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École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

African cities : An Introduction to Urban Planning

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne via Coursera


This course teached the basics of urban planning in Africa through technical, environmental, social and economical dimensions.

It focuses on African cities only. Although, they exemplify well cities in the Global South, and potentially all cities, we will make the African context highly topical.

The course is provided by the Urban and Regional community at the Swiss Federal Insitute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). More information can be found here


  • Introduction to African Cities and Urban Planning (Part I)
    • The state of urbanized zones. What are the big issues and challenges? A first approach to urban planning.
  • Introduction to African Cities and Urban Planning (Part 2)
    • Following the first week, we will continue to explore African cities by their issues, the challenges they represent, and the urban models which they are issued.
  • Urban Themes
    • Urban planning relies on tools in order to organize transportation, amenities, spaces, and housing. The result is a channeling of urban forms.
  • Urban Functions
    • Here we will learn to establish subdivisions step by step.
  • Urban Planning and its Tools
    • Cities finance themselves; They require resources which are acquired through diverse means.
  • The Future of Cities, or How to Plan?
    • Combating climate change and changing our manners of making the city
  • Tool and Methods
    • Governing contemporary African cities
  • The Actions of Operational Urbanism : Subdivisions
    • The zones which are the most important in contemporary African cities are subdivisions, so we will dedicate an entire week covering it.
  • The Actions of Operational Urbanism: Restructuring and Urban Projects
    • This week, we will plunge into the heart of precarious zones in trying to understand their role in the city.
  • The Costs and Funding of Cities
    • Financing of the city, addressing, and land registry
  • Governance: Which Partnerships?
    • This week will be composed of a first part dealing with methodology and a second part on urban governance.
  • Conclusions
    • Measuring the real impact of planning on urban functions; Synthesis and reminders; Conclusions

Taught by

Jérôme Chenal and Rémi Jaligot


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 17 ratings

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