AFRICAN WATER CITIES | PUBLICATION | 2023

African Water Cities presents research on how African cities by waterfronts deal with two of the most significant trends of our time: urbanization and a changing climate. On the African continent, the impact of climate change is now the day-to-day reality. Coastal and waterfront cities in particular experience loss and damage due to significant increases in sea level rise, rainfall and flooding. At the same time, Africa is the second most rapidly urbanizing continent, after Asia. The intersections between water and cities are therefore critical for understanding the future of urban and rural developments in Africa.

Through deeper understanding of the innovative and resourceful way of life of the informal water communities such as Makoko and coastal cities like Abidjan, African Water Cities reveals key factors, challenges and opportunities shaping human, physical and economic dynamics.

The result is a vivid collection of essays, stories, research and photographs of these places – inhabited by people who are redefining our understanding of cities through innovative adaptations of spaces, materials and infrastructure.

African Water Cities is the first book of its kind presenting research and documentation on how African cities and communities situated by water bodies such as coasts, rivers, lagoons, lakes and floodplains are dealing with two of the most significant trends of our time: urbanization and climate change.

On the African continent, the impact of climate change marked by significant loss and damage is now a day-to-day reality. Coastal and waterfront cities, in particular, experience the effects of significant increases in rainfall, sea levels and flooding. At the same time, Africa is the second most rapidly urbanizing continent after Asia with over seventy percent (70%) of its major cities and capitals by waterfronts.

Cities such as Lagos, Abidjan, Conakry, Kinshasa, Luanda, Dar-e-Salaam, Dakar, Cotonou, and Mogadishu as well as communities such as Makoko, Ganvie, and Nzulezu, amongst others are experiencing and learning to adapt to the convergence of these trends. The intersections of water and cities are therefore critical to understanding the future of urban and rural developments in Africa.
We recognise that rapid urbanisation is putting increased pressure on water as a domestic resource for drinking and sanitation but we want to steer away from that well-covered subject in this book and focus on water as a territorial, geographical and environmental asset, shaping the physical developments of cities and communities in Africa.

Guided by the research questions and reflecting on the data sets provided, contributions should respond to 1 of 4 topics. Migration. Energy, Demographics and Infrastructure.

Migration: “Trends in African Rural-to-Urban Dynamics.” (1200 words)

Sustainable Energy: “Powering Africa’s Future”(800 words)

Demographics: “In the Face of Climate Change, what Demographic Trends Shaping the Developments of African Cities Situated by Water?” (1400 words)

Infrastructure development: “What are the most influential Infrastructures shaping the present and future development in Africa, particularly influencing African cities and communities situated by water?” (1400 words)

In each of these essays, we are interested in the most important factors and trends shaping cities and communities situated by water as well as how these trends are shifting, particularly as the issue of climate change becomes more pressing.

Along with their proposal, authors should include basic information about themselves, namely: areas of expertise, institutional affiliations and contact information.