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. They are, however, fragile, hidden from a wider view, and often ignored by city scale practitioners. It 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
Uncontrolled Keywords: African cities; Freetown; Sierra Leone; urban settlements; urban infrastructure; place making; interpretative mapping
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 710 Civic & landscape art
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 720 Architecture
Department: The School of Art, Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Maurice Mitchell
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 15:12
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2020 10:05


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