The facts of Africa's rapid urbanisation are startling. By 2030 African cities will have grown by more than 350 million people and the continent will have surpassed the 50% urban mark. Yet, in the minds of policy makers, scholars and much of the general public, Africa remains a quintessential rural place. This lack of awareness and robust analysis means it is difficult to make a policy case for a more overtly 'urban agenda'. As a result, there is, across the continent, insufficient urgency directed to responding to the challenges and opportunities associated with the world's last major wave of urbanisation.
Drawing on the expertise of scholars and practitioners associated with the African Centre for Cities, and utilising a diverse array of case studies, the book provides comprehensive insight into the key issues - demographic, cultural, political, technical, environmental and economic - surrounding African urbanization.
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Susan Parnell is an Urban Geographer in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (UCT). She is centrally involved in the African Centre for Cities, serving on its Executive. Prior to her appointment at UCT she taught in the Wits University Geography Department (Johannesburg) and the School of Oriental African Studies (London). She is the author of over 80 academic papers, 5 edited volumes and 2 co-authored books. She is on the Editorial boards of many specialist academic journals.
Edgar Pieterse is holder of the DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Urban Policy. He directs the African Centre for Cities and is Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, both at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He previously served as Special Advisor to the Premier of the Western Cape Provincial Government (2004-2007) and directed a number of urban policy think tanks before his stint in government. In addition, he is a founder member of Isandla Institute; serves on the Boards of Magnet Theatre, the Sustainability Institute and the Cape Town Partnership; and is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Gauteng City-region Observatory, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, LSE Cities, and the Low Carbon Mobility Stakeholder Board of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford. He is the author of City Futures: Confronting the Crisis of Urban Development (Zed Books, 2008).
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