African Urban Fantasies

Programme Type: Projects Programme: Applied Urban Research
Publlisher: SAGE Publication Date: 2014

In this paper, Professor Vanessa Watson argues that Sub-Saharan Africa’s larger cities are currently being revisioned in the image of cities such as Dubai, Shanghai and Singapore, which claim top positions in the world-class city leagues. Draped in the rhetoric of “smart cities” and “eco-cities”, these plans promise to modernize African cities and turn them into gateways for international investors and showpieces for ambitious politicians. With the majority of urban populations living in deep poverty and with minimal urban services, the most likely outcome of these fantasy plans is a steady worsening of the marginalization and inequalities that already beset these cities. Read it here

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