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The State of African Cities 2014

Re-Imagining Sustainable Urban Transitions

image of The State of African Cities 2014
The African continent is currently in the midst of simultaneously unfolding and highly significant demographic, economic, technological, environmental, urban and socio-political transitions. Africa’s economic performance is promising, with booming cities supporting growing middle classes and creating sizable consumer markets. Despite significant overall growth, the continent continues to suffer under very rapid urban growth accompanied by massive urban poverty and many other social problems. These seem to indicate that the development trajectories followed by African nations since post-independence may not be able to deliver on the aspirations of broad based human development and prosperity for all. This report, therefore, argues for a bold re-imagining of prevailing models in order to steer the ongoing transitions towards greater sustainability based on a thorough review of all available options. That is especially the case since the already daunting urban challenges in Africa are now being exacerbated by the new vulnerabilities and threats associated with climate and environmental change.

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Acknowledgements

This third report in the UN-Habitat series on the State of African Cities, the State of African Cities Report 2014: Reimagining Sustainable Urban Transitions , was conceptualized during 2011 by a three way partnership comprising the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), ICLEI-Africa and the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA), with inputs at various meetings from the Sustainability Institute (Prof Mark Swilling and Blake Robinson), the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town (Ntombini Marrengane), the University of KwaZulu Natal (Catherine Sutherland) and the compilation of a concept and outline by MLA-Sustainability Matters (Marlene Laros).

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