- International New Town Institute
- Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture (Chair of Design as Politics)
During this event, the International New Town Institute and the chair of Design as Politics at Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, will present their first ideas concerning a multi-year research by design project, focused on one of the fastest urbanizing regions in the world: the African west coast - between Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria - where more than a dozen agglomerations with millions of inhabitants are stretched over an area of approximately 500 miles. This creates an urban area with a potential coherence and accumulative value comparable to regions such as the East Coast of the United States or the Pearl River Delta in China.
The African 500 Mile City however, stretches across five countries, with different political systems, economies working at different speeds and complex relationships amongst each other. The biggest challenge for this region is therefore to coherently deal with the different, and often competing, issues that arise in this rapid urbanisation: how to protect it from the effects of climate change, while simultaneous creating places for the newcomers to live; how to preserve the natural and historical heritage while also setting out lines for the future development; and how to deploy a coherent strategy for the entire area, while respecting the fact that we are dealing with five different countries with a variety of neighbourhoods, towns, and communities.
In this event the organizing parties aim to create a network to do research, create awareness and to collectively create and develop alternative spatial and political approaches for a sustainable development of the 500 Mile City. After a presentation of the first research ideas, we will talk with the audience and a selected panel about this region's most hopeful futures and the tools and alliances needed to facilitate this future.