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Temporality and permanence of urbanisation in Africa 
Karen Büscher (Ghent University)
Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues (Nordic Africa Institute)
Patience Mususa (The Nordic Africa Institute)
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Karen Büscher (Ghent University)
Filip De Boeck (University of Leuven)
Urban Studies (x) Futures (y)
Hauptgebäude, Hörsaal XVIIa
Saturday 3 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

The panel explores temporary migration and settlement and how, in specific cases, they extend in time and become permanent, creating new urbanisms. It examines processes of urban consolidation based on expectations but also looks at the projections for the future of currently temporary settlements.

Long Abstract:

Africa's urban precariousness and the hard and uncertain living conditions in temporary residential arrangements have been a result of an ascribed status of temporariness. This sits in contrast to how throughout the continent urban futures continue to be imagined and materialised in mega-projects and top-class cities. However, the realities of past imagined futures - often in a teleological sense - have in many places translated into dystopias. The urban futures produced by a variety of actors, investments, and purposes have not always resulted in the expected urban configurations and lifestyles anticipated from the beginning. This panel will accept papers that not only look at processes of urban construction based on expectations and temporarity, but also at the projections for the future of current temporary settlements. It invites discussion and research that focuses on places that started off as makeshift, with provisional infrastructures, that over time have resulted in more residents living there permanently, in urban consolidation, and urban living. How do provisional agglomerations and itinerant residents shift to permanence and transform to create unforeseen new towns and new forms of urban life? How might they inform on how Africa's urban futures are materialised in the process? Cases that draw on displaced / refugee camps, boomtowns, consolidated upgraded slums, border towns, or other types of unexpected settlements are welcome. The overall aim is to present in-depth knowledge and a set of comprehensive analytical tools for policy, development theory, and practice that can inform about the future of urban Africa.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Saturday 3 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Saturday 3 June, 2023, -