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Working Papers

The Middle Class Urbanism WORKING PAPERS are addressing academics and policy makers in universities, research institutes, and government bodies. The publication series asks for urban dynamics shaping social aspirations, aesthetic preferences, and quotidian housing typologies of middle class dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa at large. They analyse new regimes of urban planning, upcoming forms of social (self-)organisation, local effects of demographic change and climate change, and the cultural and political impact of shifting geopolitical constellations (i.e. African relationships with China, Brazil, Turkey, Russia). With this series, our aim is both to contribute to ongoing debates on middle class housing in Africa and to provide a forum for the expertise of young African scholars.

Working Papers

MCU Working Paper #1: City-making in Africa: Urban planning and the reconfiguration of Tuti Island, Khartoum, Sudan

By: Azza Mustafa Babikir Ahmed | December 2020

City-making in Africa cannot be understood merely as a product of imposed urban plans by powerful actors and state apparatus, nor produced accidentally by the everyday practices of the inhabitants, it can be rather understood as a transversal engagement between those two aspects of city making. Through an ethnographic account on the different visions of planning Tuti Island – a river island located at the junction of the Blue and the White Niles in Khartoum, the capital city of the Sudan – Azza Mustafa Babikir Ahmed argues that city-making is rather the production of complex processes where different (f)actors (human and non-human, material and moral, global and local, past and present...etc.) conjugate to reconfigure different urban spaces that constitute cities in Africa.

Download the working paper here.