Stockholm University has obtained a grant from the Swedish research council for sustainable development, Formas, as part of the National Research programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning, for the project “Emergent “world-class” transport infrastructures: urban visions and infrastructural spaces in African cities”. 

Project leader: Ilda Lindell, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University.
Project duration 2020–2023. 

Large scale transport infrastructure projects such as the construction of ring roads, highways and bridges are re-making many cities in Africa at considerable speed. Seen as key for promoting economic development and reinventing the image of African cities projects of creating “world class transport infrastructure” draw on globally circulating models, expertise and finance. Despite their centrality in reshaping urban opportunities and in engendering new forms of governing, research on transport infrastructure projects in urban Africa is scarce. This project addresses this research gap through a comparative and empirically grounded study of the socio-spatial effects of new large-scale transport infrastructure projects in Maputo (Mozambique), Niamey (Niger), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Accra (Ghana). It explores the social and environmental sustainability of “world-class” transport infrastructure. More specifically it examines how these infrastructures reconfigure patterns of urban inclusion/exclusion for instance by restructuring access to valuable infrastructural spaces (i.e. public spaces located on or adjacent to transport infrastructure, such as road sides, bridges, junctions and bus stations) for diverse purposes  commuting, social and income activities. Qualitative and ethnographic methods will be used, including participant observation, visual methods and interviews with state actors, relevant corporations, civil society leaders, and selected groups of urban dwellers.