May 23, 2016
How Can Africa’s Growing Cities Include All Residents?
Africa is in the midst of a big change. In twenty years, the continent’s urban population will double in size. In fifty, it will triple! African cities now face the major task of adapting to this rapid influx of urban residents. How they choose to develop could lead to two potential futures for cities, countries, and the continent:
In the future that would result from current trends, sprawl continues, forcing people to drive long distances to get to work and school. This car-oriented design comes with big downsides, such as congestion, high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, and little access to opportunities for those unable to afford a vehicle.
In the more sustainable future, cities grow compact and equitably. This means investing in cycling and walking, transit-oriented design, and high quality public transit. These investments will create cities that support economic and creative vibrancy, equity, responsible environmental practices, and healthy, sustainable development. This future scenario provides a more inclusive urban environment where cities are built for people, not cars.