African urban fantasies: dreams or nightmares?

@article{Watson2014AfricanUF,
  title={African urban fantasies: dreams or nightmares?},
  author={Vanessa Watson},
  journal={Environment \& Urbanization},
  year={2014},
  volume={26},
  pages={215 - 231}
}
  • V. Watson
  • Published 1 April 2014
  • History
  • Environment & Urbanization
Labelled as the “last frontier” for international property development, sub-Saharan Africa’s larger cities are currently being revisioned in the image of cities such as Dubai, Shanghai and Singapore, which claim top positions in the world-class city leagues. Draped in the rhetoric of “smart cities” and “eco-cities”, these plans promise to modernize African cities and turn them into gateways for international investors and showpieces for ambitious politicians. Yet the reality in all of these… 

Figures from this paper

Aesthetic Dissent: Urban Redevelopment and Political Belonging in Luanda, Angola
Over the previous decade, African cities experienced a wave of frenzied construction driven by imaginations of world-city status. While these projects provoked new discussions about African urbanism,
African Cities: Planning Ambitions and Planning Realities
This chapter indicates the kind of impact which context-less planning ideas have had on Sub-Saharan African cities, using the continent as an example of impacts and processes which are echoed in many
‘Our Changes’? Visions of the Future in Nairobi
In Kenya, the Vision 2030 masterplan is radically reimagining Nairobi as a ‘world class’ city of the future. This has generated dramatic digital imagery of satellite cities, skyscrapers and shopping
The Circuitries of Spectral Urbanism: Looking Underneath Fantasies in Luanda’s New Centralities
The study of Africa’s new developments and satellite cities has been mostly led under the fundamentally aesthetic typology of ‘urban fantasies’. This provides important elements for a critique of how
The unbearable lightness of African cities
ABSTRACT As elsewhere, cities in Africa exist as ensembles of houses, streets, social events, and practices and at the same time as objects in the minds of their inhabitants and visitors. Cities
Romancing the City: Three Urbanization(s) of Green Internationalism
This chapter builds on the conclusions of Chapter 3, using the metaphor of “romance” to assess the rise of cities as they have engaged states and international organizations, and vice versa. While
Ode to Africa's Urban Space
This chapter examines Cameroonian and Nigerian pop singers' portrayals of urban cities in their respective countries of origin. Using a textual analysis of 10 popular songs composed by these pop
Africa’s new cities: The contested future of urbanisation
TLDR
This work systematically examines the diversity of new cities in Africa; elicit their financial trajectories; and sets an agenda for critically examining their actual and expected implications, by learning transnational lessons from debates on gated communities, peri-urban land governance and displacement, and older waves of new city building.
Failed Fantasies in a South African Context: the Case of Modderfontein, Johannesburg
The (proposed) development of private sector-led, large-scale urban projects on the periphery of many African cities has drawn increased attention to the geographical breadth and potential
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 24 REFERENCES
Speculative Urbanism and the Making of the Next World City
This article explores the process of making Bangalore, India into a ‘world city’ by focusing on specific world-city projects, the parastatal government agencies managing them, the explosive IT
The City and the Bottom Line: Urban Megaprojects and the Privatization of Planning in Southeast Asia
Prevailing perspectives on the impacts of globalization on urban form in large, globalizing cities in Asia hold that these cities are experiencing an inexorable process of ‘Westernization’ or
Will the real smart city please stand up?
Debates about the future of urban development in many Western countries have been increasingly influenced by discussions of smart cities. Yet despite numerous examples of this ‘urban labelling’
Growing city, shrinking hinterland: land acquisition, transition and conflict in peri-urban Gurgaon, India
This paper describes the implications of the land acquisition process in a village in the Gurgaon district of Haryana state in northwestern India. Gurgaon city, the district capital, is emerging as a
Urbanisms, worlding practices and the theory of planning
This special issue seeks to return the urban to the heart of planning theory. In doing so, it has three objectives. Firstly, it highlights particular urbanisms: how they are produced, lived and
Seeing Red Over Green: Contesting Urban Sustainabilities in China
The urban sustainability agenda is engaged at some levels with the two concepts of ecological modernisation and urban entrepreneurialism. While they share certain important commonalities (for
Governance, economic settings and poverty in Bangalore
This paper suggests that an understanding of poverty in cities such as Bangalore (often referred to as India’s Silicon Valley) requires more attention to the governance processes in which different
The slowing of sub-Saharan Africa's urbanization: evidence and implications for urban livelihoods
According to data from the most recent inter-census period, some sub-Saharan African countries are now urbanizing very slowly. Actual decreases in the level of urbanization are rare, but have been
...
...