Track Leader: Rachel Keeton (

Track organizers:

Zuzanna Sekula, 

Javier Arpa,  

Arie Romein  

Planned urbanisation in Africa: New cities, towns, and urban extensions

Through an exhibition, a serious-gaming planning workshop, paper sessions, a book presentation, and films, this track offers new viewpoints on contemporary planned development, and looks for integrated alternatives to the siloed development processes currently shaping African cities. 

Urban planning throughout Africa is increasingly initiated, financed and constructed by private parties. As neoliberal state governments move from the role of initiator to enabler, they lose the ability to inform planning priorities. As a result, we see more private development targeting the so-called ‘middle’ and upper income groups, while less and less adequate housing is made available to lower income groups. This type of large-scale development does nothing to combat increasing housing deficits across the continent. As van Femke Noorloos and Marjan Kloosterboer warn, this may lead to increased socio-spatial segregation and, “the clustering of income groups together, based on wealth and status, which diminishes the possibility of meaningful social interaction, public debate (social contract) and possibly social upward mobility through neighbourhood effects” (2018). 

Academics, policy-makers, and practitioners commonly see top-down planning and bottom-up urbanization as two conflicting processes. Recent research has shown that comprehensively planned urban developments are often followed by unregulated communities that form at their boundaries. In this track, we want to interrogate contemporary planning paradigms, and explore opportunities for integration between top-down and bottom-up processes. What is the potential for a hybrid new form of urbanization that serves everyone instead of the elite? 


13:30 – 15:00 Thursday 28 March

Disscussants: Ore Fika (IHS), Fasil Giorghis (EiABC), Rachel Keeton (TU Delft)

Track 2: Planned Urbanisation
13:30 – 13:45Presentation by Ian Low, University of Cape Town:“Space and Transformation – Social Justice and Spatial Equity in the new South Africa?”
13:45 – 14:00 Presentation by Dillip Kumar Das, Central University of Technology, South Africa:“Perspectives of Information Communication Technology Industry for Economic Vitality of Bloemfontein, South Africa”
14:00 – 14:15Presentation by Inga Zielonka, Karres en Brands Landschapsarchitecten “The Inside view of an Outsider”
14:15 – 14:30Presentation by Rana Elrashidy, German University in Cairo, and John Hanna, TU Delft: Lost in Management: “Conservation of 20th century Architectural Heritage in Heliopolis, Cairo”
14:30 – 14:45Presentation by Rana Elrashidy, German University in Cairo:“Coastal Development in Egypt: Implementing New Cities along the North West Coast Region”
14:45 – 15:00Presentation by Lavinia Dondi, Stefania Varvaro, Michele Ugolini, Politecnico di Milano:“Mo.N.G.U.E. Mozambique.Nature.Growth.University.Education.”
15:00 – 15:15Presentation by Dunia Mittner, Università di Padova: “Urbanization in the former French Equatorial Africa”
15:15Coffee and tea break (starts at 15:00)
15:30 – 17:00Book presentation: ‘To Build a City in Africa’ – Berlagezaal 1
Rachel Keeton and Michelle Provoost present the results of their research on contemporary new cities in Africa
Fasil Giorghis reflects on the research
Book is presented to Dirk van Gameren (BK TUDelft) and Fasil Giorghis (EiABC AAU)