Africa Drawn Review

The following Book Review on Africa Drawn was published in the RaumPlanung 182/ Trialog 120/121, November/ December 2015:

Africa drawn? More than 300 plans and elevations drawn down to the last detail are clearly illustrating contemporary and historical settlement forms from all parts of the continent and present the reader the 100 largest and most important cities in three different drawings from Cairo to Cape Town, from Huambo (Angola) to Lomé (Togo). This has been created in the context of a south african research project Africa Drawn founded by the authors. Supplemented by an introductory (English) text the drawings reduce the complex urban relations to the essential structural elements, so that the most important characteristics of the relative city becomes visible. Thereby the book allows a comparative reflection of the diversity of the phenomenon city on the african continent.
The urbanization of the african continent continues rapidly, the african cities and metropolitan regions are part of those most rapidly growing in the world. Many of todays places seen as important one doesn’t even know by name, if one doesn’t engage intensively with the black continent. Thereby the in 2014 drawn urban structures partly quiet static, as if unchanged for long time. What the single building blocks and in the streets in the last decades has changed in reality, cannot of course be seen through the drawn birds perspective; neither the streets fights at same places nor the almost continous technological upgrade through mobile communication means. And nevertheless vivid flair and hot climate seem to ascend like by themselves from the drawings.
The result of this fascinating documentation of urban spaces in Africa is an analysis of urban structures and morphologies from very different parts: From North Africa (19) via Westafrica (28) East Africa including Madagascarand Seychelles (29), central africa (14) to South Africa (10) the relative manifestations are represented in 100 different examples in a unifying graphic rendition.
Thereby typical African cities, islamic cities, colonial ciites and European cities differ from one another. Through the coexistence of African and per se alien elements result further categories such as Dual Cities or Hybrid Cities. The still quiet different visualizations show the historically grown spatial patterns. The knowledge of these are important to be able to capture the future development of African cities. In summary this oevre is a enormous hard work, that presents the intense examination with the African urban structures.”

To see an extract of the magazine follow the link.

For more on “Africa Drawn” click here.

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