Accepted paper:

Sustainable city initiatives in Africa: how inclusive are they?


Ton Dietz (ASC Leiden)

Paper short abstract:

Analysis of current/recent sustainable cities initiatives in Africa and the institutional infrastructure to address and study environment&city improvement. Questioning the inclusiveness of these initiatives and the biases involved.

Paper long abstract:

Africa's cities have grown very fast. Currently the urban population has grown to almost 500 million out of 1.2 billion, and soon more than half of Africa's population will be living in cities, and many among them in metropoles of more than one million inhabitants. Demographic predictions show a rapid further growth and it is not unlikely that Africa in 2050 will have 1.2 billion urban people, out of its expected 2 to 2.4 billion. Africa's cities cope with huge demands and challenges, with many unplanned residential areas, and many dangerous working and living conditions. Coping with climate change is only one of their problems. However, also African cities try to be or become 'green cities', and promote changes in urban design and lifestyles that try to become more sustainable. In this paper the results of an exploration will be presented, based on information on websites and digitally available scientific and other types of publications. Special attention will be given to the African Green City Index (by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Siemens), and its approach will be compared with the OURSUS approach, developed under the umbrella of the International Geographical Union. We will explore the inclusiveness of these green city initiatives: are they highlighting green initiatives in the wealthy suburbs, or are they also including initiatives in poor neighborhoods?

panel P200
Sustainable Cities in Africa: plans, dreams, and practices