Handbook of Emerging 21st-Century Cities
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Handbook of Emerging 21st-Century Cities

Edited by Kris Bezdecny and Kevin Archer

The majority of the world's population now live in cities, nearly a quarter of which boast populations of one million or more. The rise of globalisation has granted cities unprecedented significance, both politically and economically, leading to benefits and problems at national and international levels. The Handbook of Emerging 21st-Century Cities explores the changes that are occurring in cities, and the impacts that they are having, at the local, national and global scale.
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Chapter 7: The impact of China on African cities: Potentials for development

James T. Murphy, Pádraig Carmody, Richard Grant and Francis Owusu


The ‘rise of China’ in Africa has manifold consequences. These include those on the politics of the continent and on its societies, through migration, for example. However, less is known and written about the impacts of China on urban Africa. How is the deepened inter-regionalism between China and Africa expressed and constructed in, and through cities? This chapter explores this question through (1) a description of the key channels through which China is influencing urban development in Africa, (2) a conceptualization of, and exploration into, the nature of urban assemblages in Sino–African relations and (3) an assessment of developmental pathways for the future evolution of these relations. It considers whether the increased presence of Chinese actors in, and impacts on, African cities is developmentally positive, exploitative, or a combination of the two. Particular attention is paid to the nature, functions, linkages, and governance of Chinese-originating social forces, such as companies and the Chinese state, in African cities.

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