Chinese-Style Urbanism—Now Exporting to Africa

In what's described as a transformational trend, a new article claims that more and more Chinese-made buildings, infrastructure, and urban districts are under construction in Africa.
July 9, 2014, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The factory of the world has a new export: urbanism. More and more Chinese-made buildings, infrastructure, and urban districts are sprouting up across Africa, and this development is changing the face of the continent’s cities," reports Justin Zhuang.

Zhuang is sharing the findings of Dutch research studio Go West Project, "who have been tracking this phenomenon for their on-going project about the export of the Chinese urban model to Africa."

What's spurring the exportation Chinese-style urbanism to Africa? "Not only is it Africa’s single largest trading partner today, China’s practical investment diplomacy—offering buildings, roads, railways, power plants and other infrastructure—has emerged as a powerful alternative to Western development aid that is geared towards reducing poverty instead. This has led to Chinese companies successfully funding and building many new developments in African cities ranging from the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, Nigeria."

The article goes on to explain some of the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the trend, but the article is short on the design and planning components being exported to Africa.

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Published on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 in Metropolis
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