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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… … Keep Reading

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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… … Keep Reading

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“Making space for history” in Accra’s Ga Mashie neighborhood

Cultural tourism walks a precarious line. Private sector investments can generate significant socio-economic benefits for community members and revitalize cultural interests. On the other hand there are many opportunities for exploitation— interest groups stand to profit from over-development, pricing out existing low-income residents. As the growing number of arts, culture and touristic activities in Accra’s… … Keep Reading

culture + heritage

urban (in)formality

It’s Saturday morning and Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, a high-traffic and high-commerce road that links Accra’s Kantamanto and Makola Markets, is bustling.

Accra: Sensing the City Through Sound

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… … Keep Reading

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After the Kantamanto Market fire, an opportunity for participatory planning emerges

Two weeks ago, fire destroyed the immense Kantamanto Market, the huge open-air market linked to Makola in Old Accra, comprised of hundreds of stalls and kiosks where vendors traded secondhand and firsthand goods. The fire, which started in the early hours of Sunday morning, lasted several hours before the Fire Service managed to put out the… … Keep Reading

learning

AFRURB_LOGO_1 copy

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… … Keep Reading

Slide01
Learning

Sustainable Cities conference bridges cultures, demonstrates shared experiences on public spaces

The challenges of traffic congestion, civic engagement and shrinking public spaces are key themes for cities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; these same challenges cut across West Africa’s cities, too. November 4-5, African Urbanism participated in the conference “Towards a Roadmap for Sustainable Cities in the MENA Region” in Beirut, Lebanon,… … Keep Reading

Book Cover for Prof. Ato Quayson's "Oxford Street: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism"
Learning/Urbanism from Ghana

Exploring “Oxford Street”: Author Ato Quayson shares insights from new book

Prof. Ato Quayson’s new book Oxford Street: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism explores the history and dynamics of one of Accra’s most popular and globalized streets – the stretch of Oxford Street in the Osu district. Quayson is a professor of English and director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University… … Keep Reading

projects

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A PARK(ing) Day in Accra, Ghana: Transforming car spaces into people’s spaces, for a weekend

Here in Accra, Ghana, PARK(ing) Day came a little bit early this year (around the world, it’s to be celebrated on September 20th this year). But the essence of what we celebrated and promoted — transforming a car park into a people’s park to demonstrate the importance of public spaces, community activity and recreation —… … Keep Reading

Street vending scene in Makola Market (Accra, Ghana).
Projects

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,”… … Keep Reading

Water issues in Lagos
Projects

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-… … Keep Reading

public space

afrurb_foster-selfie-king-on-top-of-the-world

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… … Keep Reading

IMG_2940

A PARK(ing) Day in Accra, Ghana: Transforming car spaces into people’s spaces, for a weekend

Here in Accra, Ghana, PARK(ing) Day came a little bit early this year (around the world, it’s to be celebrated on September 20th this year). But the essence of what we celebrated and promoted — transforming a car park into a people’s park to demonstrate the importance of public spaces, community activity and recreation —… … Keep Reading

chalewote-stuntman-angel

Reblog: In Accra, an art festival capitalizes on streetscape as public space in Jamestown

“In Ghana, what attracts people to places isn’t the [physical] space, it’s the event,” a friend said to me in conversation a few weeks ago. I was reminded of his words this past weekend, standing at the triangle-shaped Otublohum Square in Jamestown. As I watched, bike stuntmen paraded up and down High Street, doing tricks… … Keep Reading

Accra: Sensing the City Through Sound

in Urban (In)formality/Urbanism from Ghana by
It’s Saturday morning and Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, a high-traffic and high-commerce road that links Accra’s Kantamanto and Makola Markets, is bustling.

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…

Keep Reading

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

in Uncategorized/Urbanism from Ghana by

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…

Keep Reading

Sustainable Cities conference bridges cultures, demonstrates shared experiences on public spaces

in Learning by
Slide01

The challenges of traffic congestion, civic engagement and shrinking public spaces are key themes for cities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; these same challenges cut across West Africa’s cities, too. November 4-5, African Urbanism participated in the conference “Towards a Roadmap for Sustainable Cities in the MENA Region” in Beirut, Lebanon,…

Keep Reading

Exploring “Oxford Street”: Author Ato Quayson shares insights from new book

in Learning/Urbanism from Ghana by
Book Cover for Prof. Ato Quayson's "Oxford Street: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism"

Prof. Ato Quayson’s new book Oxford Street: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism explores the history and dynamics of one of Accra’s most popular and globalized streets – the stretch of Oxford Street in the Osu district. Quayson is a professor of English and director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University…

Keep Reading

On “Town Planning in West Africa”

in Cultural + Heritage by

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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Dakar and Gorée Island: Linking history, tourism and local economies

in Cultural + Heritage/Photoscapes/Urbanism from Senegal by
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With its just over one thousand residents, Gorée Island sits two kilometers (1.2 miles) off the coast of Dakar, Senegal. For tourists, the small island is a recognized cultural destination and UNESCO World Heritage site, based on its famed history as a slave-trading station as part of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. But for island’s residents and businesses, it’s…

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In Dakar, a graffiti festival connects artists, cultures and ideas

in Cultural + Heritage/Photoscapes/Urbanism from Senegal by
Graffiti creation in process as part of Festigraff 2014. Dakar, Senegal.

For 10 days in April, graffiti artists from around the world gathered in Dakar, Senegal for the fifth annual Festigraff, the Festival international de Graffiti en Afrique/Senegal. While the term “graffiti” can carry a negative connotation, spray can art is Dakar’s most ubiquitous urban art expression, ranging from vandalism to approved and encouraged art. As…

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