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Urban China: Chinese Urbanism in Africa

China’s visible impact on urban development in Africa is substantial. One need only take a virtual bird’s-eye tour on Google Earth to catch a glimpse of some of the most impressive changes brought to Africa by Chinese constructors, developers and designers. Not far from the Angolan capital of Luanda lies arguably one of the most impressive examples: Kilamba New City. A massive housing development designed to accommodate 500,000 people it was built by the China International Trust and Investment Corporation. The repetitive compound design is very similar to housing units being constructed all across China, from Xiamen to Kashgar.

Contractors, developers and designers from China are having a tremendous impact on African development. Will they be able to successfully export the Chinese urban model? Can China’s own experience in fast, large-scale urbanization benefit Africa? Can the Chinese prototype developed over the past thirty years simply be exported?

Following their research on Chinese mega cities, Go West founders Daan Roggeveen (HKU Shanghai Study Centre / MORE Architecture) and Michiel Hulshof (Tertium) have now shifted their focus to understand the physical impact of one of the most important geopolitical shifts of this time.

Hulshof and Roggeveen have collaborated with magazine Urban China to make an issue completely dedicated to impact of Chinese Urbanism in Africa. The magazine shows a myriad of ideas and analysis through contributions by and interviews with architects, planners, entrepreneurs, journalists, photographers and academics from Africa, China and Europe. Contributors to this issue are Huang Zhengli, Brechtje Spreeuwers, Njeri Cerere, Paulo Moreiro and photographers Lard Buurman, Hans Wilschut and Yepoka Yeebo.

The magazine will be launched in Shanghai, Dar Es Salaam and Amsterdam.

The Shanghai launch will take place at HKU/Shanghai Study Centre on Saturday 26 April, 3pm. Speakers are Huang Zhengli, Everlyne Otieno, and Daan Roggeveen. Huang Zhengli is a PhD student on Kenyan cities and informal housing and editor of Urban China. Everlyne Otieno works at the Municipal Council of Kisumu, Kenya and is currently following the master program at Tongji University.

Venue:
HKU/Shanghai Study Centre
298 Bei Suzhou Lu (close to Sichuan Bei Lu)
Hongkou District, Shanghai
Subway Line 10, Tiantong Lu

The launch in Amsterdam will take place at Pakhuis de Zwijger, Oostelijke Handelskade, on 19 June 20.00h.

This research has been made possible through the support of Creative Industries Fund NL and EFL Foundation.