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From the Editors

Africa is a continent poised between aspiration and actuality. This future-minded edition of Cityscapes is framed around the rubric of “futurity”

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Cloning the African City

Planners and architects seem to have a habit of colluding with developers and politicians to make every city look like every other city. It is happening in Kinshasa and Lagos too

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Chinese Urbanism in Africa

On-going media reports that tower-block Chinese urbanism is taking root in Africa distort what is a far more complex and variegated truth on the ground

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What is Next?

Cultivating an appetite for the future demands recouping a politics of aspiration

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From Refugee Storage Facilities to Living Spaces

A paradigm shift is required in the way refugee settlements are managed in order to rapidly normalise these enclaves and welcome them into the mainstream of society

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Waiting to Grow Up

Many African youths find themselves trapped in prolonged suspension between childhood and adulthood

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The Athletes

Len Taunyane and Jan Mashiani participated in the 1904 Olympic marathon in St. Louis. Their story is far bigger than that, tainted by an unanswerable silence

Sean O'Toole

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Science # Fiction

Science and science fiction are not as prominent as it could and should be across Africa. Novelists Nnedi Okorafor and Lauren Beukes debate the reasons

Tolullah Oni

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Informal Worlds Reader

Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer spent five years researching informal marketplaces globally

Edgar Pieterse

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An energetic opportunity

Africa sits on the cusp of a renewable energy revolution, but needs massive investment in modernising the grid

Megan Lindow

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Rising from the dumps

Waste has emerged as major political concern in Dar es Salaam

Joshua Palfreman

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Life in the Magic Kingdom

Private developers are remodelling Johannesburg at its urban edge

Tanya Pampalone

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Kinshasa's Fluxes & Rhythms

What the nebulous idea of living together in a place such as Kinshasa means

Filip De Boeck & AbdouMaliq Simone

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A Man of the Future

Remaking Johannesburg, says executive mayor Parks Tau, requires not only a future focus and commitment to a long-term vision, but patience and courage too

Lesley Lokko

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On Inclusive Cities

Argentinian architect and urban planner Alfredo Garay on the role of these torsional forces and the on-going challenges of urbanisation in contemporary Latin America

Marcelo Corti and Demian Rotbart

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Africa in the New Century

The emerging tacit consensus is that the destiny of our planet will be played out, to a large extent, in Africa. This planetary turn of the African predicament will constitute the main cultural and philosophical event of the 21st century

Achille Mbembe

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Housing High Stakes in Addis

Over the past 35 years, Ethiopia's urban population has doubled. Faced with a chronic housing shortage in the country’s capital, Addis Ababa, officials have had to innovate

Mary Anne Fitzgerald

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Anatomy of a failure

Tshwane’s failed prepaid smart metering system offers a case study of what happens when technology and finance are applied to a pressing need

Sean O'Toole