African Perspectives on Planning, Design and Construction for Inclusive, Fair and Sustainable Urbanisation

The African Perspectives

The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of the TU Delft (Bouwkunde) has a vision for strengthening ties with researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and citizens in the African continent. As a Global University, Bouwkunde wishes to have a positive impact on African’s rapid urbanisation in the next decades. Africa is urbanising at record rates and there are many challenges ahead. According to the World Bank, Africa’s urban population stands at 472 million people today, but this number will double over the next 25 years, reaching 1 billion urban dwellers by 2040.

While the main responsibility for the destiny of African cities lies with African citizens, governments and institutions, we believe that universities everywhere have a role to play in helping educate the next generation of architects, planners, urban designers and the construction sector with a global perspective.  We wish to reach out to higher education institutes, governments, businesses and citizens to become partners in promoting sustainable, inclusive and fair urbanisation in Africa within the framework of the New Urban Agenda, adopted at Habitat III in Quito 2016.

This is the reason why Professor Peter Russell launched the AFRICAN PERSPECTIVES initiative in 2016 at BK. Since then, several activities have been organised, including three AFRICA DAY events at BK, a prep con in Addis Ababa in partnership with EiABC (JAN 2018) and most recently, the AFRICAN PERSPECTIVES +12 (27-29 Match 2019), which gathered more than 150 people over three days.

Six tracks to discover

We believe African problems need African solutions. TU Delft wants to learn from African practitioners, academics and institutions in order to support positive change in the continent, especially in issues of capacity building and implementation of research supporting the New Urban Agenda. The TU Delft is committed to helping build a strong research network with Africa.

In December 2007, Bouwkunde organised the momentous African Perspectives conference. More than 12 years afterwards, we wish to build upon the legacy of that conference, reinvigorate the discussion and attract new voices to the dialogue

In order to prepare for this conference, we organised a PrepCon in partnership with the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development in Addis-Ababa in January 2018. During this PrepCon, which gathered a number of scholars and practitioners from Africa and elsewhere, our attention was irrevocably drawn to the necessity to understand Africa as the diverse, multi-cultural, immensely rich place that it is, and to the need to work together with African institutions to help support the next generation of architects, planners, and policy makers who will steer sustainable urbanisation in Africa. The summary report on this PrepCon is available HERE

Informed by the results of this PrepCon, we are pleased to announce this Open Call for contributions to the African Perspectives +12 conference at TU Delft on 27, 28, and 29 March, 2019. We envision this conference as a catalyst for discussion, exchange and connection, with the clear goal of bringing together academia, practitioners, governance bodies, and cultural agents to engage and explore next steps for sustainable urbanization in Africa. This is our call for contributions.