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Course Overview

In the next 35 years, Africa will need to accommodate almost 900 million new urban dwellers. Hundreds of smaller cities are doubling in size every 20 years, half of Africa’s urban dwellers live in informal settlements in precarious conditions, and 75% of these are younger than 35.

Our course will explore African cities through the lenses of spatial justice and social diversity, challenging myths and assumptions about urban development and demonstrating how different processes interact and shape the development of a city.

  • Introduction to development and planning
  • Urban land and informalities
  • Governance and participatory planning
  • Vulnerability and infrastructure

The course is open to people from any disciplinary background with a desire to learn about urban development and planning in African cities and potentially to those who would like to pursue a career in urban development or planning.

It is suitable for urban professionals who work or may in future want to work in Sub-Saharan Africa and would like to gain an understanding of how its cities are made and developed.

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…
  • Understand how different processes interact and shape the urban development of a city
  • Demonstrate an understanding of some key development and planning issues in African cities through justice and spatial lenses
  • Reflect upon the tensions between wider urban theories and regional processes on one hand, and the specificity of urban contexts on the other
  • Explain the specific and different roles and challenges of each urban actor in urban planning and development processes
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the urban challenges faced by Freetown and their potential solutions

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