Cities are characterized by contestations especially when it comes to accessing and defining knowledge of the city. Knowledge and access to knowledge are central for active urban citizenship The panel addresses questions of knowledge production of the city and its relation to active citizenship
The last decades have seen an upsurge in research and development initiatives focusing on the prospects and challenges of urban growth in Africa. Cities are drivers of economic growth, while simultaneously producing growing inequalities not only in terms of economy, but also in terms of rights and access (ranging from ownership of land, political participation, to access to resources such as health and security). This puts pressure on urban governance structures and raise questions of the management of cities and the challenges facing African cities. Governing and managing cities in Africa is important, but is often an exclusionary and elitist project, leaving little room for active participation and engagement for ordinary urbanites, not least for the majority poor urban populations. Cities have for decades been characterized by contestations especially when it comes to accessing and defining knowledge of the city, this still seems a key challenge in contemporary urban Africa. Knowledge and access to and ownership of knowledge therefore become a key issue in the provision of active urban citizenship. This raises questions concerning for whom knowledge is produced? For what purpose is knowledge about the city produced? Who owns it? How to provide better data and how to make it more useful for the concerned people? The panel invites papers across academic disciplines including development practitioners who critically engage questions relating to knowledge production of the city and how it relates to and provides for active urban citizenship.