Everyone wants to go smart. But Emana Nsikan-George warns against creating a new class of unfit-for-smart-city urban dwellers, especially when African cities are still struggling with fundamental development goals. A thought-provoking tale of smart fantasies and urban realities.
Good and affordable housing is key to people’s well-being. Andrew Jones presents the latest research from social enterprise Reall and unpacks what impact it has on the bottom 40 per cent of the income pyramid.
The world’s cities have a critical role to play in supporting global sustainability efforts and tackling climate change. Effective waste management lies at the very core of these ambitions, says Donovan Storey from the Global Green Growth Institute.
An integral part of urban culture, the form of cities' built environment has considerable impact on the quality of urban life. Elaborating on the case of Khartoum, Sudan, Khalafalla Omer makes a case for a new approach in urban planning policies.
A photo competition called for urban residents in African countries to portray how they use media to change the narrative on their environment. Slum Dwellers International presents some beautiful results of the #ChangeOurPicture competition.
High density and poor building materials make informal settlements extremely prone to fire hazards. The Nairobi-based enterprise Kwangu Kwako has developed a housing model that, while being truly affordable, increases fire resilience and thus positively affects many aspects of residents' lives.
The number of children living in urban areas is on the rise. However, this is not reflected in cities' infrastructures. Rapid development is shrinking the amount of suitable and safe play areas for children. Using Nairobi as an example, Peninah Ndegwa, founder of Wow Mom Kenya, reflects on why and how cities should become more child-friendly.
The concept of smart cities brings with it both risks and opportunities for informal settlements. Through technical innovation, they do have the potential of making slums more resilient, argues Laurinda Godjo – if they are not only smart cities but also inclusive cities.
Walking to school is a life-threatening endeavour to many African children, where road safety measures – if existent at all – fail to recognise the special needs of children. Ayikai Poswayo, Programme Director at Amend, outlines what urban engineering needs to focus on to make cities safer for children.
With the sectors for development and finance closely intertwined, a municipality's financing mechanism of choice significantly influences its development path. Khady Sarr, Programme Director of the Dakar Municipal Finance Programme, outlines several models and explains the advantages of bond loans – for municipalities and investors alike.
All across Africa, the most rapidly urbanising continent, locals are taking action to improve their neighbourhoods and get access to adequate housing and services. Leading up the UN Habitat Assembly, URBANET presents examples from Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, commits to implementation of the SDGs. To this end, the city focusses on sustainable construction, always ensuring to align the SDGs with national policies.
The large amount of electronic waste is a serious challenge in Lomé, Togo. At WoeLab, tech-savvy young people come up with solutions that clean the environment, ensure recycling of electronic waste, and educate residents on how to manage and valorise their electronic waste.
While Nigeria has made a leap in access to information communication technology (ICT) and the Internet in the past two decades, many of its residents still depend on imported used electrical and electronic equipment (UEEE). Since many of them turn out to be waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), they worsen the challenge of electronic waste management. Prof. Oladele Osibanjo and Dr. Innocent Nnorom discuss this trade along with its environmental and human health implications.