Maimanah M. Idris, Shun-chan Tsai and Yixuan Jin
Centre for Urban Sustainability & Resilience, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, University College London
Chadwick Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT
The growing attention on urbanisation, and the sustainability and resilience of cities, has driven the dialogue of the challenges that developing cities are expected to face over the next 10 years. This paper considers the challenges in urban housing and water in Africa through critically assessing the trends, causes, and implications from several interdisciplinary perspectives. To attain the goal of developing adequate, accessible and affordable housing in Africa, cross-border investment, land grab, and land rights need to be considered in order to prevent the formation of ghost towns and the displacement of people. For the development of sustainable water resources in Africa, attention to the needs of all people is essential and decentralised water management initiatives are beneficial. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda (NUA) acknowledge developing cities as opportunities for policy change, systems thinking, a renewed focus on small/medium cities and a context-specific and/or people-centred approach to development.
Purpose: This paper considers the challenges in urban housing and water in Africa through critically assessing the trends, causes, and implications from several interdisciplinary perspectives.
Design/Methodology/Approach: This paper undertakes a literature review and systems thinking approach.
Findings: This essay analyses the biggest challenges developing cities are likely to face in their attempt to achieve sustainable development in the next 10 years.
Originality/Value: By considering the progress and learning lessons from past projects (i.e., the importance of interdisciplinary perspective, systems thinking, context and a people-centred approach and the focus on small/medium cities), the outwardly overwhelming challenge of achieving inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities becomes more achievable.
Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); New Urban Agenda (NUA); urban resilience; interdisciplinary perspectives; systems thinking; context-specific/people-centred; approaches; decentralised water management systems.