Africa is no longer the rural continent many people think it is. On the contrary: it is the fastest urbanizing continent in the world. Chinese, Korean, Singaporean firms, American, English and Swiss designers are engaged in building New Towns. But where are the African planners and designers? And where is the first New Town that is truly inclusive, providing for the majority of the African population?
The urban population in Africa is estimated by the UN to triple by 2050. Across the different regions, urbanization is taking place in varying ways, but by far the largest part consists of self-built, informal settlements with poor sanitation and lack of access to services. Only in countries with considerable economic growth there are small percentages of planned urbanization: New Towns built for the rising middle classes and to attract economic activities.
Of the more than 200 (plans for) New Towns gathered in our database, some 20% has been built or construction has started. Some of these African New Towns try to test alternative forms of international cooperation and local participation with the aim of providing a successful scheme for a more flexible urbanization. Others risk to turn into ghost towns, as a result of speculation implemented by foreign developers. So far, our inventory of African New Towns especially underlines the necessity of rethinking the African city to make it more than just a commercial development.
The INTI database is an ongoing project. If you wish to send additions or corrections: firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 INTI - International New Town Institute
Rotterdam / the Netherlands