The African Metropolis: Struggles over Urban Space, Citizenship, and Rights to the City, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The African Metropolis

Struggles over Urban Space, Citizenship, and Rights to the City, 1st Edition

Edited by Toyin Falola, Bisola Falola


296 pages

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On a planet where urbanization is rapidly expanding, nowhere is the growth more pronounced than in cities of the global South, and in particular, Africa. African metropolises are harbingers of the urban challenges that lie ahead as societies grapple with the fractured social, economic, and political relations forming within these new, often mega, cities.

The African Metropolis integrates geographical and historical perspectives to examine how processes of segregation, marginalization, resilience, and resistance are shaping cities across Africa, spanning from Nigeria and Ghana to Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa. The chapters pay particular attention to the voices and daily realities of those most vulnerable to urban transformations, and to questions such as: Who governs? Who should the city serve? Who has a right to the city? And how can the built spaces and contentious legacies of colonialism and prior development regimes be inclusively reconstructed?

In addition to highlighting critical contemporary debates, the book furthers our ability to examine the transformations taking place in cities of the global South, providing detailed accounts of local complexities while also generating insights that can scale up and across to similar cities around the world.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of African Studies, urban development and human geography.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Kefa M. Otiso

Part I: The Politics of Space and Patterns of Segregation and Marginalization

1. Understanding the Zongo: Processes of Scoio-Spatial Marginalization in Ghana, Emily Anne Williamson

2. Analytical Views on Past and Present Official and Cultural Narratives of Asmara, Mussa Idris

3. ‘Urban Man in Jos’: Growth, Transiting Power and Authority in a Conflict Prone City, Henry Gyang Mang

4. The Rise, Fall, and Reemergence of Ponte City, Gregory Marinic

5. Urban Renewal Schemes and the Plight of Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria: A Study of Oke Ilu-Eri, Bamidele Omotunde Alabi

6. Issues and Challenges in the Urban Renewal Programme of Lagos State, Adedotun Moses Atilade

Part II: Everyday Claims to Space and Rights

7. Informal Citizens? Residents’ Perceptions of Space and Place in a South African Informal Settlement, Melissa Kelly

8. Human Spaces and Urban Livelihoods: Language use in Makoko Slum Settlement, Mojisola Shodipe

9. The Unheralded Politics of Urban Spaces in Nigeria: Case of City Prostitution and Precarious Livelihood, Obinna Innocent Ihunna

10. Conflicts and Urban Dwellers in Jos: Issues in Rights to City, Larab Tangshak Ayuba and David Nyam Ajiji

11. Modernizing Makadara Gardens: Development and the Struggle for Urban Space in Kenya, Caleb Edwin Owen

About the Editors

Toyin Falola is the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, and a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Bisola Falola studies spatial and social inequality as a researcher in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas, Austin, USA.

About the Series

Global Africa

This series will produce new scholarship on African experiences within the field of global history, globalization, African Diaspora, Atlantic History, etc. It is our goal to publish works that view African ideas from a global perspective and vice versa, thus placing Africa squarely within the framework of globalization, and change the perception of African people vis-a-vis the world, creating an innovative source of new works about Africa and the world.

This new series will serve several important functions. First and foremost, it will create a space for scholars and educators to find resources that aid in the understanding of Africa’s place in the world’s global and regional economic political and intellectual spheres throughout history. Second, our monographs will incorporate African experiences into broader historical theories that have hitherto marginalized Africans within the realm of global history. We aim to provide competing views of Africa’s place in various global systems can be studied in a systemic fashion without resorting to pseudo-historical themes that ultimately harm our understanding of the African past.

Most importantly, we will take up the mantle of African production of knowledge on a global scale, and emphasize how Africans, who have long been marginalized in global intellectual traditions, have shaped the very civilizations that shunned the former’s contributions. The resulting marginalization has resulted in many of the ills that African peoples face today. By redeeming the African place in the global intellectual tradition, we will also help emphasize the African political and economic past in ways that place the continent front and center in the creation of the world we all inhabit. As a result, it will form an innovative platform where scholars put forward new ideas regarding Africa’s role in world affairs that have long been overlooked and underemphasized.

For submissions and enquiries, please contact:

Toyin Falola:

Roy Doron:

Leanne Hinves:

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies