A group of people sat around a set of aerial images in a classroom
Mr Sulaiman Kamara, of SLURC, leading a discussion with ASF-UK 'Change by Design' workshop participants at the SLURC office, Freetown.

Welcome to Week 3

This week deals with two complex and interrelated sets of issues: urban governance and participatory planning.

We will learn about the importance of having effective city-level government which is still lacking in many African cities, or is often not effective because of a very limited decentralisation of power and finance, leaving municipalities with little capacity to deal with pressing urban issues. We then discuss urban governance in Freetown, before moving to the contribution of Prof Vanessa Watson who critically engages with the idea of having city-region governance structures, and demonstrates the complexity of linkages between a city and other localities. The governance activity concludes with inputs from Dr Alphajor Cham from the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, who discusses the importance of urban governance in Freetown, highlighting the challenges facing the Freetown City Council.

The activity on participatory planning will start with a video from Dr Alexandre Apsan Frediani introducing different types of participatory planning in Africa. We then explore the work of the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor which is central to this course. A series of videos will illustrate the importance of participatory planning for the residents of Freetown informal settlements.

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This article is from the free online course:

Development and Planning in African Cities: Exploring theories, policies and practices from Sierra Leone

UCL (University College London)

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