1st Edition

Disposable Cities
Garbage, Governance and Sustainable Development in Urban Africa

ISBN 9781138266766
Published November 14, 2016 by Routledge
204 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Based on in-depth fieldwork in three cities, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Lusaka, this book provides a critical analysis of the United Nations Sustainable Cities Program in Africa (SCP). Focusing on the SCP's policies for solid waste management, which was identified as the top priority problem by the SCP, the book examines the success of these pilot schemes and the SCP's record in building new relationships between people and government. It argues that the SCP has operated in a political vacuum, without recognition of the long and problematic histories and cultural politics of urban environmental governance in Eastern and Southern Africa. This book brings these cultural and political histories to the fore in its examination of the contemporary dynamics. In doing so, it not only provides an insightful analysis of the policies and outcomes for the SCP, but also puts forward a historically grounded critique of neoliberalism, good governance and sustainable development discourses.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; Toward a political ecology of African cities; The Sustainable Cities Program and African cities; Dar es Salaam: model city for the world; The mirror that Zanzibar holds up for the world; Lusaka: The years of the rule of money; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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Garth Andrew Myers is Associate Professor of Geography and African/African-American Studies at the University of Kansas, USA.


’African cities are now receiving the degree of critical intellectual scrutiny that they have long deserved. Myers’ unique study of the environmental dilemmas facing Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Lusaka is a vital contribution to this burgeoning literature.’ Matthew Gandy, University College London, UK ’This well-written, insightful book provides expert analysis of how neoliberalism, sustainable development, good governance and the politics of cultural difference intertwine and impact on waste management in three African cities in the UN Sustainable Cities Programme. A delightful, provocative and seminal contribution to cultural geography and the future of African urban development.’ Miriam Grant, University of Calgary, Canada ’...can be recommended for those desiring direction to source material or themes to consider in the much-needed development of scholarship in African urban studies.’ African Studies Review 'Garth Myers has provided a rare and detailed glimpse of the intricate and chaotic urban dynamics in contemporary African development...This is a body of work that makes a significant contribution to the study of African urbanization...The book offers valuable lessons to many stakeholders in African development, especially public officials, academics, planners, community leaders and the philanthropic community.' Annals of the Association of American Geographers ’...critical reading for anyone interested in the complexities of the intersection between political ecology and urban areas and the fluidity of state dynamics (or indeed each of these dynamics on their own)...by bringing these previously dispersed themes together within a single analytical framework Myers has generated an empirical account of the three cities that is extremely rich and multilayered.’ Environment and Planning A 'This is a book that will be of interest to scholars and students interested in the livelihoods of the urban poor, in African cities including their con