‘Transforming Freetown’: Dilemmas of planning and development in a West African City

Lynch, Kenneth ORCID: 0000-0002-5296-2864, Nel, Etienne and Binns, Tony (2020) ‘Transforming Freetown’: Dilemmas of planning and development in a West African City. Cities, 101. Art No. 102694. doi:10.1016/j.cities.2020.102694

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The urban development and planning challenges facing Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone are typical of the significant issues which face most cities in Africa, including rapid growth, resource constraints, burgeoning informal settlements and inadequate planning regimes. In parallel with many African cities, colonial neglect and racial bias in planning the urban form created a city which is ill-prepared to cope with post-independence growth. This paper examines how these trends have played themselves out in the case of Freetown, and also draws attention to particular issues which have exacerbated urban development, and the environmental and planning challenges facing the city. Notably, the effects of the devastating civil war and Ebola outbreak in 2014/15 are discussed. While the city council and local NGOs are attempting to address local development challenges, significantly more needs to be done to improve the well-being of Freetown’s population and this paper provides an indication of how urban planning might contribute to this.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Freetown; Sierra Leone; Planning; Urban growth; Development
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human geography. Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Kenny Lynch
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2020 13:39
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:58
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/8231

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