होम Urban Forum Susan Parnell and Edgar Pieterse (eds): Africa’s Urban Revolution

Susan Parnell and Edgar Pieterse (eds): Africa’s Urban Revolution

यह पुस्तक आपको कितनी अच्छी लगी?
फ़ाइल की गुणवत्ता क्या है?
पुस्तक की गुणवत्ता का मूल्यांकन करने के लिए यह पुस्तक डाउनलोड करें
डाउनलोड की गई फ़ाइलों की गुणवत्ता क्या है?
Urban Forum
March, 2015
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आप पुस्तक समीक्षा लिख सकते हैं और अपना अनुभव साझा कर सकते हैं. पढ़ूी हुई पुस्तकों के बारे में आपकी राय जानने में अन्य पाठकों को दिलचस्पी होगी. भले ही आपको किताब पसंद हो या न हो, अगर आप इसके बारे में ईमानदारी से और विस्तार से बताएँगे, तो लोग अपने लिए नई रुचिकर पुस्तकें खोज पाएँगे.

Anti-D Rh0 immunoglobulin

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Urban Forum (2015) 26:95–96
DOI 10.1007/s12132-014-9234-4

Susan Parnell and Edgar Pieterse (eds): Africa’s
Urban Revolution
Ruth T. Massey

Published online: 30 July 2014
# Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Africa is currently 40 % urbanised with 414 million African people living in towns and
cities across the continent. This is set to grow dramatically over the next decade.
Africa’s Urban Revolution (edited by Susan Parnell and Edgar Pieterse) has arrived at
a time when we must ask some tough questions about African urbanisation: what will
we do with the escalating demand for food, energy, water and land?; how will local,
provincial and national governance systems operate under increased urban pressures?;
how will infrastructure and transport systems cope and how should they be designed?
Africa’s Urban Revolution aims to explore these questions and provide dialogue which
is theoretically robust and is linked to policy and practice. The book is the apogee of a
cycle of conversations and research interactions facilitated by the African Centre for
Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town since 2008. The ACC’s aim has been to
develop an Africa-wide platform for scholars, practitioners, policy managers and
activists to discuss and dissect African urban development.
The book begins with an overview of Africa’s urban revolution in context, setting
the scene for the chapters to follow. This introductory chapter tracks Africa’s continuing
metamorphosis from a rural to an urban continent and provides useful data on basic
services, population dynamics, employment, etc. The chapters that follow are an
interesting and eclectic mix of subject matter covering various urban themes such as
conflict and post-war transitions, global environmental change, religion and social life,
economics, food security, transport, infrastructure and law reform. While all the
chapters within this publication are of significant interest, two chapters stood out as
particularly useful. The first of these chapters focused on u; rban food security (Crush
and Frayne) and second chapter on transport (Pirie), two of the biggest challenges faced
by cities.
Crush and Frayne’s chapter argues that the international food security agenda is
scant and will fail to realise its objectives, mainly because of the focus on small farmer
production as a way to mitigate poverty and hunger. They argue that this methodology
does not take into account that, within two decades, Africa will, largely, be urban. The
chapter provides useful data on food security gathered through the AFSUN Urban Food
R. T. Massey (*)
University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
e-mail: masseyrt@ufs.ac.za


R.T. Massey

Security Baseline Study conducted in late 2008 and early 2009 in Southern African
cities and is well worth a read. Crush and Frayne conclude the chapter by asserting that
food security is widespread, poverty-related and is particularly prevalent (and likely to
continue) in the context of rapid urbanisation. Policies and frameworks exist to address
food insecurity, but these have substantial gaps which limit their impact. Crush and
Frayne call for a new food security agenda that is cognisant of rapid urbanisation and
the challenge of future urban food security.
The second chapter of special interest is the one addressing urban transport (Pirie).
Pirie argues that even though decades have been spent conducting surveys, undertaking
research and implementation strategies and in developing policies, there has been little
advancement in improving accessibility in African cities. The chapter outlines the
existing state of transport in urban Africa with a focus on the type of transport provided
and used and on policies and projects meant to ease mobility in urban Africa. Pirie calls
for new thinking about cities and mobility (particularly in terms of economics, spaces,
lives and policy) in the so-called second wave of African urbanisation. He also stresses
the importance of using opportunities presented in cities to drive innovative scholarship
and policy.
The book concludes by stating that cities are not the source (nor the cause) of many
urban problems and that the real challenge lies in the lack of sufficient preparation or
management and lack of appropriate and sustained responses to urbanism and its
processes. Melin, in the postscript, comments that many of the difficulties experienced
in urban areas can be attributed to a lack of planning and reactive approaches to
development. He further states that cities offer a stage for applying solutions to the
challenges faced by cities but that the basic conditions must be in place for this to
happen. Melin closes by adding that more coordinated action is needed both “between
and within cities, across multiple tiers of government, and, in research” (p. 292).
Africa’s Urban Revolution manages to cover a wide variety of subject matter without
overwhelming the reader. It spans several time frames: investigating the past, exploring
current landscapes and asking questions about the future of place, space, theory,
practice and research.
Parnell and Pieterse have assembled a diverse and learned group of academic and
practitioners for this book, each an expert in his or her field. These authors have
contributed extensively to the wider literature on the topic of African urbanism, and this
comes through strongly in the quality of the book’s offerings. The writing style is
approachable, allowing the book to be accessible for academics, practitioners and other
urban stakeholders. All in all, it is a concise collection of well-written pieces, all
collated in a manageable, well-connected and readable anthology.