Africa´s Urban Revolution

The urban revolution is underway. By 2030 African cities will have grown by more than 350 million people and over half the continents population will be urban. The continent will give birth to thousands of new towns and cities as it crosses the magical fifty percent urban threshold. Africa is no longer a continent of villages. Yet in the minds of scholars, policy makers and the general public Africa remains rural.

So what if Africa is Urban?

There is an urgency to respond to the challenges and opportunities associated with the world’s last wave of urbanization. The growth of population and increased concentration of people results in an escalation of demand for building material, food, energy as well as water. These are only a few of the challenges. Yet the lack of awareness, analysis and knowledge makes it difficult to make a policy case for a more urban agenda.

New book Africa´s Urban Revolution

Comprehensive insights into key issues such as demographic, cultural, political, technical and environmental challenges surrounding African urbanization is provided in the new book Africa´s Urban Revolution. Edited by Susan Parnell and Edgar Pieterse it draws on expertise from scholars and practitioners connected with the African Center for Cities, Mistra Urban Futures partner in Cape Town.

Interview with Susan Parnell

Watch Susan Parnell, one of the editors, talk about the state of Africa´s cities today. Susan reflects on the legacy of urban planning and the futures as being “opportunely urban”.


The book Africa´s Urban Revolution is published by Zed Books. Read more

Read more about Mistra Urban Futures projects in Cape Town

Video courtesy of Africa Research Institute