African cities and collaborative futures: Urban platforms and metropolitan
logistics brings together scholars from across the globe to discuss the nature
of African cities – the interactions of residents with infrastructure, energy,
housing, safety and sustainability, seen through local narratives and theories.
This groundbreaking collection, drawing on a variety of fields and extensive
first-hand research, offers a fresh perspective on some of the most pressing
issues confronting urban Africa in the twenty-first century. Each of the
chapters, using case studies from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, South
Africa and Tanzania, explores how the rapid growth of African cities is
reconfiguring the relationship between urban social life and its built forms.
While the most visible transformations in cities today can be seen as
infrastructural, these manifestations are cultural as well as material,
reflecting the different ways in which the city is rationalised, economised and
governed. How can we ‘see like a city’ in twenty-first-century Africa,
understanding the urban present to shape its future? This is the central
question posed throughout this volume, with a practical focus on how academics,
local decision-makers and international practitioners can work together to
achieve better outcomes.
Analysing the linkages and exploring possibilities for improving health and wellbeing
(Herforth and Ahmed, 2015 ; Turner et al., 2017 ).
Understanding the food environments of Africancities is important because there are high levels of food insecurity in Africancities, driven by high levels of poverty and income variability (Battersby and Watson, 2018 ), and interventions in urban food environments can potentially contribute to improving health outcomes. Food security can be defined as people’s ‘physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy
From an ‘infrastructural turn’ to the platform logics of
Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos
questions we were trying to address. Many chapters also implicitly or explicitly ask what it means to invoke a notion of the ‘Africancity’. Some of the reasoning that informed this curation of work we explored in the introduction. In the conclusion of the volume we want instead to suggest, if tentatively, routes out of the collection that point to different sorts of scholarship on urban futures. These might also be understood as different dispositions that emerge logically from the chapters collected here.
In the nature of academic production times we
Situating peripheries research in South Africa and Ethiopia
Metadel Sileshi Belihu
Divine Mawuli Asafo
This chapter explores how transformation in the spatial peripheries of three Africancity regions is shaped, governed and experienced, drawing on the findings of a three-year Economic and Social Research Council/National Research Foundation (ESRC/NRF) funded research project in South Africa and Ethiopia. We discuss both intellectual and methodological challenges, along with reflective insights of undertaking research on the dynamics and drivers of change and the ‘lived experiences’ of residents living on the
Urban presence and uncertain futures in African cities
Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos
Africancities demonstrate rapidly growing agglomerations of building and dwelling but that ‘most African countries are not able to capitalise on this demographic shift because urban residents are structurally trapped in profoundly unhealthy conditions that impact negatively on productivity, economic efficiencies and market expansion’ (Parnell and Pieterse, 2014 : 15).
At the heart of this assertion is the sense that as cities grow they mobilise vast resources of investment and major structural changes to the built environment in terms of systems of
rebranding is, in many instances, intertwined with projects of place-making and redesigning public spaces, many of these led by the MBDA.
The MBDA is one of two South Africancity-owned development agencies (the other is the Johannesburg Development Agency). Its broad mandate is to drive urban regeneration projects backed by the metropolitan council, with the ultimate goal of encouraging public and private investment in the city’s economy and in future development – a process characterised by former MBDA CEO Pierre Voges as ‘dynamic place-making’. 8 Among the MBDA
years, before returning to the Eastern
Province to live with her parents. 1 Esnart was one of a large number of
female children and youth who have found work in the homes of strangers
and kin in Lusaka and other southern Africancities, exchanging domestic
and care labour for cash wages and various in-kind payments. As this
chapter examines, girls like Esnart supported themselves and a range of
Members of the United House and
Domestic Workers Union of Zambia (UHDWUZ) march to
commemorate International Labour Organization Convention 189
and Recommendation 201, 16 June 2014.
This chapter examines the varied ways in which domestic
workers in Lusaka and other southern Africancities have pursued
’s life history is similarly
illustrative of broader trends, suggesting how employment opportunities
for male domestic workers changed and narrowed over time, not least
because of increased competition for domestic service jobs from women
The chapter shows how the gender and age dynamics of
domestic service in Lusaka and other southern Africancities were shaped
The book focuses on the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, using the city as a case study to read the ways in which memory is being written into South African urban space two decades after the end of apartheid. At the core of the book is the question of how history is written into public space, and how inscriptions of the past and its meanings are being challenged. This reading of public space and memory is located in a context where the promises of ‘reconciliation’ and the ‘rainbow nation’ are largely falling apart, and one in which South African cities remain in dire need of dramatic spatial and social transformation. The book is organised around four examples of memorial sites/practices, highlighting some of the ways in which public memory has been circumscribed by the state as well as the ways in which this circumscription has been contested. These include the Red Location Museum of Struggle, a highly contentious museum project; histories of forced removals in the suburb of South End; the activism and iconography of a group called the Amabutho, which was active in the city’s townships during the struggles of the 1980s; and heritage-related public art projects in the city centre. These examples collectively illuminate the spatial politics of memory in the twenty-first-century post-apartheid city, and the intersections between urban transformation and public memory.