Colonial Architecture and Urbanism in Africa. Intertwined and Contested Histories

By ordering and classifying the built environment, colonial architecture and urbanism established the authority of European powers over Africa in the name of ‘science and progress’. The built urban fabric left by colonial powers attests to its lingering impact in shaping the present and the future trajectory of postcolonial cities in Africa.

‘Colonial Architecture and Urbanism’ explores the intersection between architecture and urbanism as discursive cultural projects in Africa. Like other colonial institutions such as the courts, police, prisons, and schools, which were crucial in establishing and maintaining political domination, colonial architecture and urbanism played a pivotal role in shaping the spatial and social structures of African cities during the 19th and 20th centuries. Indeed, it is the cultural destination of colonial architecture and urbanism and the connection between them and colonialism that the volume seeks to critically address. The contributions drawn from different interdisciplinary fields map the historical processes of colonial architecture and urbanism and bring into sharp focus the dynamic conditions in which colonial states, officials, architects, planners, medical doctors and missionaries together constructed a hierarchical and exclusionary built environment that served the wider colonial project in Africa.

 Farnham, Ashgate, 2012


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