What Should I Wear
The study of the evolution of an urban system raises a number of practical questions, as to the operational definition of the components of the system as well as to the incorporation of the factor time in the analysis. In this chapter the fo- cuss is on the urban centres, the nodes of the urban system. One of the first pro- blems to be solved now is the definition of such a node. It has been argued above that population size can be used as an approximation of the complexity of the spatial economic structure of a region. The acceptation of this notion makes it possible to study the urban system as a population system. The analysis of the population system over the study period will be pursued from this perspective. The study period, 1840-1970, covers completely the industrialization and urbanization phase which occurred during the industrial revolution. Over this period the spatial organizational structure of society evolved from a rural-commercial to- wards a modern urban-industrial state. One of the major events in this period of change is the spatial redistribution of the population and the population growth. This process will be examined below at three levels of aggregation: (I) the popu- lation distribution as one frequency distribution, (2) the population distribution dis aggregated into a n~ber of size classes, and (3) the individual cities which make up the population distribution.
Urban development in sub-Saharan Africa has posed more challenges in recent decades, shifting the focus from rural poverty to urbanised poverty. Because of a rapidly urbanising sub-Saharan Africa coupled with failures in urban management, urban economies have grown slower than correspondent population increase, slum growth has increased and poverty has urbanised. Of all urban challenges, housing has posed serious challenges in sub-Saharan Africa, yet the prime basis of urban housing is land. Land management is key to urban development due to its influences on the social, economic development and urban environmental management. Land and housing are important sectors as urbanisation and urban development accelerate. This book examines the relationship between operations of informal land markets and housing development for planning policies that are responsive to the land market conditions.
Established indicators of development suggest that, as a group, African countries lag behind their counterparts in other regions with respect to public health. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the public health problems of these countries are rooted in preventable causes associated with hygiene and sanitation. It is customary to attribute the problems that ail Africa to the lack of financial resources. This book deviates from convention by suggesting non-financial factors as the source of sanitation problems on the continent, and argues the need to re-connect urban planning to public health. These two professions are consanguine relatives and emerged to combat the negative externalities of the industrial revolution and concomitant urbanization. However, with the passage of time, the professions drifted apart. Today, more than ever, there is a need for the two to be re-connected. This need is rooted in the increasing complexity of urban problems whose resolution requires interdisciplinary initiatives. To this end, there is hardly any question that urban public health initiatives are unlikely to succeed without the collaboration of both public health and urban planning experts. The book recognizes this truism, and stands as the first major academic work to demonstrate the inextricably intertwined nature of urban planning and urban public health in Africa.
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