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  • Ng'ambo Atlas book launch

    The new book: Ng’ambo Atlas illustrates the Historic Urban Landscape of Zanzibar Town’s ‘Other Side’ (LM Publishers). Ng'ambo Atlas is produced by the Department of Urban and Rural Planning in Zanzibar and African Architecture Matters. Ng’ambo Atlas book launch is organised in collaboration with the African Studies Centre Leiden and will take place on Thursday 24 January 2019 at 15:30 in the Academy Building, Leiden University, Rapenburg 73, 2311 GJ Leiden - Klein Auditorium. The event is open to public, but due to limited seating capacity registration is compulsory. If you would like to join us please register here. The programme includes the presentation of the Ng’ambo Atlas by Dr Muhammad Juma (director of the Department of Urban and Rural Planning in Zanzibar), a public key-note speech by Professor Filip de Boeck and a discussion with Professor Nnamdi Elleh, Olutimehin Adegbeye, Ronald Wall and Muhammad Juma. The first copy of the Ng’ambo Atlas will officially be handed over by Dr. Muhammad Juma to the Tanzanian Ambassador in the Netherlands, H.E. Irene Kasyanju. We are grateful for the support received for the research, production and publication of the book from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the Creative Industries Fund NL, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Dar es Salaam, EFL Foundation and the City of Amsterdam. ----------------- Book details: Ng’ambo is the lesser known ‘Other Side’ of Zanzibar Town. During the British Protectorate the area was designated as the ‘Native Quarters’, today it is set to become the new city centre of Zanzibar’s capital. Local and international perceptions of the cultural and historical importance of Ng’ambo have for a long time remained overshadowed by the social and cultural divisions created during colonial times. One thing is certain: despite its limited international fame and lack of recognition of its importance, Ng’ambo has played and continues to play a vital role in shaping the urban environment of Zanzibar Town. This atlas presents over hundred years of Ng’ambo’s history and urban development through maps, plans, surveys and images, and provides insights into its present-day cultural landscape through subjects such as architecture, toponymy, cultural activities, public recreation, places for social interaction, handcrafts and urban heritage. Ng’ambo Atlas. Historic Urban Landscape of Zanzibar Town’s ‘Other Side’ documents the material collected through the heritage-based urban planning project Ng’ambo Tuitakayo! carried out by the Government of Zanzibar in collaboration with African Architecture Matters and City of Amsterdam and under the auspices of UNESCO. Click on the images below to preview pages of the book: The book launch takes place in relation to the conference Future of the African City organized by the African Studies Centre in Leiden I collaboration with AAMatters. To read more about the event check the ASCL website We look forward to seeing you on the 24th of January in Leiden! #Culture #Research #Publication #IntangibleHeritage #heritage #Zanzibar #HistoricUrbanLandscape #Book #Event

  • CCA welcomes applications for the Multidisciplinary Research Project Centring Africa: Postcolonial P

    The Canadian Centre for Architecture is launching a collaborative and multidisciplinary research project on architecture’s complex developments in sub-Saharan African countries after independence. Catalyzed by the donations of AAM, and with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the CCA will direct an eighteen-month project to analyze and historicize the ways in which architecture manifests transformations in post-independence African countries. The grants will support original, case-based research on concrete projects, actors, architectural typologies, key geographies, or urban developments that explore the history of architecture’s agency in sub-Saharan Africa. Applications due October 31, 2018 For more, please visit #Research #education #Architecture

  • The Exhibition on Coen Beeker ‘Urban Fields’ Continues its Journey! - Be aware: time change!

    IHS will host the opening event for the exhibition on the 19th of March, starting at 15:30. Last year in March we held a symposium on the work of the Dutch urban planner Coen Beeker together with African Studies Centre Leiden. During the symposium we launched the publication The Beeker Method. Planning and Working on the Redevelopment of the African City: Retrospective Glances into the Future (available for download here) featuring contributions of practitioners and scholars from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Zanzibar and the Netherlands and opened a travelling exhibition providing insights into Beeker’s long involvement as an urban planner in Africa. Since then the exhibition has been presented at the University of Amsterdam and is now set to be opened at the premises of IHS Rotterdam. Coen Beeker and Antoni Folkers will be present at the exhibition opening event which will also include an presentation of to the book and a Q&A session with Beeker and Folkers. Picture Coen and Zanda. Source: Coen Beeker. Date: 19th March Time: 16:15 – 17:30 Location: IHS Rotterdam Address: Mandeville (T) Building, 14th floor, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50 , 3062 PA Rotterdam For more information see here. You can visit the exhibition until mid-June. #exhibition #Placemaking #Urbanplanning

  • A lecture on perspectives on shared space in Mauritius

    On 1st of March, Antoni Folkers will give the lecture ‘African Architecture matters and perspectives on Shared Space’ at the Uniciti Education Hub in Pierrefonds, Mauritius. The lecture is organised as part of the second year course of the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture, an educational trajectory that is set up in Mauritius with the ENSA Nantes. The ENSA announces: ‘Antoni Folkers PhD is an architect and urban designer. He commenced his professional career as researcher and designer in Ouagadougou before joining the Institute for Tropical Building (IFT) in Starnberg, Germany (1983). He is co-founder of FBW Architects & Engineers (1995) and currently FBW Group Consultant and director of FBW Netherlands. He has been responsible for the design and execution of a wide range of architectural and urbanism projects throughout East Africa and Europe, and is currently involved in various projects in Tanzania as architect, urban planner and researcher. In 2001, he co-founded the ArchiAfrika, platform for research and news on African architecture. In 2010, the management of ArchiAfrika was handed over to African network partners. In the same year, Berend van der Lans and Antoni Folkers established African Architecture Matters, active in research, education and activism in the field of African architecture and urbanism. Antoni Folkers published a wide range of books and articles architectural subject, amongst which Mtoni – Palace, Sultan & Princess of Zanzibar and Modern Architecture in Africa on his 25 years of building and research experience in Africa in 2010. He is currently guest lecturer and researcher at Delft, Maputo and Pretoria Universities.’ Lecture: African Architecture matters and perspectives on Shared Space By: Antoni Folkers Date: 1 March 2018 Time: 17:00hrs. Location: Unicity Education Hub Address: Royal Road, Pierrefonds, Maritius #education #sharedspace #lecture

  • 15 February: Kick off lecture on Master studio Bagamoyo @ UHasselt

    Since a couple of years, the Ardhi University of Dar es Salaam and the University of Hasselt (B) organise parallel studios in which Tanzanian and Belgium students work on projects in Tanzania with a positive social impact in their environment. This collaboration brings interesting perspectives on the architectural profession on both sides. After a couple of sites in and around Dar es Salaam in the previous years, the studio focusses now on Bagamoyo and the challenge to use its rich history as a basis for future developments. On Thursday 15 February at 16hrs, the studio will commence with a Kick off lecture by Berend van der Lans, shining a light on issues like the use of public space, heritage based urban regeneration and private sector involvement in heritage management. Also visitors from outside the university are welcome. The lecture takes place at: Campus Diepenbeek Agoralaan Building E B-3590 Diepenbeek #Culture #Placemaking #Presentation #heritagemanagement #IntangibleHeritage #Zanzibar #Urban #HistoricUrbanLandscape #publicspace

  • Festival sur le Niger: dancing in the face of terrorists

    Hoba Hoba Spirit from Morocco on stage Berend van der Lans visited the Festival sur le Niger in Ségou for a contribution to a conference on the architecture of Ségou in the context of the festival. The Dutch national newspaper Volkskrant included his report on their Afrikablog in Dutch . Below you will find the text in English. More images and some videos to be found via this album on Facebook. In Ségou, nowadays a somewhat sleepy town on the banks of the Niger, history still is written. Although the city almost looks the same as during my last visit back in 1994, new heroes follow in the footsteps of the once powerful Bambara rulers, so beautifully described in the books of Maryse Condé. From 1 to 4 February, the city was the setting for the Festival sur le Niger, a grand manifestation of culture with a variety of musicians and bands from many countries, theatre, dance, exhibitions and a conference on ‘Ségou, city of architecture’, the theme of the 14th edition. Around 30,000 visitors came to the Malian city, from the immediate vicinity, but also from neighbouring countries and the rest of Africa. And that is special in a place, quite literally on the border between relative safety and danger; on the other side of the river the area starts where the state no longer has control and you can bump into armed groups allied to Al Qaida , IS and other less friendly people, who do not believe in a free society. The stage floating on the Niger river The Dutch Embassy in Bamako informed me beforehand that for Ségou 'all non-essential trips are being discouraged'. Furthermore, it is advisable to avoid places where many people meet, especially foreigners. What is essential? And avoid places where many people come together, easier said than done during a festival! After some pondering, I decide to see the appeal that has been made to me for a contribution to the architecture conference as essential, partly because I assume that the organisation must be sure of its cause. They will not take the risk to expose the audience and all those bands to danger, will they? Still not completely reassured, but with a positive mood, I travel to Ségou via Casablanca and Bamako. The welcome is warm and hearty. I meet with friends from the African architecture and culture world and I get to know new people during the opening night. The next morning the conference starts with presentations on the architecture of Ségou and the importance it plays in a contemporary city. There is a series of beautiful buildings in the city, generally built in the years 1900-1940 by the French. Unlike many buildings in former colonies, however, they do not reflect the architecture styles of the colonial powers at the time. Groupe Centrale, a characteristic Neo-Sudanese style building in the centre of town The French architects were impressed by the original architecture of Mali and therefore took over its style characteristics in their designs. In the 'neo-Sudanese style' you see forms that are related to the ‘banco’ building style that one sees in Djenné and Timbuktu, some other historic cities lying downstream. In a presentation by Michel Fleury at the architecture conference during the Festival sur le Niger, this was discussed in more detail, in which the study by Janneke Bierman (nowadays heading Bierman Henket architects) and Joep Mol from 1993 served as a reference book. Work that eventually led to the restoration of the Groupe Centrale, an important school in the city, one of the reasons for me to visit the city in 1994. The conference continued with a number of presentations that highlighted different strategies for preserving heritage. My contribution, aimed at an initiative-rich private sector that invests in monumental buildings with the aim to use them for the sustainable development of the city, such as Stadsherstel Amsterdam NV has been doing since the mid-50s and Hifadhi Zanzibar for several years in Stone Town for the coast of East Africa, was well received. The festival was set up by the cultural entrepreneur Mamou Daffé, who is convinced that stimulating culture is essential for social cohesion and economic development. Since 2005 he has invested in a cultural centre, in exhibition spaces, in a hotel and brings together other entrepreneurs, the government, local and international funds. The opening play of the festival under the eyes of safety forces The Minister of Culture of Mali underlined during her speech at the opening that the government fully supports the festival and sees it as a cultural fist against terrorism that plagues the country. During the festival, 400 soldiers guarded the festival visitors. The audience wasn’t scared away by the threat. The visitors were carried away by new sounds from Kareyce Fotso from Cameroon, the Afro-fusion of the Women Groove Project from Senegal and the super popular magreb rock from Hoba Hoba Spirit from Morocco, as well as by veterans like Oliver Mtukundzi from Zimbabwe. Habib Koïté and Salif Keita from Mali, with whom every word is sung. None of the more than thirty bands that perform on the floating stage on the river Niger is put off by the safety situation. I cannot imagine a more peaceful atmosphere than during this vibrant festival in Ségou. Have we all crawled through the eye of the needle? Was the risk justified? We will not know. It ended well and the days were unforgettable for me and I suspect almost all other 30,000 visitors. We stood shoulder to shoulder for peace, but Mamou Daffé and his fellow citizens are left behind at the front. They are the real heroes. If possible, I will stand side by side again next year. #Culture #Seminar #heritage #Architecture #network

  • Which Architectural History for Africa, Today?

    On 30th November 2017, 15:00hrs @ Shaughnessy House, CCA, Montreal - Canada, a seminar is taking place on the AAmatters collection which is handed over to CCA last year. To encourage architectural history to contend with the world beyond the Global North, and to interrogate and adapt the discipline’s tools, protocols, and premises accordingly, the CCA will host a public seminar on the historiography of architecture in sub-Saharan Africa. Although recent exhibitions focusing on contemporary practice and on the post-independence period have brought attention to architecture on the continent, the history of African architecture remains too little researched. This event is prompted by three important collections that have recently arrived at the CCA, which offer an opportunity for reflection on global histories of architecture with Africa as a point of focus. The collections, donated by the organization African Architecture Matters (AAM), are the archives and library of Dutch urban planner Coen Beeker, the library of German architect Georg Lippsmeier’s Institut für Tropenbau (IFT), and the library of IFT researcher Kiran Mukerji. With over three thousand titles in addition to slides, maps, and other documents, these collections form one of the largest existing holdings of books, manuals, and reports on African architecture and planning. During the seminar, Rachel Lee, Ayala Levin, Itohan Osayimwese, and Ola Uduku will respond to the question “which architectural history, today?” through presentations of their ongoing research and in conversation with AAM director Antoni Folkers. Lee is a postdoctoral researcher at the LMU Munich and will present on Hannah Schreckenbach, an architect and instructor in Ghana who collaborated with Lippsmeier and worked as a consultant for the German Technical Cooperation Agency. Levin, an architectural historian at Northwestern University, will base her presentation on examples from Israeli architectural, planning, and construction aid in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and the Ivory Coast. Osayimwese is an assistant professor at Brown University and will speak on issues of primary sources, language, and translation through the figure of the late nineteenth-century German anthropologist Hermann Frobenius. Uduku is Professor of Architecture at Manchester School of Architecture, she was formerly Reader in Architecture and Dean for Africa at the University of Edinburgh. She will present and discuss her research on school design in Africa and also ongoing research and teaching collaborations focused on modernist architecture in post-war West Africa. For registration please register via the CCA website. #Architecture #Seminar #tropicalarchitecture

  • Hifadhi Zanzibar as example for long term investment in tourism in Milano workshop

    Tourism can be a nuisance, as becomes clear when listening to a growing number of inhabitants from Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris etc, but it also serves as a source of identity and cohesion and as driver for socio-economic development. This is recognised by the shareholders from Hifadhi Zanzibar, as it was recognised by the shareholders of Stadsherstel Amsterdam some 60 years earlier. The Sovereign Investment Lab (SIL), a research unit of the Baffi Carefin, Bocconi University, and the Fondazione Riccardo Catella in Milano organise the workshop 'Tourism, Culture and Long-term Investment: Heritage Assets Management in the XXI Century' on 26 October 2017. The workshop aims at involving top international experts, investors and policy makers to discuss the frontiers in cultural heritage asset management and investment , the risk of tourism & heritage funds, and the economic and institutional challenges affecting the launch of cultural tourism as engine for sustainable development. Berend van der Lans from AAmatters will contribute to the workshop by sharing experiences from Stadsherstel Amsterdam and Hifadhi Zanzibar. More information on the programme can be obtained via the website from the Fondazione Riccardo Catella. You can follow the event via streaming on the website of Coima.

  • AAmatters at conference of African Urban Planning in Lisbon

    On 7th and 8th September, the second International Conference on African Urban Planning took place in Lisbon and brought together a group of dedicated scholars and planners. The event was organised by the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning of the University of Lisbon and the International Planning History Society. Iga Perzyna was present on behalf of AAmatters and had the opportunity to present two topics related to our recent projects: Modernising Ouagadougou, the work of Coen Beeker and the DGUT (1978-1989) and Swahili Urbanism? A Case Study of Ng’ambo – Zanzibar Town’s “Other Side”.

  • Hifadhi strikes a deal!

    Hifadhi, the private company with the public goal to safeguard the built heritage of Zanzibar and Stone Town in particular that we have helped setting up, reached a first milestone. The Chairman of the Board of Directors Nassor El-Mahruki signed a contract with Wakf on taking over a building. It is the first building of Hifadhi and with this acquisition it will be able to show what Hifadhi offers Zanzibar. The team members are eager to get started and make this a success. And so is AAmatters.

  • The Beeker Method: Planning and Working on the Redevelopment of the African City. Retrospective Glan

    For the past couple of months we have been working hard to meet the deadline of ‘The Beeker Method: Planning and Working on the Redevelopment of the African City’ seminar. Not an easy task as we wished to keep our arrangements secret from Coen Beeker, at the same time as we made him the key-note speaker of what he thought would be a small seminar for students from the African Studies Centre. Looking back on March 23rd I think we managed, the seminar together with the publication and the exhibition was just as much a surprise to Coen as the unexpected turnout at the seminar to us. There is a large number of people from various institutions, backgrounds and countries that contributed to the success of this project making the event a perfectly balanced mix of friendly atmosphere and sound debate on matters related to urban planning in Africa. The session opened with more historically-oriented presentations by Coen Beeker and his colleague from Burkina Faso, the former Director of the Direction Générale de l’Urbanisme et de la Topographie in Ouagadougou, Joseph Guiébo . Followed by presentations by Anteneh Tola, a Doctoral Candidate from TU Delft and Muhammad Juma, the Director of the Department of Urban and Rural Planning in Zanzibar, which provided some glances into current challenges of urban planning in Addis Ababa and Zanzibar Town. Coen Beeker and the Beeker Method remained, as planned, the red-thread throughout the seminar, but it was first during the panel discussion that the panellists including Jan Fransen (IHS), Peter Pels (UvL), Yolande Lingané (DGUT*), Muhammad Juma and Anteneh Tola were asked to consider more substantially the relevance of Beeker’s approach for contemporary urban planning in Africa. Discussions considering such complex matters can go on forever without reaching a conclusion, which doesn’t make them any less valuable. In the end, conclusions and answers were not so much the goal of this debate, as the wish to generate the feeling that urban planning in Africa is an urgent matter that requires not only further debate, but more importantly, action. The seminar was a truly international affair and it certainly ended in a manner befitting the importance of Coen Beeker, the unsung pioneer of bottom-up and participator urban planning in Africa. As a token of gratitude for the work Beeker did (and continues to do until this day) in Burkina Faso, country’s official delegation decided to decorate him in a rather unconventional manner. Since Beeker refused to be decorated with an official medal for his merits, he was instead awarded the ‘Étalon de Yennenga’ , the most prestigious award of the biannual Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) normally awarded to an African film that succeeds best in showing “the realities of Africa”. A well thought alternative which unleashed a festive mood among the audience continued afterwards with refreshments in the canteen. The work of Coen Beeker, his people centred and pragmatic approach to urban planning has been an inspiration to many who have had the chance to work with him over the years. His considerate and step-by step planning has affected the life of countless numbers of inhabitants living in informal settlements in African cities. This project grew out of the desire to honour the work and person of Coen Beeker, and to put a spotlight on his achievements and approach so it can continue to inspire others the same way it did before. His method proved effective back in the days, the question we wanted to ask ourselves and others today is whether it is still applicable, and if yes, in which form? For people who would like to get a copy of the book, it is currently on sale from ASC’s online bookshop. It can also be downloaded for free from the website in a digital format. For those who didn’t get the chance to join us during the seminar the publication is a good place to start familiarizing oneself with the work of Coen Beeker. It provides comprehensive study of Beeker’s work and thought and includes a number of chapters on contemporary urban planning in Africa, in which the writers consider the extent to which Beeker’s approach can still be useful today. The digital version of the publication is available here. The book can be purchased for € 15 here. The exhibition presenting most important aspects of Beeker’s Method and his crown project in Ouagadougou will remain on display in the corridors of the University of Leiden (Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden. Room 1A20 - first floor) until the end of May. After that we will be moving the exhibition around the Netherlands for the next couple of months. More details will follow. #Urbanplanning #Event #Placemaking

  • The Beeker Method:Planning and Working on the Redevelopment of the African City.Retrospective Glance

    Seminar, Exhibition and Book Launch, 23rd March 2017, 14.00 at African Studies Centre in Leiden. Coen Beeker is an unsung pioneer in bottom-up and participatory approach to urban planning with over 40 years of experience in Africa. During this international seminar, organized in partnership with the African Studies Centre Leiden, we will celebrate the work and thought of Beeker and take a retrospective glance at his achievements and their benefits for contemporary and future urban planners. The seminar features speakers from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Zanzibar & the Netherlands. The event will also launch a travelling exhibition on Coen Beeker, Urban Fields: Coen Beeker at Work in the African City and a book The Beeker Method. Planning and Working on the Redevelopment of the African City: Retrospective Glances Into the Future with contributions from scholars and practitioners from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Zanzibar and the Netherlands. The seminar will be followed by refreshments. The name of Coen Beeker may be unfamiliar to many; however, with increasing interest in urban Africa and the topic of urban planning on the continent, Beeker and his extensive work in several African countries deserves a more critical look. Beeker’s work focused primarily on urban redevelopment projects in Ethiopia, Tunisia, Sudan and Burkina Faso, of which his involvement in the modernization process of Ouagadougou is perhaps the most notable. Beeker applied an approach to urban planning that was not only ahead of its time, but which has also proved highly successful. The Beeker Method, as we would like to call it, is, in essence, about redevelopment carried out by residents themselves, through a dynamic process of palavers and long community consultations, and planning and site work conducted with little interference from above. The importance of community participation has been widely acknowledged in the current urban planning discourse. It is considered a fundamental prerequisite to fair and representative decision making in contemporary urban planning practices and the democratization of a process that was once in the hands of experts. Although there is considerable interest on the part of authorities and practitioners working in developing countries to apply bottom-up and participatory approaches, involvement of the poor and often disadvantaged groups in these processes remains difficult to achieve. Can a contemporary reassessment of Beeker’s projects and the underlying principles of his approach contribute to the current debate on urban planning in Africa? Speakers: Coen Beeker, University of Amsterdam Joseph Guiébo, Former director of the Direction Générale de l’Urbanisme et de la Topographie, Ouagadougou and UN Habitat expert. Muhammad Juma, Director of the Department of Urban and Rural Planning, Zanzibar. Gilbert Kibtonré, Secretary General of the Ministry of Lands and Developemnts in Burkina Faso Yolande Lingané, Direction Générale de l'Urbanisme et de la Topographie, Burkina Faso. Dick van Gameren, Professor of Dwelling, Department of Architecture, TU Delft Anteneh Tesfaye Tola. Doctoral Candidate, TU Delft. Date, time and location: 23 March 2017 14.00 - 17.30 Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden Room 1A20 (first floor) Click here to register for the event. #Event #Placemaking #Urbanplanning #Publication

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