capetownpartnership – Five Reasons Africa Needs To Reinvent The City

No comments yet August 2014. Africa’s cities are facing some exciting, frightening and rapid change. UN-Habitat’s latest “State of African Cities” report attempts to map this change and create a tool for future-oriented urban planning. What are some of the insights of the report, and what can Cape Town as an African city learn from this?

How dense are Africa’s cities? How developed is their infrastructure? How rapidly are they growing and sprawling? What factors – economic, environmental, political – are affecting the way people live in cities? How do Africa’s cities impact the environment? These are just some of the questions being addressed in the 2014 “State of African Cities Report”, published by UN-Habitat. The report is the third in a series that attempts to measure and map crucial urban trends in Africa, with a view of creating a tool for effective policy-making.

“The main premise of this report is that effectively addressing the vulnerabilities and risks to which the African populations are increasingly being exposed may, perhaps, require a complete rethinking of current urban development trajectories if sustainable transitions are to be achieved,” wrote Joan Clos, executive director of UN-Habitat, in his introduction. His sentiment is echoed by many journalists, such as Marelise van der Merwe, who recently wrote about how Africa’s cities are “crying out for re-imagination” in the Daily Maverick. With the help of the report, we have identified five reasons why planning for Africa needs to be extra-imaginative.

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