Our African City case study

Case Study

Our African City

How do you invest in holistic planning that not only provides sustainable solutions to address the harsh reality of spatial exclusion in many African cities, but also brings together the seemingly disparate agendas of multi-stakeholders – from academic institutions, the public and private sectors and people – while supporting the aspirations and development of people?

By combining the skills of leading experts across financial, political, technical and social spheres, Our African City (OAC) aims to achieve this by crafting a vision of what an African city should look like and applying itself in developing innovative solutions to the challenges we face.

As a key stakeholder, Aurecon is playing an important role in OAC. 

Engineers are trained to jump to solution mode based on their experience and knowledge of what works. But rapid urbanisation cannot be solved with a linear analytical approach – we have to ask ourselves if we’re addressing the right problem before we’re able to provide solutions. 

Through the OAC dialogue, Aurecon engineers are given the opportunity to ask much deeper systemic questions from a broader range of stakeholders.

At Aurecon, systems thinking is the conduit through which out-of-the-box methodologies are channelled to arrive at the most context-relevant solutions. Through this approach, our engineers gain a deeper understanding of the real issues affecting people’s lives, as well as an empathy for the ultimate end user.

This allows for weightier interactions with other professionals, exposes them to a more diverse worldview and ultimately helps them to develop sustainable solutions grounded in a profound appreciation of underlying needs. 

A broader vision

OAC aims to augment and support other initiatives across the continent and is consequently guided by broad policy documents including the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.  

In the South African context, the OAC dialogue takes its direction from the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF).

The IUDF’s vision is to create “Liveable, safe, resource-efficient cities and towns that are socially integrated, economically inclusive and globally competitive, where residents actively participate in urban life”.

Shaping the narrative

We don’t have all the answers. Which is why, together with a broad range of OAC stakeholders, our range of technical experts are helping define and shape an African Design Innovation narrative in the hope of deriving innovative, sustainable solutions for the problem of African urbanisation. 

It’s no small task – but we’re putting in the expertise, resources and thought leadership required to see change effected because we believe in a better future that epitomises the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Africa.

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