Published by Ronald Gray on June 6, 2017

REPOST: African cities urged to take holistic approach to urban planning

With the human population growing exponentially, smarter ways to plan cities and urban agglomerations are extremely necessary to combat severe congestion, pollution, space shortages, and crime. In Africa for example, urban population is expected to double in just less than two decades. However, the continent seems to lack thoughtful urban planning. More insights from Citiscope:

 

Tangiers, Morocco, leveraged its close proximity to European markets to build a flourishing automotive industry centered in four free-trade zones. (Mikadun/Shutterstock.com)

Tangiers, Morocco, leveraged its close proximity to European markets to build a flourishing automotive industry centered in four free-trade zones. (Mikadun/Shutterstock.com)

Africa is the world’s second most rapidly urbanizing continent — topped only by Asia. In less than 20 years, Africa’s urban population will double. More than half of its population will reside in metropolitan areas.

This mass migration into cities already plagued by squalor and congestion requires thoughtful, comprehensive urban planning. Yet the region is falling dangerously short of that goal, a recent report warns.

Urbanization and Industrialization for Africa’s Transformation, published in March by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, characterizes planning efforts across Africa as largely disjointed.

In this post, Citiscope will look at what the report has to say about urban planning and policy prescriptions. Previously, we looked at the report’s overall conclusions and some of the case studies it highlights.

“Policies are often formulated and implemented in silos,” the report says. There’s “little analysis of the impact of urban trends and economic geography on industrialization in national development plan.”

The consequences for vulnerable populations are staggering. “Africa’s unguided urban expansion risks perpetuating non-inclusive and unsustainable growth,” the report warns.

The cycle of despair and inertia can be broken, however, through “strategic interventions” that can simultaneously lift both urban ecosystems and business opportunities.

 

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