This book explores various characteristics of tropical African cities, with special reference to change in the post-independence period. It stresses the diversity of urban forms and urban experience to be found within the region, distinguishing the more general features from those peculiar to individual cities. Much has been written about urban Africa, but nearly all relates to particular cities: this book provides a context for such studies. This review provides an essential foundation both for theoretical clarification of the processes of urbanization and for practical planning decisions.
The topics covered range from rural-urban migration and national urban systems to the urban economy, housing , and the spatial structure of cities. The sharp contrasts between indigenous and colonial urban traditions are emphasized, but so also is the evidence for convergence today, as indigenization takes place in the colonial cities while Westernization proceeds ini those of indigenous origin.
This book was first published in 1983.