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African Cities as Infrastructure

As anthropologists speaking to architects, we are concerned with exploring the relation between visibility and invisibility and with the “networks of concrete becoming”, at once engaging and going beyond the artifice of material infrastructure and physical site. Built form may be, as de Boeck states, “produced randomly in human sites as living space.” As urban studies have taken a “southern turn,” with an increasing number of works in mainstream urban studies focusing on cities of the global south, this contrast between built form and living space is indeed critical.


African Cities Reader II - Mobilities and Fixtures

The aim of this second instalment of the African Cities Reader is to provide a space to illuminate emergent urbanisms of Africa in its continental and diasporic richness. The leitmotif of the contemporary globalising era is mobility, which references the incessant circulation of goods, services, ideas, technologies, imaginaries and money.
African cities are uniquely marked by disjunctive flows and circuits, but in ways that amplify both the intensity of mobility, and its shadow, fixity.


Infrastructure & Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

In this book, our aim is to provide a reminder of the evidence of infrastructure’s role in accelerating growth and progress toward the MDGs and the scope for reforms with a focus on the needs of the poor. We discuss access rates to infrastructure services, as well as their affordability, quality, and cost, and how reforms have been a success or not for the poor.
Clearly, the poor should benefit from macroeconomic progress, and infrastructure has a strong role to play in this.


The Art of Citizenship in African Cities

This scholarly series stands at the intersection of globalization and development studies, examining the social, political, and economic effects of these processes on the African continent. For advocates and critics alike, globalization and development are inescapable “facts of life” that define the parameters of social action, not just in Africa, but throughout the world. However, while academic debates and policy discussions careen between praise and criticism, too little attention is given to how these processes actually operate in African settings


Sustainable Urban & Regional Infrastructure

The magnitude of urban infrastructure investment and the long time frames involved in management and maintenance require a coordinated approach to forward planning, policy development, and implementation. There are major challenges in making long-term decisions on urban infrastructure and getting management structures and processes in place in the present environment where politics, economies, social and technological systems, and our understanding of the physical environment are changing rapidly. Getting it right generates long-term dividends. Getting it wrong involves major costs, often borne by taxpayers.


The “fundamental role” of traffic: building new roads makes people drive more

For people who are constantly stuck in traffic jams during their commutes, there seems to be an obvious solution: just widen the roads.
This makes intuitive sense. Building new lanes (or new highways entirely) adds capacity to road systems. And traffic, at its root, is a volume problem — there are too many cars trying to use not enough road.
But there’s a fundamental problem with this idea. Decades of traffic data across the United States shows that adding new road capacity doesn’t actually improve congestion. 


Integration Zone Planning Guidelines

Integration Zones should be prioritised relative to one another in terms of their ability to integrate significant townships with the more developed parts of the city space, i.e. according to the size and density of townships and adjacent informal settlements served by the identified Urban Hubs. The Priority Integration Zone should be the focus of as many public sector role players as appropriate, aligning public sector investment to attract and incentivize firms and households to invest their resources in Integration Zones.


Bill Gates on the building materials of the modern world

In his latest book review, Bill Gates highlights astonishing statistics on the use of concrete: – China has used more concrete over the past three years than that used in America over the previous century.  This massive use of concrete to build new cities has enabled China to relieve the poverty of millions of people.


How Denver is becoming the most advanced transit city in the west

DENVER—It’s a vision straight out of a transportation planner’s fondest dream, but the key question remains: Will metro residents give up their cars?
Ten years ago, Denver’s new mayor (and current Colorado governor) John Hickenlooper began to ramp up a campaign to convince voters to approve an ambitious expansion of the region’s embryonic light rail network.