Chapter 14: New master-planned cities in Africa: translocal flows 'touching ground'?
Restricted access

Femke van Noorloos focuses on the fact that nowadays, consortia of investors, developers and architects, sometimes in collaboration with national governments, have across Africa introduced large numbers of new utopian urban mega-projects or ‘new cities’. Such speculative, planned forms of satellite urbanization increasingly gain attention in urban development debates: research is ongoing on the ways in which they embody specific trans-local flows of investment, ideas and knowledge. However, given the speculative character and lack of realization of many new cities, empirical evidence on their impacts is lacking. This chapter critically analyzes the effects of new cities for trans-local development in Africa. We argue that the trend of master-planning from scratch poses severe risks to inclusive urban development as formulated in SDG#11. The case of Konza Techno City in Kenya is put forward to illustrate these effects: it shows that new cities are inserted into real places with pre-existing activities, humans, and livelihoods which start to change and co-evolve as soon as an idea for a new city is elaborated The mere announcement of a new city can potentially trigger chains of displacement chains and attraction. The main problem of new cities lies in the failure to accept ‘informal’ development as being an intrinsic part of African cities.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account