Planning for sustainable urban livelihoods in Africa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

External organisations

  • University College London
  • Malmö University
  • University of the Free State


This chapter explores the role, success and failures of spatial planning in shaping African cities and its influence on livelihoods. To date, planning in Africa has largely failed to address the needs and livelihoods of the poor and struggled to address wider issues such as spatial and economic inclusion, health inequalities, future pandemics, and climate change. Planning for sustainable livelihoods across Africa must consider the distinction between universal or more generic approaches to planning and the experience of particular places and people, specifically, accounting for the needs and practices of informal entrepreneurs. This chapter first explores how the legacy of colonial planning has impacted the segregation of spaces and hence of livelihoods, particularly those of the poorer communities. It then discusses the barriers faced by planning to address the informal nature of the livelihoods of lower-income communities. Finally, it sketches out the challenges that need to be overcome and how planning for sustainable livelihoods should thus be tackled in Africa in the future.

Bibliographic note

Not yet published as of 09/09/2021.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook on Livelihoods in the Global South
EditorsF Nunan, C Barnes, S Krishnamurthy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 May 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks

Sustainable Development Goals