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From The World Bank Group Documents and Reports Archive

Public Disclosure Authorized by the World Bank - 48154
Foundations for Urban Development in Africa - 2006
The Legacy of Akin Mabogunje

Cities Alliance. Cities Without Slums - UN-HABITAT.

Table of Contents
Preface - Acknowledgments - Abbreviations and Acronyms

Chapter 1.- Introduction: Themes, Paradigms and Paradigms Shits

As with contemporary human geography, the study of cities is characterized by a diversity of approaches. This diversity is well noted by Knox and McCarthy (2005, p. 3), who observed that "urban geography has evolved to encompass several approaches to its subject matter." This evolutionary trend reflects a more general intellectual evolution in geography and the social sciences, and can be attributed in part to the quests for intellectual rigour and social relevance. This chapter discusses the main perspectives in human geography and provides an analytical framework for identifying and discussing the trends in Professor Mabogunje's works on urbanization and development.
Although urban geography was his launching pad, Professor Mabogunje broadened his study of cities to include the environment, regional development, population, and other issues linked to urbanization. This move to a more comprehensive perspective was a natural progression for this doyen of urban geography and planning. Cities are the engines of economic development (Knox and McCarthy 2005) and industrialization, both of which impact the environment. Cities can also generate regional development and trigger rural-urban migration, an important population dynamic. The interconnectedness of these issues is compelling.

Chapter 2.- Urbanization and Urban Development
African Urbanization - Urbanization and Economic Development - Housing and Housing Finance - Urban Management

Professor Mabogunje's work reflects the traditions in urban and human geography that evolved during his long career. This chapter examines urbanization and urban development, major themes in his writings. He addresses a wide range of issues, including urbanization in Nigeria and throughout Africa, urbanization's impact on economic development , urban management, housing and housing finance, and the relationship between industrialization and urban development.
He began his academic career when the quantitative and theoretical revolutions, which were the handmaidens of the spatial analysis paradigm, were taking hold in geography.
His early work on Urbanization in Nigeria was characterized by the theoretical and analytical rigour associated with the spatial analysis perspective. The book examines the role of cities in generating or hindering development; housing and finance policies; the impact of mortgage finance; low-income housing; public-private partnerships; urban land-use; institutional frameworks for city management; urban governance; and socially integrated and inclusive cities.
The theoretical orientation of his work means that he " . . . does not see the urbanization process in Nigeria as unique in any way but tries to show that it reflects the operation of much of the same forces as have led to urban growth and development in other parts of the world"

Chapter 3.- Regional Development
Cities as Growth Poles for Regional Development - Rural Development - Geographic Perspectives on Development

Regional development -including agricultural and rural development- is a dominant theme in Professor Mabogunje's works. Regional challenges include development disparities, rural-urban inequality, and urban primacy (Gore 1984). Regional development also encompasses top-down and bottom-up strategies. An example of the former is the growth regional pole strategy, which he popularized in both academic and policy circles (Okafor and Honey 2004). The latter consists of various approaches collectively labeled as neo-populism by some authors (Gore 1984).
The growth pole strategy is based on the assumption that regional development and rural growth depend on urbanization and industrialization. However, the failure of urbanization and industrialization to stimulate regional development led to the emergence of the neo-populist strategies that seek ". . . to reverse the urban bias in current planning practice, to promote greater equality and the satisfaction of the basic needs of the majority of the population, to re-establish local and regional communities and to avoid the centralization of economic and political decision-making" (Gore 1984, p. 161).

Chapter 4.- Environment and Development
Sustainability - Environmental Management

The environment and sustainable development are recurring themes in many of Professor Mabogunje's works. His writings on cities, for example, address the issue of urban environmental degradation. The urban economy impacts the environment both within and outside the city. At the core of environmental degradation and sustainable development is population. The rapid growth of human populations, especially in the developing countries, has intensified the demand for natural resources and led to increased exploitation of nature in ways harmful to the environment.
Manufacturing, which is generaliy associated with rising living standards, is the cause of a range of environmental problems.
Today, globalization and the freer movement of capital are facilitating the relocation of manufacturing industries to developing countries where environmental laws are less stringent. Thus, environmental problems are appearing in new locations, even though many are global.
Poverty also has implications for the environment. For example, low incomes and high energy costs in developing countries mean that fuelwood is the primary domestic energy source. The demand for fuelwood, particularly in the face of rapid population growth, leads to rapid deforestation. Rapid population growth also leads to increased demand for farm land, which contributes to deforestation and causes soil degradation. Extreme poverty forces people to prioritize physical survival over concerns for the environment. In these circumstances, the environment is exploited to eke out a living without an eye on conservation.

Chapter 5.- Governance and Social Issues
Democracy - Local Governance Finance - Gender

Professor Mabogunje's works on governance and social issues focus on democracy and local government. Like his late compatriot, political scientist Claude Ake, he believes that the principles of democracy are present in traditional African political systems and that local governments should emphasize decentralization and devolution of power to levels below formal jurisdictions.
He proposes small territorial communities and neighbourhoods as the basic building blocks of local governance. In his view, these local governance are the most efficient structures to mobilize effective participation and promote collective action on urban, regional, and rural development issues. In the face of rapid urbanization and pervasive urban poverty, local governments should look beyond conventional revenue sources to raise funds for infrastructure development. The advantages of small jurisdictions are clearly spelled out in the literature on decentralization (Okafor and Honey 2004). These include accessibility to government and essential social services, and local preference maximization.

Chapter 6.- Conclusion and Epilogue

Professor Mabogunje's last major work, State Of The Earth: Contemporary Geographic Perspectives, a collection of essays by top geographers which he edited, provides a comprehensive overview of the geography discipline. Geography can be defined in different ways, but in essence it is concerned with the description and explanation of the spatial patterns of phenomena on the earth's surface. The phenomena are both physical and human-created. They range from landforms and climate-to diseases, human settlements, population, agriculture, and industry-to poverty, crime, public services, elections, globalization, and international aid.
Since its inception, geography has undergone changes in philosophy, methodology and subject matter. As Johnston (1993, p. vii) has it, "change in the external world is one of the major stimuli to change in the discipline-on the theoretical apparatus on which it draws, in the research methodologies its practitioners employ, in the content of its educational curricula, and in its contributions to influencing change." The quest for social relevance was also an important stimulus for change. Among other things, State of the Earth reflects the shift from modernist to post-modernist approaches in Professor Mabogunje's work. The post-modernist approach is evident in his interest in community and situating discourses. His earlier works are characteristic of modernist stances and the use of grand theories. As a comprehensive account of contemporary geography, State of the Earth epitomizes the paradigm shifts in the discipline.

Appendix - Curriculum Vitae: Akin Mabogunje


It has been fascinating to read the preceding chapters, which attempt to encapsulate the diversity and evolution of my intellectual concerns over the many years of my academic career. In providing a postscript to this magnificent effort by Professor Stanley Okafor, I must begin by expressing my very sincere appreciation to him for taking on the challenging task of giving a structure to a maturing process that was as imperceptible as it was transforming.
It is difficult for me not to re-emphasize that my intellectual development was built on two foundations: the training in historical geography at the University College, London, under the late Professor H. C. Darby in the 195Os, and the quantitative and theoretical revolution in geography that was such an important part of my 1963 sabbatical leave at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. During that year, I had the pleasure of working closely with Professors Bill Garrison and Ned Taaffe. Both experiences sharpened my perception of the processes that shape the landscape of countries at different points in their development. They prepared me for a better understanding of Africa's situation as it changes from largely precapitalist and colonial, to a statist and centrally controlled political economy, to a democratic society and political economy.

1.1. Concepts in Urban Geography
1.2. Components of the Radical Approach

2.1. Pre-colonial Cities in Africa
2.2. Relationship between Population Growth and Rise in the Number of Urban Centres in Nigeria: 1950-2004
2.3. Modern and Traditional Sections of Ibadan
2.4. Three Generalizations of Urban Structure
2.5. Magnitude of the Slum Population in Nigeria
2.6. Shanty Town in Lagos
2.7. Traffic Congestion in Lagos

2.1. Population Growth Rates and Levels of Urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa and Other World Regions 1950-2-15

2.1. The Central Place Theory (CPT)
2.2. Goals of National Urban and Housing Policy in Nigeria


Background Papers for World Development Report 2009: "Reshaping Economic Geography"

Alva, M., and A. Behar. " Factors that contribute to (or detract from) successful outcomes in African Regional Agreements."

Behar, Alberto. " Neighbourhood growth effects: an annual panel data approach."

Brülhart, Marius. " An Account of Global Intra-Industry Trade, 1962-2006."

Calě, Massimiliano. " Urbanisation, inequality and economic growth: Evidence from Indian states."

Clemens, Michael, C. Montenegro, and L. Pritchett. " The Place Premium: Wage Differences for Identical Workers accross US Borders."

Coulibaly, Souleymane. " On the Complementarity of Regional and Global Trade."

Crafts, Nicholas. " European Growth in the Age of Regional Economic Integration: Convergence Big Time?"

Hewings, Geoffrey J.D., Edward Feser, and Ken Poole. " Spatial/Territorial Development Policies in the United States."

Hirotsugu, Uchida and Andrew Nelson. " Agglomeration Index: Towards a New Measure of Urban Concentration."

Kilroy, Austin. " Intra-urban spatial inequalities: cities as ‘urban regions.’"

Kilroy Austin. " The role of cities in post-war economic recovery."

Kroehnert, S. and S. Vollmer.  " Where Have All The Young Women Gone?: Gender-Specific Migration from East to West Germany."

Lall, Somik, Christopher Timmins, and Shouyue Yu. " Moving to Opportunity: Successful Integration or Bright Lights?" (Presentation)

Manners, P. and A. Behar. " Trade in sub-Saharan Africa and opportunities for Low Income Countries."

Mayer, Thierry. " Market Potential and Development: A background paper for the World Development Report."

Montenegro, Claudio E., and Maximilian L. Hirn. " A New Disaggregated Set of Labor Market Indicators using Standardized Household Surverys from Around the World."

Nelson, B. and A. Behar. " Natural Resources, Growth and Spatially-Based Development: A View of The Literature."

Satterthwhaite, David. " Expanding the supply and reducing the cost of land for housing in urban areas in low- and middle-income nations."

te Velde, Dirk William.  " Regional integration, growth and concentration."

Treyvish, Andrey. " The Downfall of the Soviet Union: A Spatial Explanation."

Vollmer, Sebastian, Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D. and Nils-Hendrik Klann.  " EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements – Empirical Evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa."

" Intra-Urban Graphs." 

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