Un-sustainable urban Fantasies
Marilyn Glele Ahanhanzova
Paper short abstract:
Sustainable urbanism is among the new development trend in African cities, promising development and prosperity. This paper highlights the challenges of sustainable urban projects within an African context based on the discrepancy between the discourse and the reality on the ground.
Paper long abstract:
This article analyses how sustainable urban development models are helping shape a new and improved urban model for the future of the development of African cities. Rapid urbanisation is fast tracking the need to find models that will cope with the pace of urbanisation without compromising the development of the future generations. In this respect, sustainable and environmentally sound projects have gain tremendous popularity among African countries, with each wanting its own sustainable urban project. Through the SDGs, and various eco-cities megaprojects, was developed a rhetoric of empowerment African countries to take their development process into their own hands, and break free from the cycle of poverty. Equally, it is has been an opportunity for them to reshape their urban landscape and resolve the vicious cycles of uneven development. Those new sustainable urban agendas promise opportunities for many African cities to break free from the postcolonial planning era, and step into an era where social justice, modernization, participation and environmentally sound development are part of the country's long term strategy. Through an analysis of the mobility of urban models in African cities under this rhetoric, this paper presents the benefits and the flaws of the sustainable urbanism implementation. Looking briefly at the cases of Lagos and Cotonou this paper highlights the challenges of those initiatives within an African context. As well as the discrepancy between the discourse and the reality on the ground.
Sustainable Cities in Africa: plans, dreams, and practices