April 7, 2015 | 9:30 – 17:00
Auditorium, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
This urbanization is a huge challenge in a continent stricken by poverty and corruption. Many migrants moving to the city end up in self-organized settlements without basic services. One alternative is being offered by developers and investors from countries like China and Korea, who have designed and built new towns in Africa that are modelled after Asian cities. But is this really a proper alternative? Does one size fit all? Or is it a model being copied without considering whether it’s appropriate for Africa?
Edgar Pieterse writes in his recent publication Africa’s Urban Revolution: “As the continent that will be disproportionately shaped by the way in which society thinks about cities, Africa must assume an increasingly central position in the urban imaginary of theorists and practitioners.” African cities should have top-priority on the designer’s agenda. But do they?
By bringing together speakers from academic, political and design backgrounds, INTI wants to initiate a critical conversation about ‘Urban Africa’ and the western world’s role—if any—in the radical transformations on this continent. What should be on the agenda? What should be the role of the western partners? And what can we expect from the professional community?
For the past year, three teams of South African and Dutch designers have worked together within a project called ‘The Density Syndicate’ to come up with alternatives for the present sprawling urbanization of Cape Town. They explored how a higher density of functions and activities could improve the social, economic and spatial conditions in Cape Town. Their findings will be presented and discussed during the conference. This cooperation is not one way traffic: with Dutch spatial planning changing from integral top down planning to a focus on decentralization and participation, what are the lessons to be learned from Urban Africa?
For this conference and the Density Syndicate, of which it is the result, INTI received generous support from RVO (Rijksdienst Voor Ondernemend Nederland) as well as from the Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie.
You can buy your ticket directly at the website of Het Nieuwe Instituut.
For questions or more information, please send an email to j.buitenkant@newtowninstitute.
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