African urban fantasies: dreams or nightmares? | AfricaMyAfrica |

The paper, by Prof. Vanessa Watson of the University of Cape Town, publicly released on Monday, reviews plans to renew, extend or replace cities in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania.


Labelled as the “last frontier” for international property development, sub-Saharan Africa’s larger cities are currently being revisioned in the image of "smart" or "eco cities" such as Dubai or Singapore. Yet the reality in all of these cities stands in stark contrast to the glass-box towers, manicured lawns and water features on developers’ and architects’ websites. With the majority of urban populations living in deep poverty and with minimal urban services, the most likely outcome of these fantasy plans is a steady worsening of the marginalization and inequalities that already beset these cities.