The research group investigates the multi-faceted social, economic and political processes shaping cities on the African continent. Attentive to the global forces influencing conditions and opportunities in cities, research by the group also explores the role played by highly diverse local actors. This includes the myriad initiatives through which urban residents make do, service neighbourhoods and effectively re-make cities from below. Attention is given to the encounter between informal grassroots practices and authoritative forms of planning and regulation that are often informed by global ideals of urbanism. The ways in which urban residents strive for social inclusion, lay claims to the city and imagine the city are explored.

The research group conducts research in a diverse range of cities, particularly in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique and Niger. Inspiration is drawn from critical urban studies, governmentality and post-colonial studies.

Research interests include:

Urban infrastructures: the publics and temporalities of large-scale infrastructure projects; the ’incremental’ infrastructures of residents; the governance and technologies of service delivery.

Urban visions: diverse processes and rationalities of world-city making and socio-spatial transformation.

Politics of urban informality: informal livelihood practices; social networks and collective organizing; political technologies, discursive classifications and the role of materiality.

Public space and land-use change: the multitude of actors, practices and relations involved in the (re)making of public space.

Mega-projects and urban renewal: ’new cities’, up-scale residential developments, ’privatised urbanism’.

Urban trajectories: colonial and post-colonial planning practices; continuity and change in socio-spatial patterns.