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Adaption and creativity in urban infrastructures in Africa

Translating the Networked city: adaption and creativity in urban infrastructures in africa

Duration: 2015 bis 2018 (2nd phase)

Client: DFG (German Research Foundation)

Researchers:  Univ.-Prof'in Dr.-Ing. S. Baumgart, Dipl.-Ing. N. Appelhans, Dr.-Ing. W. Scholz 

Cooperation: Prof.Dr. J. Monstadt, Dr. R. de Bercegol (TU Darmstadt)


The research project focuses on the translation of the circulating ideal of a modern networked city in the African cities of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Nairobi (Kenya). In specific it looks at the provision of energy and public transportation infrastructures. This ideal refers to a centralised topology of technical networks ordering and homogenising urban space, the provision of universal and standardised infrastructure services through public utilities, passive users and the close regulation by the state. While formal institutions and planning concepts in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam reflect the ideal of a networked city, these cities display distinct urban morphologies and socio-technical arrangements differing significantly from this understanding of urban modernity. The findings from the case studies on Dar es Salaam and Nairobi intend to broaden our understanding of infrastructure regimes in African cities, and thereby contribute to both planning theory and urban and social studies of infrastructure. Through the lens of urban infrastructures, the project will advance the understanding of adaptation and creativity in (re-)producing African cities.


Further information:




Univ.-Prof'in Dr.-Ing. Sabine Baumgart

Dipl.-Ing. Nadine Appelhans

Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Scholz