948, Planning Perspectives, DOI: 10.1080/02665433.2019.1602785 (Published online: 09 Apr 2019)

Abstract

Interwar public housing estates for native citizens in Sub-Sahara African cities, represent hybrids of global and local urban concepts, housing typologies and dwelling habits. The authors explain such hybrids via exploratory research note as a result of transmutation processes, marked by various (non)human actors. To categorize and compare them, Actor Network Theory (ANT) is applied and tested within an architecture historical framework. Nairobi/Kenya functions as pars pro toto with its Kariakor and Kaloleni estates as exemplary cases. Their different network-outcomes underpin the supposition that actor-oriented research can help to unravel a most essential, though neglected part of international town planning history.

Download full text (pdf): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02665433.2019.1602785?needAccess=true


Mary Njeri Kinyanjui (2019). African Markets and the Utu-buntu Business Model. A perspective on economic informality in Nairobi. South Africa: African Minds Publishers, 200 pp. (ISBN 9781928331780)

Abstract

The persistence of indigenous African markets in the context of a hostile or neglectful business and policy environment makes them worthy of analysis. An investigation of Afrocentric business ethics is long overdue. Attempting to understand the actions and efforts of informal traders and artisans from their own points of view, and analysing how they organise and get by, allows for viable approaches to be identified to integrate them into global urban models and cultures.

Using the utu-ubuntu model to understand the activities of traders and artisans in Nairobi’s markets, this book explores how, despite being consistently excluded and disadvantaged, they shape urban spaces in and around the city, and contribute to its development as a whole. With immense resilience, and without discarding their own socio-cultural or economic values, informal traders and artisans have created a territorial complex that can be described as the African metropolis.

African Markets and the Utu-buntu Business Model sheds light on the ethics and values that underpin the work of traders and artisans in Nairobi, as well as their resilience and positive impact on urbanisation. This book makes an important contribution to the discourse on urban economics and planning in African cities.


Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) Research Report #10: Social Cohesion in Gauteng.
Authors: Richard Ballard, Christian Hamann, Kate Joseph, Thembani Mkhize

Download report: https://gcro.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fca059ee1610bb87f1c71c9b4&id=0eebbe573e&e=73970861c6


Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) Occasional Paper #13: Where do we draw the line? Graffiti in Maboneg, Johannesburg.

Authors: Alexandra Parker, Samkelisiwe Khanyile and Kate Joseph

https://gcro.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fca059ee1610bb87f1c71c9b4&id=b5ccbf138e&e=73970861c6


Alice Nikuze, Richard Sliuzas, Johannes Flacke & Martin van Maarseveen (2019). Livelihood impacts of displacement and resettlement on informal households - A case study from Kigali, Rwanda, Habitat International, Volume 86, 2019, Pages 38-47

Abstract:

Cities in Sub-Saharan Africa are undergoing massive socio-spatial transformations. Many old inner-city neighbourhoods are being demolished to give way to modern commercial and residential developments, and generally, to a more modern living environment. These ambitions often lead to manifold displacement and resettlement projects that affect the livelihoods of millions of people, including many from informal settlements. Given the novelty of urban space transformations in Sub-Saharan African countries, empirical research on the impacts on affected urban households is rare. Based on research conducted in Kigali, Rwanda, this paper discusses livelihood impacts, of urban redevelopment and disaster risk mitigation induced resettlement projects, on affected informal settlement households. This contribution draws on interviews and focus group discussions undertaken with both households to be displaced and resettled households, as well as interviews with key informants during fieldwork. The findings highlight that, irrespective of potential opportunities of resettlement projects to deliver improved housing to poor informal households, most displaced informal households in Kigali endure several adverse impacts on their physical, financial, social, and human livelihood assets. While previous studies narrowed displacement impacts to post-relocation impacts, this research shows that affected informal households also endure significant adverse livelihood impacts in the pre-relocation stage. Uncertainties during the pre-relocation phase are significant causes of impoverishment risks among the households likely to be displaced. Accurate and detailed information of the resettlement projects need to be communicated in the early stage of the process to avoid the unnecessary impoverishment risks of affected households. Clear transparent guidelines on entitlements and compensation for each displacement type need to be disclosed and discussed with affected communities. We conclude that an understanding of livelihood impacts in both the pre- and post-relocation stages offers a holistic conceptualisation, which is required to mitigate impoverishment risks and to protect and improve the livelihoods of affected households throughout the entire relocation process.

Keywords: Urban development; Disaster risk; Induced displacement; Resettlement; Livelihood impacts; Informal settlements; Master plan; Kigali

Download full text (pdf): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197397518309330


Stéphanie Dos Santos, Jean-Paul Peumi & Abdramane Soura (2019). Risk factors of becoming a disaster victim. The flood of September 1st, 2009, in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Habitat International, Volume 86, 2019, Pages 81-90

Abstract

In light of the expected growing natural hazards and the continued growth of urban populations, there is concern that the vulnerability of a significant portion of the urban African population will increase. The objective of the paper is to analyze factors associated with the status of “disaster victim” in Ouagadougou, the capital-city of Burkina Faso. On September 1st, 2009, this city experienced torrential rainfall leading to water runoffs and floods. Over 180,000 people were severely affected, about 41 people died and 33,172 houses completely destroyed. The data availability from the Ouagadougou Health and Demographic Surveillance System, especially characteristics of population dwellings before the flood, grant the opportunity to address the impact of this event among the different social groups. Modeling data with logistic regressions, the results reinforce the idea that the main cause of disaster is not hazards. Indeed, natural disaster amplify urban inequities given the role playing by variables related to extreme poverty (no sanitation, no electricity) as determinant factors. Discussion highlights how some households inhabitants make the reasoned choice of gradually reoccupying their plots, although aware of risks. In Sub-Saharan Africa, early warning system for floods should be seen as essential in urban settings.

Download full text (pdf): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.habitatint.2019.03.005


Felix S.K. Agyemang, Elisabete Silva & Michael Poku-Boansi (2019). Understanding the urban spatial structure of Sub-Saharan African cities using the case of urban development patterns of a Ghanaian city-region, Habitat International, Volume 85, 2019, Pages 21-33

Abstract

Cities in Sub-Saharan Africa are undergoing massive spatial transformation owing to rapid urbanization. For many cities in the Global North, Latin America and Asia, spatial transformation has been traditionally characterised by a shift from monocentric to polycentric urban patterns. In the case of Sub-Saharan Africa, however, it is unclear whether the evolving spatial structure of cities conform to or are explained by existing urban geography models. This paper pursues twofold objectives: one, examines the evolution of the spatial structure of a Sub-Saharan African city-region and its relationship with mainstream urban geography models; and, two, explores the urban planning and policy implications of the spatial transformation. The study draws on spatially explicit data from Kumasi City-Region in Ghana, which is analysed with a set of spatial metrics and an urban growth model. The results indicate that, while the city-region's urban spatial structure before the turn of the Twenty-first century largely conforms to the traditional monocentric model, it is increasingly becoming deconcentrated and dispersive, which suggests a likely pending phase of coalescence in a stochastic fractal urban growth process. Contrary to what is observed in other parts of the world, the declining monocentricity has not transformed into a polycentric urban structure, rather, urban growth is becoming amorphous. There is high level of development spontaneity that cast an image of a city-region that is charting inefficient and unsustainable spatial development path. Urban scholars would have to transcend the frontiers of existing urban structure models to better depict the spatial evolution of sub-Saharan African cities like Kumasi City-Region, while Policy makers need to re-position the Ghanaian planning system to be more influential in delivering sustainable development patterns.

Keywords: Urbanization; Urban spatial structure; Urban growth; Monocentricity; Urban transformation; Ghana


Book Title: Spatial Planning in Service Delivery - Towards Distributive Justice in South Africa (2019)

Authors: Hangwelani Hope Magidimisha and Lovemore Chipungu
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

The book:

eBook ISBN 978-3-030-19850-3
DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-19850-3
Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-19849-7

https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783030198497


Stefania Almazán-Casali & Jose F. Alfaro, Steve Sikra (2019). Exploring household willingness to participate in solid waste collection services in Liberia, Habitat International,
Volume 84, 2019, Pages 57-64

Abstract

Liberia faces increasing challenges with solid waste management as more than 70% of households abandon their waste in unauthorized sites. Urbanization and population growth will increase Liberia's need to develop an effective waste management system. This study performed 240 household surveys in Paynesville, Liberia, to explore residents' waste disposal practices and their satisfaction with waste collection services. Survey results point to improvement opportunities and some dissatisfaction with existing household services. Burning or burying of waste were common disposal practices and few households separate or recycle waste. The study included a choice experiment (CE) to assess households' valuation of specific attributes of waste collection services. Estimates of a mixed logistical model suggest that households highly value having waste collected at home and negatively value separating waste. These findings highlight the potential for improving Liberia's solid waste management by structuring reliable services around household collection.


Sogen Moodley (2019). Defining city-to-city learning in southern Africa: Exploring practitioner sensitivities in the knowledge transfer process, Habitat International,
Volume 85, 2019, Pages 34-40

Abstract

Cities have revived a tendency to look to other cities in a conscious attempt to learn, adapt or adopt innovative practices in the field of urban planning and development. Much has been published on how such cities learn from each other in the global North, as well as some in Latin America and Asia, but little empirical research is available relating to sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, not much is known about the perception of practitioners in this part of the world, of prevailing international learning nomenclature, or of their understanding and interpretation of the dynamics of associated complex learning processes. This article focuses on a case study of the international United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) “mentorship programme” involving the eThekwini Municipality in Durban, South Africa, and the cities of Otjiwarongo in Namibia and Mzuzu in Malawi. Instead of a single, unified and coherent conceptualisation of city-to-city learning, the study unearthed a messy and complex picture of multiple understandings of this concept among learning stakeholders. Crucially, it exposed strong resistance from African practitioners to the UCLG learning terminology of “city mentorship”, yielding a call to policy-makers for greater sensitivity about definitions of key constructs. Whilst making the case for city-to-city learning, it provides new insights that can contribute to more nuanced understandings of the complexity and the politics of knowledge transfer among cities.


Francesco Chiodelli & Anna Mazzolini (2019) Inverse Planning in the Cracks of Formal Land Use Regulation: The Bottom-Up Regularisation of Informal Settlements in Maputo, Mozambique, Planning Theory & Practice, 20:2, 165-181

Abstract

This paper focuses on a case of ‘non-public planning’ in an informal neighbourhood of Maputo, Mozambique. Here, several residents undertook some planning duties (e.g. drawing up a detailed plan) in order to regularise their informal dwellings in lieu of the Municipality, due to its inertia. This was an attempt to deal with the shortcomings of urban planning in Maputo, not by flouting the system, but by remoulding it and creating a sort of alternative formality. The detailed analysis of this case is an opportunity for critical reflection on the risks, potentialities and inherent limits of such a form of non-public planning in Mozambique, which we label ‘inverse planning’.

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https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14649357.2019.1604980


International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR)
Volume 8, Issue 3, July - September 2019
Published: Quarterly in Print and Electronically
ISSN: 2160-9918; EISSN: 2160-9926;
Published by IGI Global Publishing, Hershey, USA
www.igi-global.com/ijepr
Editor-in-Chief: Carlos Nunes Silva (University of Lisbon, Portugal)

Editorial Preface

Research Articles

Book Review

Conference Report


Mackay, H. (2019). Food sources and access strategies in Ugandan secondary cities: an intersectional analysis. Environment and Urbanization (First Published May 15, 2019)

Abstract

This article arises from an interest in African urbanization and in the food, farming and nutritional transitions that some scholars present as integral to urban life. The paper investigates personal urban food environments, food sources and access strategies in two secondary Ugandan cities, Mbale and Mbarara, drawing on in-depth interviews and applying an intersectional lens. Food sources were similar across dimensions of difference but food access strategies varied. My findings indicate that socioeconomic circumstance (class) was the most salient influence shaping differences in daily food access strategies. Socioeconomic status, in turn, interacted with other identity aspects, an individual’s asset base and broader structural inequalities in influencing urban food environments. Rural land and rural connections, or multispatiality, were also important for food-secure urban lives. The work illuminates geometries of advantage and disadvantage within secondary cities, and highlights similarities and differences between food environments in these cities and Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

Download full text (pdf):
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0956247819847346


Dan E. Chamberlain; Dominic A. W. Henry; Chevonne Reynolds; Enrico Caprio & Arjun Amar (2019). The relationship between wealth and biodiversity: A test of the Luxury Effect on bird species richness in the developing world. Global Change Biology, First published: 11 May 2019, https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14682

Abstract

The Luxury Effect hypothesizes a positive relationship between wealth and biodiversity within urban areas. Understanding how urban development, both in terms of socio‐economic status and the built environment, affects biodiversity can contribute to the sustainable development of cities, and may be especially important in the developing world where current growth in urban populations is most rapid. We tested the Luxury Effect by analysing bird species richness in relation to income levels, as well as human population density and urban cover, in landscapes along an urbanization gradient in South Africa. The Luxury Effect was supported in landscapes with lower urbanization levels in that species richness was positively correlated with income level where urban cover was relatively low. However, the effect was reversed in highly urbanized landscapes, where species richness was negatively associated with income level. Tree cover was also positively correlated with species richness, although it could not explain the Luxury Effect. Species richness was negatively related to urban cover, but there was no association with human population density. Our model suggests that maintaining green space in at least an equal proportion to the built environment is likely to provide a development strategy that will enhance urban biodiversity, and with it, the positive benefits that are manifest for urban dwellers. Our findings can form a key contribution to a wider strategy to expand urban settlements in a sustainable way to provide for the growing urban population in South Africa, including addressing imbalances in environmental justice across income levels and racial groups.


Adelekan, I. O. (2019). Urban dynamics, everyday hazards and disaster risks in Ibadan, Nigeria. Environment and Urbanization. (First Published May 13, 2019 ) https://doi.org/10.1177/0956247819844738

Abstract

Many cities in sub-Saharan Africa lack official records of deaths and of serious illnesses and injuries from everyday hazards and disaster events at all scales. This is a major limitation to effective planning for risk reduction. This paper seeks to fill some of these data gaps for the city of Ibadan, drawing on newspaper reports, hospital records, and databases or records of government departments for the period 2000–2015. It presents what can be learned about risks from these sources and discusses how the social, economic and political structures at the national, city and locality levels contribute to the most serious urban risks, as well as how these drive the process of risk accumulation, especially for vulnerable groups. Excluding public health risks for which data are scarce and incomplete, road traffic accidents, crime, violence and flooding constitute the most serious hazards in the city of Ibadan.


Turok, I. (2019). Cities as platforms for progress: Local drivers of Rwanda’s success. Local Economy, 34(3), 221–227. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269094219852600

Abstract

Rwanda’s has made remarkable all-round progress over the last 25 years. This is usually attributed to a determined national government under single-minded leadership. This paper draws attention to two local drivers of Rwanda’s socio-economic development: community participation and a positive approach to urbanisation. Popular involvement in communal projects has helped to build and maintain many useful public facilities. It has also fostered social solidarity and dialogue between citizens and public officials. The positive urban policy has helped to create more efficient and liveable cities, which are driving economic prosperity and human development. Nevertheless, there is scope for greater consistency and alignment between top-down and bottom-up processes in order to improve the suitability and responsiveness of national policies and practices to grassroots realities.


Laurence Marfaing (2019) Dakar ville moderne: la médiation des entrepreneurs sénégalais en Chine, Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue canadienne des études africaines, 53:1, 89-107, DOI: 10.1080/00083968.2018.1548365

Abstract

The early 2000s marked a decisive turning point in the development of Dakar due, on the one hand, to the impact of important investments by the Senegalese government in the construction of new urban infrastructure and, on the other, to the implementation by the city of a decidedly modern town-planning scheme. In a context in which “China-Africa” and the role of China in this transformation pervaded both the media and research, the aim of this article concerns the role of African entrepreneurs who work in China. The latter “translate” their experiences of China in their daily routine and their way of life, and their imports of manufactured goods facilitate the social transformations that are influencing the emergence of Dakar as a modern city and its appropriation by the Dakarois.

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https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00083968.2018.1548365?needAccess=true


Charlie Q.L. Xue ; Guanghui Ding; Wei Chang; Yan Wan (2019). Architecture of “Stadium diplomacy” - China-aid sport buildings in Africa. Habitat International, (Available online 17 June 2019)

Abstract

In the past 60 years, China has constructed over 1,400 buildings in the developing world, many of them stadiums. This study examines how China uses stadiums as diplomatic means to demonstrate its cultural, economic and socio-political engagement in less-developed nations. To address the Chinese economic, cultural and intellectual intervention, this article uses three representative stadium projects built in Africa as case studies. Firstly providing physical venue for sports activities and then creating institutional network for further economic, cultural and political engagement, the Chinese built stadiums became effective catalyst for enhancing bilateral relations between China and the receipt countries. China's stadium diplomacy revealed a soft, and ultimately progressive mode of cultural engagement in transnational architectural practice. The authors argue that the implication of this architectural engagement lies in the fact that the Chinese state played a mediating role in producing and delivering architectural forms with various political motivations. Notwithstanding, the involved architects and engineers took the cultural and technical challenges and experimented adaptable design in aid projects.


Bergère, C. (n.d.). From Street Corners to Social Media: The Changing Location of Youth Citizenship in Guinea. African Studies Review, 1-22. (FirstView) doi:10.1017/asr.2019.3

Abstract

This study explores social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter in particular, as emergent sites of youth citizenship in Guinea. These need to be understood within a longer history of youth citizenship, one that includes street corners and other informal mediations of youth politics. This counters dominant discourses both within the Guinean public sphere and in academic research that decry Guinean social media practices as lacking, or Guinean youth as frivolous or inconsequential in their online political engagements. Instead, young Guineans’ emergent digital practices need to be approached as productive political engagements. This contributes to debates about African youths by examining the role of digital technologies in shaping young Africans’ political horizons.


Ogunyankin, G. A. (2019), ‘The City of Our Dream’: Owambe Urbanism and Low‐income Women's Resistance in Ibadan, Nigeria. Int. J. Urban Reg. Res., 43: 423-441. doi:10.1111/1468-2427.12732

Abstract

Ibadan, Nigeria, has been an outlier in the ranking of world‐class cities. But in the past seven years, amidst the circulating Africa Rising narrative, Ibadan has embarked on what I call an Afropolitan Imagineering project of owambe urbanism. Afropolitan Imagineering refers to the production of new images/narratives of Africa and Africans as world‐class and cosmopolitan. Owambe urbanism is a spatio‐temporal neoliberal project concerning destination, arrival and place‐making, which promises a shared and happy future for all urban dwellers. I argue that this promise of happiness is challenged by low‐income women who are cognizant that a shared and happy future is impossible when little effort is made to address social inequality in the present. They thus refuse to be ‘good’ citizens and invoke an alternative urban futurity through their embodied and imagined resistance.


Njoh, A. J., & Chie, E. P. (2019). Vocabularies of Spatiality in French Colonial Urbanism: Some Covert Rationales of Street Names in Colonial Dakar, West Africa and Saigon, Indochina. Journal of Asian and African Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021909619860248

Abstract

The study analyses toponymic practices in two colonial spaces on two continents. The colonial spaces, Dakar and Saigon, were capitals of the Federation of French West Africa and French Indochina, respectively. Toponymy is used as a tool to articulate socio-cultural and political power in both spaces; also, streets were christened after French military, politico-administrative and religious personalities. Two differences are noted. First, streets in colonial Saigon were named after French military heroes and clergymen, while streets in Dakar were named after French political luminaries. Second, post-colonial Saigon witnessed efforts to re-appropriate the city’s identity, but not so in Dakar.


Armel Kemajou; Rémi Jaligot Martí Bosch & Jérôme Chenal (2019). Assessing motorcycle taxi activity in Cameroon using GPS devices. Journal of Transport Geography, Volume 79, July 2019

Abstract

The emergence of motorcycle taxis as a mode of urban transport in Africa can be seen as a bottom-up response to the larger problem of a demand that is not sufficiently met by public services. Transcending the debates regarding the relevance of this solution, this article explores motorcycle taxis as substitute for urban transport in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The study aims to improve the understanding of how drivers run their activity and to identify its impacts on the city using a mixed-methods approach. We combined the data from a three-week GPS motorcycle taxis route survey with semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and direct observation. This approach, which in itself is innovative for the study of informal transport in Africa, is an important methodological contribution. The analysis of the data collected highlights small radii of action and high inactivity rates, and helps shed light on how this mode has led to an increased demand for short trips in more diffuse urban forms. We point to the need for holistic thinking in order to better integrate motorcycle taxis into urban transportation planning policies in Yaoundé as well as other major cities in the region.


Simon De Nys-Ketels, Laurence Heindryckx, Johan Lagae & Luce Beeckmans (2019) Planning Belgian Congo’s network of medical infrastructure: type-plans as tools to construct a medical model-colony, 1949–1959, Planning Perspectives, DOI: 10.1080/02665433.2019.1633950

Abstract

Throughout the 1950s, the Belgian colonial government constructed a vast network of hospital infrastructure as part of its Ten-Year Plan, a colony-wide socio-economic scheme emblematic for the era of ‘welfare colonialism.’ This network played a key role in Belgian colonialism, by providing healthcare, but also by boosting labour productivity, facilitating state presence and control, and by advertising Congo as a medical model-colony. In this article, we unpack the extensive administrative apparatus that was necessary to buttress this ambitious building programme, and we highlight type-plans as crucial government tools to construct such a vast network of healthcare infrastructure. At first glance, the use of type-plans confirms classic characterizations of the Belgian colonial government as an omnipotent and technocratic state apparatus that implemented large, top-down government plans through authoritative methods, often discarding local realities. However, tracing hospital construction on the ground reveals that type-plans did not function as immutable models, but rather as modular blueprints that allowed local administrations to adapt hospitals to local needs and contingencies. As such, our article illustrates how, facilitated by surprisingly flexible type-plans, everyday colonial policymaking in Belgian Congo was, contrary to the still dominant discourse, deeply reliant on the agency and aptitude of local officials.

Keywords: Belgian Congo, hospital architecture, colonial architecture, type-plan


Hany Gamil Besada, M. Evren Tok, Leah McMillan Polonenko (eds.) (2019). Innovating South-South Cooperation: Policies, Challenges and Prospects. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 350 pp.

https://books.google.pt/books?id=DoirDwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&ots=NZzt4EGklC&lr&hl=pt-PT&pg=PR4#v=onepage&q&f=false


Moseley, W. G. (2019). Book review: Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in African Cities. Urban Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019866586

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0042098019866586


Charlie Q.L. Xue, Guanghui Ding, Wei Chang, Yan Wan (2019). Architecture of “Stadium diplomacy” - China-aid sport buildings in Africa. Habitat International, Vol. 90

Abstract

In the past 60 years, China has constructed over 1,400 buildings in the developing world, many of them stadiums. This study examines how China uses stadiums as diplomatic means to demonstrate its cultural, economic and socio-political engagement in less-developed nations. To address the Chinese economic, cultural and intellectual intervention, this article uses three representative stadium projects built in Africa as case studies. Firstly providing physical venue for sports activities and then creating institutional network for further economic, cultural and political engagement, the Chinese built stadiums became effective catalyst for enhancing bilateral relations between China and the receipt countries. China's stadium diplomacy revealed a soft, and ultimately progressive mode of cultural engagement in transnational architectural practice. The authors argue that the implication of this architectural engagement lies in the fact that the Chinese state played a mediating role in producing and delivering architectural forms with various political motivations. Notwithstanding, the involved architects and engineers took the cultural and technical challenges and experimented adaptable design in aid projects.


Charlotte Grabli, « La ville des auditeurs : radio, rumba congolaise et droit à la ville dans la cité indigène de Léopoldville (1949-1960) », Cahiers d’études africaines [En ligne], 233 | 2019, mis en ligne le 14 mars 2021, consulté le 20 septembre 2019. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/etudesafricaines/25229

Abstract

Although initially conceived as a tool to extend colonial propaganda, Radio Belgian Congo for Africans (Radio Congo belge pour Africains) quickly adapted its programming to cater to African audiences’ tastes, turning radio into a musical medium used by Congolese listeners as a “collective gramophone.” By tracing listening behaviours back to the introduction of radio in 1949 in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa), this article shows how Congolese female and male listeners used this medium to invent new forms of urbanity. The analysis of the social dimensions of the interweaving of music, sound and space sheds new light on the little-known history of this African metropolis. It reveals how listeners used early colonial radio to build listening and sociable spaces that contested the colonial monopoly on “the city” and its symbolic and material access.`


Emmanuel Tolulope Busayo, Ahmed Mukalazi Kalumba & Israel Ropo Orimoloye (2019). Spatial planning and climate change adaptation assessment: Perspectives from Mdantsane Township dwellers in South Africa. Habitat International, Vol. 90

Abstract

Spatial planning plays a significant role in enhancing climate change adaptation especially within urban areas by improving their resilience. Despite all this, cities especially in developing countries still experience the effects of climate change. This paper adopted a mixed method approach to examine township spatial planning and climate change adaptation in identifying potentialities for an integrated approach. Mdantsane case study as one of the largest townships in South Africa was assessed as a unique landscape with reminiscent of apartheid legacies to improve the people's climate change adaptation under urban poverty, lack of basic facilities and other environmental challenges. In keeping with a case study design, we collected data making use of pretested open and close-ended survey forms with an interplay of GIS and remote sensing techniques. This study reveals that Mdantsane is extremely susceptible to the impacts of climate change due to their built-up and natural environment set up as well as the existing interrelations. Thus, comprehensive integration of spatial planning is essential for proofing, health, wellbeing and resilience. Consequently, recommendations to seek strategic intervention and planning were made to sustain adaptation of residents to climate change in the future with specific focus to reduce climate and environmental risks in Mdantsane Township.


Christian Ernsten (2019) Utopia and dystopia in the post-apartheid city: the praxis of the future in Cape Town, Social Dynamics, 45:2, 286-302, DOI: 10.1080/02533952.2019.1619420

Abstract

This essay is concerned with the shaping, the framing and the fashioning of the discourse on urban futures in Cape Town, South Africa. I outline the multiple sources and diverse elements that feed into this discourse: specifically, metropolitan theory and local experience. Focusing on the praxis of the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town, I argue that there is a convergence between the language of crisis and the vision that comes across in policy and futurist scenario building. I point at apartheid modernities and their recapitulation in utopian dreams for the post-apartheid city.


Ivan Turok, Leanne Seeliger, Justin Visagie (2019). Restoring the core? Central city decline and transformation in the South, Progress in Planning, DOI: 10.1016/j.progress.2019.100434 , n Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 26 July 2019

Abstract

Central cities are vibrant and productive places because of the dense concentration of people, firms and supporting facilities. Yet their dynamism can be undermined by congestion, social tensions and poor urban management. South Africa’s four major city centres experienced tumultuous changes during the transition from apartheid and the exodus of many property owners, investors and occupiers to the suburbs. Buildings decayed, infrastructure collapsed, public health and safety deteriorated, and governance was disrupted by unauthorised activities. Despite the general neglect, signs of recovery have emerged and gathered momentum in recent years. The revival is fragile, partial and patchy in most cases, and dwarfed by scale of new investment in outlying economic nodes. The paper uses a resilience framework to examine how enterprising organisations have spurred regeneration by identifying opportunities for the adaptive reuse of redundant buildings and public spaces for affordable housing and social amenities. It also compares the extent, character and causes of the rebound across the four cities, demonstrating elements of continuity (bounce-back resilience) and transformation (bounce-forward resilience) in each case. Cape Town is characterised more by continuity and Johannesburg more by decline and transformation, with Pretoria and Durban in between. City centre recovery is attributed to a combination of pioneering private and public sector actions, albeit disjointed and uneven in their effectiveness. The paper concludes that central cities are relatively open incubators of economic and social progress, but also cauldrons of competing interests which create many dilemmas for decision-makers to negotiate, and which require coordinated attention and determination to realise their potential.


Marais, Lochner and Nel, Verna (2019). Space and planning in secondary cities: reflections from South Africa.

Sun Press, Bloemfontein ISBN: 978-1-928424-34-5

This book assistance spatial planning in the second-tier cities of the country. Secondary cities are vital as they perform essential regional, and in some cases, global economic roles and help to distribute the population of the country more evenly across its surface. This book presents ten case studies of spatial planning and spatial transformation in secondary cities of South Africa. This book frames these case studies against complexity theory and suggest that the post-apartheid response to a apartheid planning represents a linear deviation from history.


Simukai Chigudu (2019). The politics of cholera, crisis and citizenship in urban Zimbabwe: ‘People were dying like flies’, African Affairs, Volume 118, Issue 472, July 2019, Pages 413–434, https://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/ady068

Abstract

Zimbabwe’s catastrophic cholera outbreak of 2008/09 resulted in an unprecedented 100,000 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths. In the aftermath of the epidemic, questions of suffering and death and of rescue, relief, and rehabilitation have persisted in on-going processes of meaning-making through which people come to terms with the epidemic as a ‘man-made’ disaster. Based on extensive fieldwork, I examine the views of residents in Harare’s high-density townships that were epicentres of the disease. I argue that cholera was experienced by township residents as many crises at the same time. It was not only a public health crisis but also a political–economic crisis, a social crisis as well as a crisis of expectations, history and social identity. As such, I argue that the cholera outbreak was intensely generative of political subjectivities that reveal important shifts in the fraught relations between state and society in Zimbabwe’s urban politics. Finally, I argue that the government’s perceived causal role in, and failure to respond to, the cholera outbreak occasioned intense public outrage among township residents, which speaks to a much deeper aspiration for substantive citizenship based on political rights, social recognition, and access to high-quality public services delivered by a robust, responsible state.


Kazembe, L. N., Nickanor, N., & Crush, J. (2019). Informalized containment: food markets and the governance of the informal food sector in Windhoek, Namibia. Environment and Urbanization. First Published September 15, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1177/0956247819867091

Abstract

Policy responses to the growth of the informal food sector in African cities vary from benign neglect to active destruction. The eradication of street food vending is the dominant mode of governance. Alternative approaches that recognize the inevitability of informality and the role of the sector in making food accessible to the urban poor have begun to emerge. One is an enclose-and-contain model that creates spaces for trading and seeks to confine trading to these spaces through active policing. This strategy has been pursued in Windhoek, Namibia but has been compromised by consumer demand, which is not satisfied by the city’s approved markets, and by the actions of street traders who cluster at key locations and force tacit official recognition. This paper examines the origins and development of the resulting hybrid model of informalized containment, as well as the profile of consumers who patronize both types of markets.


Mackay, H. (2019). Food sources and access strategies in Ugandan secondary cities: an intersectional analysis. Environment and Urbanization. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956247819847346

Abstract

This article arises from an interest in African urbanization and in the food, farming and nutritional transitions that some scholars present as integral to urban life. The paper investigates personal urban food environments, food sources and access strategies in two secondary Ugandan cities, Mbale and Mbarara, drawing on in-depth interviews and applying an intersectional lens. Food sources were similar across dimensions of difference but food access strategies varied. My findings indicate that socioeconomic circumstance (class) was the most salient influence shaping differences in daily food access strategies. Socioeconomic status, in turn, interacted with other identity aspects, an individual’s asset base and broader structural inequalities in influencing urban food environments. Rural land and rural connections, or multispatiality, were also important for food-secure urban lives. The work illuminates geometries of advantage and disadvantage within secondary cities, and highlights similarities and differences between food environments in these cities and Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

Download full text (pdf): https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0956247819847346