1. ArchDaily
  2. African Urbanism

African Urbanism: The Latest Architecture and News

Nigeria’s Ambitious Climate Agenda and Its Misplaced Fixation on Carbon Footprint

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

A few days ago, the world gathered at Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, for its annual climate change summit: COP27. Like the rest of Africa, Nigeria is represented by its retinue of bureaucrats, climate advocates, and other interest groups. Since the last meeting in Scotland (COP26), Nigeria signed the Climate Change Act into law, setting a target of attaining net-zero greenhouse gas emissions between 2050 and 2070. In the interim, Nigeria has developed an ambitious energy plan that would see it transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, using its vast reserve of natural gas as a hedge. The country is at the forefront of the African Carbon Markets Initiative and plans to raise at least $500 million from carbon crediting trading to offset emitted carbon.

The Spatial Stories of Ousmane Sembène

When examining the world of African cinema, there are few names more prominent than that of Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène. His films ‘La Noire de…’ and ‘Mandabi’, released in 1966 and 1968 respectively, are films that tell evocative stories on the legacies of colonialism, identity, and immigration. And whilst these two films are relatively slow-spaced, ‘slice-of-life stories, they also offer a valuable spatial critique of the setting where the films are based, providing a helpful framework to understand the intricacies of the post-colonial African city, and the contrast between the African and European metropolises.

The Spatial Stories of Ousmane Sembène - Image 1 of 4The Spatial Stories of Ousmane Sembène - Image 2 of 4The Spatial Stories of Ousmane Sembène - Image 3 of 4The Spatial Stories of Ousmane Sembène - Image 4 of 4The Spatial Stories of Ousmane Sembène - More Images+ 8

African Urbanism: Preserving Cultural Heritage in the Age of Megacities

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

In spite of the lull in the global construction industry over the last couple of years, megacity projects in Africa have continued unabated, as new developments are springing up in major cities all over the continent. Though we’re inspired by the growth of modern African cities and the opportunities offered to city residents, we shouldn’t ignore their shortcomings, the glaring disconnect between the utopian visions of local city officials and the economic and cultural realities of the local populations who live here. Many questions whether these new cities could be built in other ways, or if Africans will ever have an alternative to the current model of placemaking, hodgepodge urbanism foisted on it, largely by colonialists.

A Sustainable Solution for South Africa's Toilet Crisis by the Community, for the Community

This article was made in partnership with Design Indaba, a website and annual festival that uncovers innovation for good. Global Graduate Nicole Moyo presented her project Day 1 of the 2019 festival. Click here to learn more about the annual event.

Our planet is home to almost 7 billion people. Out of these 7 billion, more than 5 billion have access to mobile phones, but less have access to working toilets, and more than 1 billion still discharge waste in the open.

A Sustainable Solution for South Africa's Toilet Crisis by the Community, for the Community - Image 2 of 4A Sustainable Solution for South Africa's Toilet Crisis by the Community, for the Community - Image 3 of 4A Sustainable Solution for South Africa's Toilet Crisis by the Community, for the Community - Image 4 of 4A Sustainable Solution for South Africa's Toilet Crisis by the Community, for the Community - Image 1 of 4A Sustainable Solution for South Africa's Toilet Crisis by the Community, for the Community - More Images+ 11

What Urbanism Needs to Learn from Dubai

In the past three decades, Dubai has grown from a dusty desert town to a strategic hub for international business and tourism. As a result, several cities in the developing world have been competing to outdo one another in the race to replicate this development model—an urbanism largely built around the automobile, luxury villas, gleaming skyscrapers, massive shopping malls, and ambitious “smart” cities, designed and built from scratch. Across Africa, these new developments go by different names: Eko Atlantic City Nigeria, Vision City in Rwanda, Ebene Cyber City in Mauritius; Konza Technology City in Kenya; Safari City in Tanzania; Le Cite du Fleuve in DR Congo, and several others. All are mimicries of Dubai.