P088
Urban governance: new arrangements in African cities of all sizes

Convenors:
Lucy Koechlin (University of Basel)
Godwin Murunga (University of Nairobi )
Chair:
Godwin Murunga
Discussant:
Lucy Koechlin
Stream:
Panels
Location:
KH102
Start time:
1 July, 2017 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This panel is interested in current research on actors and practices of urban governance. We invite contributions based on recent research providing insights into new forms of governance arrangements in African cities of all sizes.

Long abstract:

Urban governance in Africa has long been on the agenda of international organisations such as UN Habitat, mainly to highlight dysfunctionalities and slum proliferation. In recent years, this focus has been widened from capital cities, such as Nairobi or Lagos, to secondary (or mid-sized) cities that are experiencing some of the highest growth rates. Although rapid urbanisation can indeed be problematic, this panel posits that these processes are far more varied and empirically open than is implied in much of the dominant debates on urban growth in Africa. Indeed, urbanisation also creates new forms of urban governance which open up new spaces of articulation and encounter between urban social actors, rather than merely leading to increased destitution and exclusion. Hence, this panel is interested in current research on actors and practices of urban governance. Examples of such emerging or transforming governance arrangements could for instance include conflict resolution strategies around urban land, which may be informed by multiple and frequently divergent norms, or on changing arrangements of urban service delivery such as security or transport, or the effects of devolution in reconstituting urban power. We invite contributions based on recent research providing insights into new forms of governance arrangements in African cities of all sizes.