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Africapolis (English version): Urbanization study in West Africa (1950-2020)

Abstract : More than 2,558 agglomerations have been identified on the ground, although only those with more than 10,000 inhabitants were classified as ”urban” to ensure that the definition was comparable across the region. On the other hand, using available statistical data, we identified 160,000 towns and villages. This morphological database was cross-referenced with the results of the population censuses, starting with the present day and going as far back as possible given the sources available. The results of work of this kind can be extrapolated to the global level, with users benefiting from the heuristic advantages of such scaling. Part 1 sets out the documentary sources, definitions, and methodology used in the study, and makes comparisons with a range of earlier studies. Part 2 presents an analysis of the results. In parallel to the presentation of statistical data, the focus is on the processes and structures of urbanization. While urbanization in Africa is clearly evolving very rapidly, it is nonetheless important to understand that certain structures, put in place at different times or the result of simple, and often misunderstood, urban system's characteristics (for example, hierarchical distribution or the Law of Metropolization), can cause considerable inertia. Understanding the nature of this inertia allows us to better predict what will change and where it will change.
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Contributor : Eric Denis <>
Submitted on : Friday, March 13, 2009 - 10:28:43 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 5:14:07 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 11:09:29 AM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-00368181, version 1



François Moriconi-Ebrard, Eric Denis, Dominique Harre-Roger, Catherine Chatel, Ousmane Thiam, et al.. Africapolis (English version): Urbanization study in West Africa (1950-2020). 2008. ⟨halshs-00368181⟩



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