This groundbreaking volume brings together scholars from across the globe to discuss the infrastructure, energy, housing, safety and sustainability of African cities, as seen through local narratives of residents. Drawing on a variety of fields and extensive first-hand research, the contributions offer a fresh perspective on some of the most pressing issues confronting urban Africa in the twenty-first century. At a time when the future of the region as a whole will be determined in large part by its cities, the implications of these developments are profound. With case studies from cities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania, this volume 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 collaborate to meet the challenge of rapid growth, environmental pressures and resource gaps.
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