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Urban futures: inhabiting the metropolitan periphery 
Monique Bertrand (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement)
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Urban Studies (x) Futures (y)
Philosophikum, S54
Thursday 1 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

The future of African metropolises is shaped in peripheries generating new material and mental landscapes, heterogeneous practices of access to land and urban amenities, new feelings of belonging and conflicting territorial identities. We investigate their contribution to the cities' habitability.

Long Abstract:

The future of African metropolises is being prepared on their outskirts, undergoing rapid land use conversion. While censuses keep categorising households through the urban/rural duality, third places, sub- and peri-urban, are evident everywhere, with a demographic weight sometimes exceeding that of central cities. Massive residential flows redistribute immigrants or native citizens towards increasingly outlying living areas. It generates new material and mental landscapes, practices of access to land and urban amenities, feelings of belonging and conflicts of territorial identity.

We investigate these peripheries from their residential function and contribution to the cities' habitability. Although still depending on urban cores - employment or previous living experience - these places cannot be reduced to dormitory suburbs void of social investment. They are not exclusively the result of the poor relegation to spatial margins, nor the elites/middle classes' ambitions alone. Spatial margins lack an overall socio-economic characterisation and a detailed analysis of heterogeneity. We thus question how old and new residents transform their ways of living and how this urban future impacts the metropolises' sociological profile.

Inputs sought:

-Residential combinations within peri-urban localities: intertwining, juxtaposing or distance between new and former settlements; land transactions driving this differentiation.

-New inhabitants' trade-offs with contradictory pressures: moving away from cities in search of affordable housing and investment opportunities vs closer for better services and acceptable commuting.

-The power relationships rising in these cohabitations between village natives and strangers to the land, conflicting implementation of urban services, politics emerging from shaken demographic balances and local governance frameworks.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -