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Lost in translation: colonial heritage and Amnesia in an African city: Maputo’s City of Cement,


Year published: 2022
Categories: Journal Article

Author / Authors:

  • Lisandra Franco de Mendonça


Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, DOI: 10.1080/17549175.2022.2108112


This paper addresses the urbanization, urbanism and urbanity in contemporary Maputo, with an emphasis on built heritage issues. The research aimed to provide background for understanding the socio-urban development of the so-called cidade de cimento (produced for the settler population during the colonial period according to European standards), in order to reflect on its changing topographies, as well on the loss of heritage produced by Portuguese colonialism. The article draws on fieldwork and archival research conducted in recent years, arguing that Maputo’s locally dubbed cidade de cimento presents neglected potential for negotiating and building (trans)national identity and memory, as well as sustainable economic alternatives (in areas like tourism and heritage conservation). Therefore, the text contributes to a realization of the fragile condition of modern heritage inherited by post-colonial societies, specially in cities where strong real estate speculation, limited state capacity and fast urbanization are dominant aspects of the urban condition.


  • Journal Article