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Accepted Paper:

How to be a small town in a metropolis corridor ? Insights from Bonoua (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire)  
Jean-Fabien Steck (Université Paris Nanterre UMR LAVUE) Arthur Bertucat (Université Paris Nanterre - LAVUE)

Paper short abstract:

International metropolitan models play an important role in African’s urbanisation processes. The aim of this paper is to discuss their relevance for small towns caught in big scale plans and to study how local actors react, deal with it and try to find their own way to be a part of the plan.

Paper long abstract:

The contested model of metropolisation (and anything related to it) for dealing with urban growth and inclusiveness in a globalised world is still increasingly important as a key model for urbanisation in Africa. The major agencies and international donors (World Bank, UN-Habitat, African Development Bank, etc.) are imposing it through their reports.

The aim of this paper is to focus on small secondary towns that are a part of those metropolitan models designed at other scales and for other kind of cities. Along the Abidjan-Lagos corridor, characterised by ruptures and territorial inequalities, the importance of small cities makes this analysis particularly relevant. Indeed, if we pay a great attention to the main metropolis (Abidjan, Accra, Lagos and Cotonou and Lomé), we are facing a great diversity of small-scale urbanisation processes questionning inclusivity.

Caught up in metropolitan and infrastructural projects that go beyond them, these towns are interesting laboratories for observing and analysing the strategies of various local stakeholders; their reactions to those urban models imposed from outside; the way they deal with their sublatern place and function within the corridor and metropolitan areas. All of this allows us to contribute to this panel by presenting the various play of actors, made of appropriations, hybridisation and resistance to the metropolitan models. This papers shall be based on empirical fieldwork done in one of these small towns, Bonoua, in Côte d'Ivoire, both caught in the Abidjan metropolitan plan and in the corridor infrastructure project.

Panel Urba16
Africa's urban futures and positionalities towards Global Urban Policies
  Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -