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ECAS2023. African Futures, to be held in Cologne, University of Cologne, 31 May – 3 June 2023

May 31, 2023 @ 12:00 am - June 3, 2023 @ 11:59 pm

Call for contribution, ECAS2023. African Futures, to be held in Cologne, University of Cologne, 31 May – 3 June 2023

Panel Urba02 – “Urban futures: Inhabiting the metropolitan periphery”, 9th European Conference on African Studies

Convenors: Momar Diongue (UCAD, Sénégal) and Monique Bertrand (IRD, France)


Papers expected at https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/ecas2023/paper-form/12336

Call for Papers closes 09/01/23


Abstract : The future of African metropolises is being prepared on their outskirts, undergoing rapid land use conversion. While censuses keep categorising households through the urban/rural duality, third places, sub- and peri-urban, are evident everywhere, with a demographic weight sometimes exceeding that of central cities. Massive residential flows redistribute immigrants or native citizens towards increasingly outlying living areas. It generates new material and mental landscapes, practices of access to land and urban amenities, feelings of belonging and conflicts of territorial identity.

We investigate these peripheries from their residential function and contribution to the cities’ habitability. Although still depending on urban cores – employment or previous living experience – these places cannot be reduced to dormitory suburbs void of social investment. They are not exclusively the result of the poor relegation to spatial margins, nor the elites/middle classes’ ambitions alone. Spatial margins lack an overall socio-economic characterisation and a detailed analysis of heterogeneity. We thus question how old and new residents transform their ways of living and how this urban future impacts the metropolises’ sociological profile.

Inputs sought:

– Residential combinations within peri-urban localities: intertwining, juxtaposing or distance between new and former settlements; land transactions driving this differentiation.

– New inhabitants’ trade-offs with contradictory pressures: moving away from cities in search of affordable housing and investment opportunities vs closer for better services and acceptable commuting.

– The power relationships rising in these cohabitations between village natives and strangers to the land, conflicting implementation of urban services, politics emerging from shaken demographic balances and local governance frameworks.


May 31, 2023 @ 12:00 am
June 3, 2023 @ 11:59 pm
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University of Cologne