‘Speculative infrastructures’ at the urban margins

Earlier this month (September 2018), I participated in a thought-provoking panel engaging the ‘margins’ in the research process. The panel was part of the two-day workshop ‘Speculative Infrastructures and Cities-in-the-Making,’ which was organized by Jon Silver and Paula Meth at the University of Sheffield and supported by Urban Geography journal and the University of Sheffield’s… …

Amplifying Local Voices on Ghana’s Built Environment: Accra Architecture Writing Workshop

amplify: verb. to make larger, greater, or stronger; to enlarge; extend; to expand in stating or describing, as by details or illustrations; to clarify by expanding….to discourse at length… For three days in early July 2018, I worked with undergraduate, masters, and PhD students as one of three workshop tutors in the Accra Architecture Writing Workshop,… …

Accra Architecture & Urbanism Writing Workshop, July 2018

The Accra Architecture & Urbanism Writing Workshop takes place Friday, July 6 through Sunday, July 8, 2018 in Accra, Ghana. The workshop is being instituted to coach a number of emerging Architectural and urban focused academics in West Africa to be able to write academic blog articles to initiate a West African Architecture and Urbanism… …

Join the #TalkingSpaces Twitter Discussions on Child-Friendly Public Spaces

  The city of Accra, Ghana, like others around Africa, is expanding at a rapid pace. The pressure on the ground in the metropolis to make way for urban development translates into the cutting down age-old trees, and the taking over of play grounds, parks, waterways, and other essential community resources.  City authorities’ plans and the competing, uncoordinated priorities of city dwellers, vendors,… …

African Urbanism Conversations / 001 / Agbogbloshie

In this first African Urbanism Conversation, participants discuss the urban development, social, political, economic and environmental context of Agbogbloshie and Old Fadama, often typified as “Africa’s largest e-waste dump.” The conversation provides local context for a better understanding of what’s happening in Agbogbloshie and Old Fadama, and how the sites are intricately interlinked and connected to… …

Whose city is it, anyway?

The residents who form the backbone of Accra’s economy live in poor, high-density areas and are open to harassment by authorities. To develop into a fair and livable city, Accra will need to resolve this and other issues of inequality, says Victoria Okoye for UrbanAfrica.net. “Accra has always had a dual personality, right from its beginnings,”… …

Water issues in Lagos

Above: The branding of the Lagos Water Corporation, the state-level agency charged with overseeing the water operations and distribution for Lagos State. While I was in Lagos, I had the opportunity to speak with two key officials to learn more about the costing mechanism for water, the current and future plans of the Corporation, especially given the new public-… …

public space

Join the #TalkingSpaces Twitter Discussions on Child-Friendly Public Spaces

  The city of Accra, Ghana, like others around Africa, is expanding at a rapid pace. The pressure on the ground in the metropolis to make way for urban development translates into the cutting down age-old trees, and the taking over of play grounds, parks, waterways, and other essential community resources.  City authorities’ plans and the competing, uncoordinated priorities of city dwellers, vendors,… …

For African cities, ‘tactical urbanism’ has its limits

It was a few years ago that the framework of tactical urbanism, a concept particularly promoted and popularized by U.S. planning design firm Street Plans Collaborative, gained traction, particularly in the United States and European contexts. The idea of tactical urbanism refers to locally led, low-cost and short-term built environment interventions aimed at improving local… …

Foster’s World: Seeing Ga Mashie from Child Perspective

Foster Malm, 13, moves through one of Jamestown’s bustling markets with remarkable ease. Black iPhone covertly at the ready, he shoots off the hip, capturing unexpected market-goers moving through daily life. Although barely audible over the usual market place chatter, the camera shutter sounds off like rapid fire: close-ups of fresh tomatoes and onions, action… …

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Accra’s June 3rd Floods: Looking Back to Move Forward

The Urban Platform of Ghana is a network of professionals and enthusiasts with interests in urban development in Ghana’s cities and good urban development practices globally. The Platform brings together knowledge, experience and contributions from more than 170 professionals with discussions, debates and information sharing.  In the wake of Accra’s deadly flooding disaster of June… …

Schools prepare for Independence Day, Ghana style [video]

As March 6th approaches, in schools all over the country, teachers and students prepare for the infamous Independence Day parades. A celebrated ritual of patriotism on national days, children file along roads, marching in line to music in synchronized steps. Here’s a short video of students in a school in Ghana’s Central Region preparing for… …

On clean drinking water in Lagos: Many options, few solutions

In Lagos, the systemic challenges facing urban water infrastructure affect each and everyone, from the wealthy oga in his corner office on Victoria Island to the impoverished beggar eking out his subsistence on a walkway in one of the city’s slums. While all are affected, the degree to which the pang of the water crisis affects each person is… …

In Accra, people and their bikes create a subculture

A 2010 World Bank study on Accra  estimated that only 1 to 4 percent of people in the city ride bicycles, whether to work, to school, to shopping activities, or for leisure. According to an earlier study by the Centre for Cycling Expertise, a Ghana-based, non-profit organization focused on promoting cycling and walking in cities, the… …

‘Speculative infrastructures’ at the urban margins

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Earlier this month (September 2018), I participated in a thought-provoking panel engaging the ‘margins’ in the research process. The panel was part of the two-day workshop ‘Speculative Infrastructures and Cities-in-the-Making,’ which was organized by Jon Silver and Paula Meth at the University of Sheffield and supported by Urban Geography journal and the University of Sheffield’s…

Accra: Sensing the City Through Sound

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In May, African Urbanism contributed to MIT’s Community Innovation Lab (CoLab Radio) “Listening to the City” series. The series includes sounds from cities such as a market in Mexico City, a struggling street market in Thessaloniki, Greece, and sounds of Los Angeles’ street economy. What do other cities sound like? Read descriptions of other cities included in the…

Accra’s June 3rd Floods: Looking Back to Move Forward

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The Urban Platform of Ghana is a network of professionals and enthusiasts with interests in urban development in Ghana’s cities and good urban development practices globally. The Platform brings together knowledge, experience and contributions from more than 170 professionals with discussions, debates and information sharing.  In the wake of Accra’s deadly flooding disaster of June…

On “Town Planning in West Africa”

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The more things change, the more they stay the same? A familiar depiction of present-day Accra, Ghana, but this speech was made in 1946: “Accra is a town like Freetown. During the war, its water and electric services have had to do double work, and it has surprised me that they have managed to go on working…

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