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The transcalar politics of urban master planning: the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Africa,


Year published: 2022
Categories: Articles

Author / Authors:

  • Sylvia Croese
  • Yohei Miyauchi


Area Development and Policy, DOI: 10.1080/23792949.2022.2127413


This article sheds light on the growing, but understudied role of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in supporting the local production of master plans across the African continent as a tool for guiding long-term investments in urban development. To explore the multiple logics, actors and interests driving the conception, preparation and implementation of these plans, we approach urban master planning as a transcalar process, through which diverse investment, planning and governance arrangements are produced and mobilized in ways that transcend the city scale. We illuminate these dynamics by building on an analysis of the history of Japanese development cooperation and drawing on case studies of JICA master planning in Malawi, Ghana and Tanzania.


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