A crowded marketplace amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Accra, Ghana.
CHRISTIAN THOMPSON/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A new approach to urban planning is needed to restore hope in African cities. There are three keys that can help unlock this.
The place names of Nairobi’s informal settlements offer a glimpse into the realities of people who live there.
Jamestown, Accra. The city’s authorities have done nothing to develop green spaces in the city’s slums.
Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images
Ghanaian city authorities are focused on addressing problems of poverty, education and health rather than managing green spaces in slums
The settlement of Old Fadama has reinvented itself
In cross-sector collaboration, communities and citizens articulate their needs and then partner with governments and NGOs to address these self-identified problems.
Makoko neighbourhood in Lagos, initially founded as a fishing village.
Frédéric Soltan/Corbis via Getty Images
If we learn from COVID-19, there are three key areas to tackle to make cities safer from outbreaks of future infectious diseases.
Residents of Kibera slum carry jerrycans to fill them with water from a bowser.
Gordwin Odhiambo/AFP via Getty Images
Despite high prices, poor quality and inconvenience, Kenya’s urban poor continued to buy water from private vendors because it’s still their best option.
African urban dwellers pay 55% more in rentals than their counterparts in other cities in the world.
The demon is not density but rather that African countries have not planned and made the investments necessary to manage the downsides of the type of density found in informal settlements.
One of the entry points to San Roque, with a makeshift guard shelter on the left.
Besides battling the coronavirus pandemic, San Roque residents have long been locked in a bigger struggle for their very survival as a community in the face of home demolitions and relocations.
Aerial view of Shivaji Nagar.
Long before the Indian government responded to the threat of COVID-19 with a lockdown, residents of Shivaji Nagar, with the support of a local NGO, were protecting and helping one another.
Aditya Kabir/Wikimedia Commons
Many are speculating about the pandemic changing how we plan and use our cities. What they overlook is how many people live in unplanned settlements where it’s more likely to be business as usual.
Chilean police clash with anti-government demonstrators during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 12, 2019. Santiago is one of a dozen cities worldwide to see mass unrest in recent months.
AP Photo/Esteban Felix
From Santiago and La Paz to Beirut and Jakarta, many of the cities now gripped by protest share a common problem: They’ve grown too much, too fast.
The Bangladesh government wants Karail, an established community of 200,000 people in the capital Dhaka, to make way for development.
Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World/flickr
A community of 200,000 in Dhaka faces eviction to make room for “development”. Is it time to rethink the concept, especially with a billion people now living in informal settlements worldwide?
Scorpions used to be a rural problem in Brazil. Now, residents of São Paulo and other urban areas are dealing with an infestation of these venomous creatures.
AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini
Brazil’s scorpion infestation, which is terrorizing residents of São Paulo and other major cities, is a classic ‘wicked problem.’ That means officials must think outside-the-box to fix it.
Residents of slums like Kamla Nehru Nagar, a kilometre away from Patna Junction, have yet to share in the promised benefits of smart cities.
Indians were promised they would be included in planning 100 smart cities and that everyone would benefit. But many of the millions of slum residents have had no say in their homes being destroyed.
Tiny Paley Park, surrounded by skyscrapers in New York City, introduced the concept of a ‘pocket park’ in dense urban centers.
Research shows that access to urban green space makes people and neighborhoods healthier. But parks can’t work their magic if their design ignores the needs of nearby communities.
Accra’s sprawling slums.
Research in Ghana shows that improving slum housing could be one of the alternatives to the capital’s housing crisis.
Conditions in Kenya’s slums like Mathare are not conducive to healthy life choices.
A study in Kenya found that that there’s an association between relatively higher economic status and obesity in a slum setting.
People feel a real sense of community in slums like Kibera in Nairobi.
Moving people without taking their social and economic concerns into consideration isn’t the way to deal with urban slums.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. displays the poster to be used during his Poor People’s Campaign in 1968.
AP Photo/Horace Cort
King argued for a national guaranteed income that would keep people out of poverty. Fifty years later, the Poor People’s Campaign still resonates.
Homeless residents of El Bronx embrace after a May 2016 raid that displaced thousands, sending some to shelters and others to streets elsewhere in the city.
Bogota’s mayor wants to make the city ‘better for all,’ but repeated police crackdowns have displaced thousands of homeless Colombians. Are clean streets really more important than human rights?