Africa’s population and economic growth make it the world’s fastest urbanizing continent. While some might still associate Africa with rural development, the future of Africa is, in fact, very urban. This urbanization poses a huge challenge in areas with fragile institutional frameworks and chronic poverty; new city-dwellers frequently end up in self-organized settlements without basic services. Developers and investors have offered one alternative, designing and building new towns in Africa modeled after Asian and American cities. But is this really a proper alternative? Does one size fit all?
To Build a City in Africa brings together authors from various academic, political and design backgrounds to explore case studies on new towns in Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Angola, Morocco and Kenya, among other examples. This publication provides a critical narrative about African urbanization and questions the western world’s role in the radical transformations happening in Africa today.