The facts of Africa's rapid urbanisation are startling. By 2030 African cities will have grown by more than 350 million people and over half the continent's population will be urban. Yet in the minds of policy makers, scholars and much of the general public, Africa remains a quintessentially rural place. This lack of awareness and robust analysis means it is difficult to make a policy case for a more overtly urban agenda. As a result, there is across the continent insufficient urgency directed to responding to the challenges and opportunities associated with the world's last major wave of urbanisation.
Drawing on the expertise of scholars and practitioners associated with the African Centre for Cities, and utilising a diverse array of case studies, Africa's Urban Revolution provides a comprehensive insight into the key issues - demographic, cultural, political, technical, environmental and economic - surrounding African urbanisation.
Susan Parnell is an urban geographer in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is centrally involved in the African Centre for Cities, serving on its executive. Edgar Pieterse is holder of the South African Research Chair in Urban Policy. He is director of the African Centre for Cities and professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, both at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of, amongst other books, City Futures: Confronting the crisis of urban development (Zed Books, 2008).
1. Africa's urban revolution in context - Edgar Pieterse and Susan Parnell 2. Conflict and post-war transition in African cities - Jo Beall and Tom Goodfellow 3. Sub-Saharan African urbanisation and global environmental change - Susan Parnell and Ruwani Walawege 4. Linking Urbanisation and development in Africa's economic revival - Ivan Turok 5. Religion and social life in African cities - Carole Rakodi 6. Feeding African cities: the growing challenge of urban food insecurity - Jonathan Crush and Bruce Frayne 7. Transport pressures in urban Africa: practices, policies, perspectives - Gordon Pirie 8. Decentralisation and institutional reconfiguration in urban Africa - Warren Smit and Edgar Pieterse 9. The challenge of urban planning law reform in African cities - Stephen Berrisford 10. The education and research imperatives of urban planning professionals in Africa - James Duminy, Nancy Odendaal and Vanessa Watson 11. Filling the void: an agenda for tackling African urbanisation - Edgar Pieterse 12. Infrastructure, real economies and social transformation: assembling the components for regional urban development in Africa - AbdouMaliq Simone 13. National urbanisation and urban strategies: necessary but absent policy instruments in Africa - Susan Parnell and David Simon 14. Urbanisation as a global historical process: theory and evidence from sub-Saharan Africa - Sean Fox Postscript: Building new knowledge and networks to foster sustainable urban development - Thomas Melin