The forest and the city: interpretative mapping as an aid to urban practice in sub-Saharan Africa

Mitchell, Maurice (2018) The forest and the city: interpretative mapping as an aid to urban practice in sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Urban Design, 23 (4). pp. 558-580. ISSN 1469-9664

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Abstract / Description

Many African cities remain predatory centres of consumption lacking the infrastructure that makes cities work elsewhere. Research in Freetown, Sierra Leone, indicates that latent, local topographical and institutional resources can strengthen civic infrastructure in the process of place-making and thereby build confidence in city scale institutions. The paper asks what part cultural memory, embedded in the forested topography, contributed to the foundation and resilience of three urban settlements and whether this contribution can be sustained in the face of urban infrastructure developments such as rapidly expanding road networks. It describes how place-based resources are used by local residents to mediate the impact of city-scale initiatives. However, they are fragile, hidden from a wider view and often ignored by city-scale practitioners. The paper concludes that in order to provoke a more fine-grained debate about civic infrastructure provision, urban practitioners should employ local survey and interpretive drawing techniques to explore place-based memory in support of a more inclusive and interconnected, non-predatory African city.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router.
Uncontrolled Keywords: sub-Saharan Africa; African cities; urban settlements
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 710 Civic & landscape art
Department: The CASS
SWORD Depositor: Pub Router
Depositing User: Pub Router
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2018 08:28
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2018 09:32

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