Hello. In today's video we'll do a critical reading on issues of planning, of the planning as practiced today in African cities. This planning, as practiced, is described, this critical analysis is described, in the work you see here, "The West African City," which is available in both a French and English version. A small reminder of the different types of planning, the different tools. We'll see this as a table, with a cursor which can go from land use to territory, and from the questions of programming to strategy. If we have a clear land-use plan, we'll be here, and the master plan will come from this side. The old types of plans were more programmatic. We are here and are heading towards the strategies of today. So if I want a classic planning it would be somewhere over here, and a strategic urban planning, such as that interpreted today by large agencies and the World Bank, would put us perhaps over here. So there is a programmatic progression from land use to the questions of territory and strategy. There you have it, a small reminder of what we've already seen. All of this is to say that we must pay attention to the extremes, as always, if we find ourselves there, or if we find ourselves here, we can easily realize that we are inevitably on the strategic and territorial, but are, without a doubt, moving too far away from the programmatic questions. And these tools should be, at the same time, useful as a road-map for day-to-day planning, for urban day-to-day management. This is not just a strategic document, disconnected from its context of land use and those projects either in progress or upcoming. This is truly a tool which should be pragmatic, which we can use on a day-to-day basis. So beyond a zone such as this one here, it suddenly becomes dangerous to go further, and we obtain documents which are useless for day-to-day management. Now, as a reminder, for what purpose does planning serve? Why plan? To plan allows us to implement the principles of sustainable development. This is critical today. To plan also allows us to have a vision, for both the medium and long-term. As for the very short-term, we are instead dealing with questions of management rather than planning. It is the medium and long term which are the effective time-frame for planning. To plan allows for the rational organization of resources. It also allows for the communication between a growing demand, an increasing number of inhabitants, and the protection of the patrimony, the protection of greenfield lands, the protection of nature. So these are very classic issues, which we've already addressed many times in this course, but planning should serve as the basis of an economic activity. It should allow for the development of economic activity. We'll deal, from this point on, solely with the last chapter of the book, with just a brief overview of African cities, which have a certain number of similarities. We'll adopt the plural form of the word, these are African <i>cities</i>, for they are numerous. However, when we analyze a large number of cities, we find a certain number of characteristics. The first, within the colonial foundation of the cities, is the question of segregation. Let's use as an example that of Abidjan. We can see that the urban mesh of the Le Plateau and the urban mesh of the other side of the lagoon, are clearly very different. We have a meshing which is not at all on the same scale. The same in Dakar, where we have between this zone here and that zone there, much denser, a zone here which was a buffer zone with notably large avenues. The colonial city was formed on the same principle, which is the principle of population segregation. The native population vs. the European, the administrative vs. the workers, the rich vs. the poor. We find ourselves in this model and it is interesting to see, in a city such as Nouakchott, which is a new city, its foundation begun in 1958, so recent, to see how two years before independence, the same model was used as a base, which is a model of segregation. So the African city is one of apartheid by definition. Depending on the times, depending on the country, this separation between populations has been more or less significant, more or less strong or loose, it depends. There are extremely different contexts, but in principle we had indigenous populations, and European populations, or the elites and the poorest of the populations. Next, the second similarity. The poor have the same strategies for implantation. There are two strategies. We see that the poorest, the shantytowns, once developed, are normally near employment areas. The first strategy of implantation. Or perhaps they are on vacant lots, in nooks and crannies, on slopes, in all areas that the city produces as unbuildable land, which in fact belong to no one. And it is within these gaps where the poorest populations insert themselves. It is because of this, in the event of a problem, in the event of landslides, these very same populations, the most vulnerable, the poorest, are inevitably the ones most affected, because they are often living on land unsuitable for building. We also have another similarity: the same developers. It is the same firms, the same thinkers, the same people who develop urban plans from Nouakchott to Djibouti, from Dakar to Djibouti, let's say, from Ouagadougou to Harare, these are large companies who are in charge of this, and we ultimately find the same developers, the same city-builders, more or less everywhere. We're not making value judgements here. We're simply pointing out how this explains why one also finds tools which are extremely similar, in the totality of African cities. And this is reinforced, clearly, by the fact that we have the same financial backers more or less everywhere, a few important investors who play an important role in the manner in which one makes a city, and on the tools one puts in place to plan this city. So even if in general the investor makes as though he remains in the background, we realize on a daily basis, as we go about our work, that the investor is extremely present, likewise, on all technical questions. There are plans, models, which the financial backer applies, and it is also because of this that we find a certain number of similarities in the whole of African cities. We have cities which are practically identical, with identical problems. And the greatest problem today, the largest problem, and the one most often written about, is the question of land use. Land issues are different in each one of these countries, in each one of these cities. In some countries there is the problem of too important land sales by the state of a certain number of parcels. Too many land parcels are put on the market, which leads to speculation and appropriation by a small group of a certain number of parcels. In other cities, we'll cite the case of the school of Douala, where there are issues between the actual inhabitants and the owners, the state being, in fact, the owner of the majority of the land. There is a game between the state and the inhabitants, in certain cities. But in all the cities that we cross, in all the urban plans which will be developed, there will still remain one main problem, which is that of land use. We can see here this question of unregulated land use, for we are in a shantytown. We see how the implantation of people, of those who have occupied it, as squatters on the land, and how they've made a network of roads in the interior of this field of shacks. So this is the primary element, that of land use. The second element is that of the environment. We have an example here with waste. At the bottom of the screen we see some young people dealing with fish, preparing it, cutting it, cutting off the heads for their clients, and doing all this on top of a pile of garbage, which brings us to environmental issues of extreme relevance in certain cities. This is but one example among others, the environmental question is also that of ecosystems, is also that of the pollution of air, of land, of water. We can extend this to other domains, but we see that in all these cases the weakest link, in Africa, is the environment, and it is there where perhaps the most work should be done in the years ahead, to ensure a radical change of this situation. Another problem, that of circulation. Difficult circulation, difficult mobility in the majority of African cities. Here we have a taxi station in Abidjan, not too dense, we see that things are moving along relatively smoothly. That's when all is going well, but there are other moments with traffic jams which last for hours and hours, in the center of the city. So the difficulty of movement, the difficulty of circulation, is extremely important today. Now to the last problem, which is not a problem in itself, but which without a doubt creates difficulties for people, but which should not be placed on the same level as a too-dense circulation, which is the question of poverty. It's important to have a positive vision of this poverty, otherwise one will never build another thing. But it is something to keep in mind as one plans. One must know for whom one plans. And poverty is a major issue for a large number of those in African cities. We might now even say for the majority. So it is something extremely present in the day-to-day, for families. And it is something which must be looked at globally as one embarks on urban planning. Here we see the living conditions in a poor neighborhood. We've reached a common point, the last of our series, on African cities. What are the current limits on this plans? The first is that one continues to work by extension and by segregation. From the moment the foundation is laid in these cities, in these large African capitals, the same plan of segregation continues. And one continues, in the same manner, to build this city, to produce subsequent extensions, by subsequent parcels. Thus the planning never reaches a moment when it reflects on the question of segregation, which continues, decade after decade, to be precisely the same, just as the moment never arrives to address the question of expansion, which continues, lot by lot. The second important limit, by no means the least, is that urbanization has no cost. If we look at these plans as a whole, at the master plans of today, we realize that the question of the cost of urbanization is simply not addressed. This is one of the greatest limitations of the system, for if costs are not applied to the actions one takes, one never knows if one has or has not the means to carry them out. So it is truly critical to provide numbers, to give a cost to these different types of urbanizations which one is about to put in place. Another limits, one we just spoke of, and a common point between cities, is that of poverty. We realize that the documents of urban planning never mention poverty. They make it as though poverty doesn't exist, that it is neither a specific element of the city, nor of its planning. When poverty is mentioned, it is in the diagnostic part of planning, forgetting later the fact that these cities are composed, by a huge majority, of the extremely poor. Another element which limits the scope of plans, is that in order to plan, one has invented what I call the "average man." The average man is one who works, who has a family, a vehicle, who has a small house somewhere in the suburbs. It is the American style of family, without doubt, yet this average man, if we look at the statistics of Africa, simply does not exist. Car ownership rates clearly show us that the classic man does not own one, that the man of the street does not, today, have a vehicle. So all this planning is done for this average man, who is the ghost, perhaps, of a middle class which does not exist, or which barely exists. And it is for him that one plans. It is for him that roads are built, for he has a vehicle, while in reality, this man does not exist. And even if he does exist, he doesn't have a vehicle. So this is extremely limiting in scope, which is to say that one does not plan for the people, for those who live in the city, one plans for this image we have of a man who does not exist. The next element is the link between management and planning, which is nonexistent. Planning is only useful if it guides urban management, and if the two are coordinated. one with the other. This is extremely important, because what one plans today will need to be managed tomorrow. So we cannot imagine a disconnect between the two. Today there is on the one hand the city managers, and on the other the planners, and they are not one and the same. Which means that as long as these two areas are not integrated into the same plan, in the same way of conceiving the future of these cities, we'll never achieve anything because, we have on the one hand the planners, with their idea of a city, in 10-20 years, and then we have the managers who, in the end, have to manage these things. Yet this never enters into their management plans, neither on the middle nor long term. This, then, is the conclusion of the book I showed you at the beginning of the video, at the beginning of this journey, which is the question of another way of planning. We see that there are a certain number of limits. We have identical problems, we have cities which are relatively similar, we have limitations to these plans, so we must know what one can do, despite all, in order to plan. Because what we propose is a self- organizing plan, one centered on people. I will not dwell on this, simply that this is what is behind the idea that all social practices, all land-use practices, our relationship to the environment, all the social practices, should be integrated in a reflection on the tools of planning. We have a disconnect between the practices of people in daily-life, and urban planning. There are two solutions. Either it is the discussion which is false, or practices which are false, yet this discussion, what one says one wants to do and what one actually does are two totally different things. Either we change the discussion and tie it to our practice, or we change our practice so that it ties into our discussion. We are, today, in a situation where practice is of such importance that it is difficult to change, and what we propose here is that we adapt, partially, at least in the beginning, the discussion to an informal one, on the question of land use. It is useless to wish, at all costs, to formalize the informal, unless one realizes that the majority, the totality of people, in their day-to-day relationships, in their day-to-day social practices, reside in the informal. There is no point in attacking things that cannot be changed. These are not urban plans which will change ancestral practices. We must now readjust our discussion in function of this, go back to these practices, view what people do and how they do it, and revisit the tools of urban planning in terms of these social practices. It is not participation, it is not a process of decisions taken by all, but rather to be able to integrate these practices, those of the land owner, those of the political elite, other practices, and directly integrate them in our planning tools. Otherwise all this serves no point. If you embark on planning without even considering the question of land use, and without trying to elicit some sort of response, we already know that your planning will serve absolutely no purpose. So in a few words, a brief overview, I refer you to the book, you'll find in its conclusions all of the topics we've discussed here, as well as other supplemental topics, which we simply didn't have time to explore in the course of this video.