African Dreams: Imaginations of Urban Life and Infrastructure in the African Metropolis
The future of urbanisation in Africa hinges upon the prospects of infrastructure development in no small measure. Policymakers, investors and business-oriented think-tanks alike are imagining a future where progress and development will materialize through significant investments in new ‘smart’ and ‘climate-resilient’ cities. Yet, it is unclear whether these imagined futures are ‘the stuff of dreams or nightmares’, as South African scholar Vanessa Watson put it. The pressing realities of ‘slum urbanism’ as the dominant way of life, entrenched inequality and systematic environmental degradation and injustice are sobering reminders that technological fixes can only go so far in shaping the future of Africa’s urbanisation. A grounded appreciation of urban livelihoods, economies and politics is needed in order to grasp the complex challenges African urbanisation faces in the future.

This workshop is supported by Oxford’s John Fell Fund, the African Studies Centre, the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities, and the Department for Continuing Education’s Sustainable Urban Development Programme.
Date: 8 June 2015, 9:00 (Monday, 7th week, Trinity 2015)
Venue: 64 Banbury Road, 64 Banbury Road OX2 6PN
Venue Details: School of Anthropology, Institute for Science, Innovation and Society
Speakers: Miles Larmer (University of Oxford), Ilda Lorenço-Lindell (University of Stockholm), Steve Rayner (University of Oxford), Claudio Sopranzetti (University of Oxford), Idalina Baptista (University of Oxford), Neil Carrier (University of Oxford), Claire Mercer (LSE), Garth Myers (Trinity College, USA), Susan Parnell (University of Cape Town), Michael Keith (COMPAS, University of Oxford), William Beinart (University of Oxford), Julie Archambault (University of Oxford)
Organising department: Continuing Professional Development Centre
Organiser: Sarah Cocks (Department of Continuing Education)
Organiser contact email address:
Host: Dr Idalina Baptista (University of Oxford)
Part of: General Talks
Booking required?: Required
Booking url:
Cost: 0.00
Audience: Members of the University only
Editors: Anne Bowtell, Sarah Cocks