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AFRICAN ARCHITECTURE AND T O W N P L A N N I N G K AT E R I N A S T I E H L O VA T U T; W I N T E R T E R M ; 2 0 1 3


Why I have choosen this two:

Both of them are quite similar in spatial solution – rooms are connected with gateways, only one family lives there, but there are some differnces.

A Round shapes:

practical matter – round shapes are easy to build with local materials (wooden sticks, clay, straw, animal feces etc.) • circle is a shape with a symbolical meaning (fire, family, closeness) • it is easy to add new rooms or houses • “The bigger the family, the larger the diameter of the circle.” •

Relations: • • •

every room has own construction, own „house“ and their are connected just with gateways spaces outide are very important, people spend a lot of time outside their houses inside rooms are usually used at night

B Adaptation to weather conditions:

the thickness of walls in each room differs – mainly it depends on need of heat protection – storages have thicker walls than kitchen because inside must be as much cold as possible • there are no windows and low entrances, just perforations to let the air go inside and outside • houses utilize surroundings – rocks could provide a shelter from the wind, also the location of rooms depends on the wind direction – kitchen is the last one •

ANALYSIS OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL HOUSES


House A:

House B:

just one entrance trought the men‘s room – he knows about every movement in the house • animals must go trought two rooms • man and woman are separated • kitchen is private space for woman but very far from other rooms • surrounding rocks provide shelter but they are not a part of the house • there are two verandas • location of rooms looks much more as a symbolical (human body) and traditional (separation, far kitchen) than practical

at first people enter the veranda and then the house man , woman and children are not separated • kitchen is private space for woman but very far from other rooms • surrounding rocks provide shelter and they are a part of the house – saving material • there are two rooms for animals – one is also accessible just trought common room inside the house, the other one has own access from veranda •

ANALYSIS OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL HOUSES


Brief evolution of houses

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Zemnice - „A house under ground“, 6th century AD

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ANALYSIS OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL HOUSES COMPARISON WITH CZECH RURAL HOUSES


Materials: • • •

trunks for timber-framed constructions collected stones later crushed stone and bricks

Main features:

protection mainly from the cold (first houses digged underground) spatial solution – at the beginnig everything (people, animals, food,…) under one roof in one room, later divided into three parts – living area, entrance, animals - but still under one roof; in european conditions that means saving material and a need to heat just one room • space under roof truss is used as a storage for hay, which works as an insulation in winter as well, in mountains houses were partly digged into the slope - insultation and straight access to the roof from sloping side in the back of the house • •

ANALYSIS OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL HOUSES COMPARISON WITH CZECH RURAL HOUSES


ANALYSIS OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL HOUSES OWN PROPOSAL OF IMPROVEMENT


Main ideas:

• material - wood, recycled bricks - bricks recycled from trash (picture below) • similar scheme to traditional house but in ortogonal shapes - better for brickwork, easy to build, less material than while using round shapes • natural system of air exchanging • water supply by qanat system - prividing water for long distances + cooling the air

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ANALYSIS OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL HOUSES OWN PROPOSAL OF IMPROVEMENT


Brief history of African cities Africa is a cradle of a human race. It had a great influence on the development of civilization, included the European one. If we are talking about Africa, we must take into account, that it is a huge continent with many people, many ethnic groups, languages and religion. For purpose of this work I am going to divided it into two parts – Arab world and Black Africa. The border between this two is desert Sahara. Nowadays it is a huge barrier, but it was not always like that. In the early days of human race it was a kind of bridge for trade, migration and sharing ideas. There are some archaeological evidence that about 5000 B.C. people were living in the Sahara region (paintings on the rocks - giraffes for example). These people were using stone tools and began to migrate while this area started to lose the fertility about 4000 B.C. These people were ancestors of Egyptians and their culture. After that, when this area become a desert, the barrier was created and both parts started to develop apart. I am going to focus on the Black Africa. As for urbanism this part of the world is considered as a land of tribes living in primitive houses, where cities were built by colonists. But this is not true. South from Sahara desert were kingdoms with high culture. Research in African languages proved that all of them are historically related, which means, that people were moving and spreading their culture - language, tools, art and general view of the world. By many evidence, for example language origins or art (symbols), we can say that both parts of Africa were act on each other and that it was not just one-way traffic in development. Very important role in early West Africa played a Nok culture. The Nok society was settled near the river Niger and sea shore (today Lagos). Nok culture, very mature culture, was probably the first iron-using community, with the fullest development in the last three centuries B.C.. Because of blooming agricultural hinterland and ability to use tools and weapons they became strong society with starting urban process. Their development was similar to the Western Sudan. The theory of town comes from near east – Mesopotamia, and spread trought Sudan to another cultures. Also because of trade both of these cultures started to forming states and cities with market squares, public buildings and streets. These people were also very skilflull in art (paintings, terra-cotta figures). Some of them lived in single houses, in villages or in cities. In these days the relation between towns and villages was very important. Villages were food producers for towns and they cannot exist without them. The Nok culture probably evolved into the later Yoruba culture, another very important society. The Yoruba ancient city was Ilfe-Ilfe with its golden age around 12th century. After that the Oyo Empire was the most powerfull Yoruba society between 1600-1800 CE. In medieval ages, before Europeans came, the towns and cities were centre of the authority. These settlements were also trade centres on important trade routes and all of them were extensive and walled. The spatial arrangement of those settlements depends on institution of kingship; the king’s buildings are in the middle, well protected, all roads lead to this place and people live as close to the king as they are important. Colonialism: for further development of whole continent had a great and fatal impact the colonialism. We could say that Black Africa is no more the same after the European invasion. The first Europeans came for spices and trade, but later, in the 16th century, their started to exploit the land as much as possible, goods and also people. The biggest impact had Portugal and Spain and they started to transfrom whole continent. African land was divided as a parts of Europaen states and kingdoms. Suddenly there was a need to create environment for Europeans. Indigenious citizens were considered as inferior race and they had to serve to the Europeans as a slaves. Religion was also a big problem because Cristian colonists started turning Africans to their faith and way of thinking, because it was considered as the only rigth way. Europanes also broke the balance between urban and rural by making people to work and live in cities. Each part of Africa was used for some special good; Congo = wood, Chad = cotton etc.. That caused that most people were working in this field and there was no appropriate food production and people had to move for work to cities. At the beginnig colonists took the most important places in original African cities (port, market) under their control. Lately the spatial separation of immigrants and indigenious citizens started. Rich colonist occupied the best places in the cities and Africans were moved to easy-and-fast growing parts mostly with grid structure. Big changes aslo came with industrialization - railway, electricity, new machines and later cars, planes, ships etc.. In the 1960’s most of countries became independent. After that colonial cities started to change - dwelling areas were growing, because of growing population and urban migration, and city centres started to use vertical spaces. These high structures replaced former centres. Another change was caused by cars and new traffic demands and route system was rebuild to suit for cars, not for pedestrians. Nowadays we can say that in cities south of the Africa are too many people in too small areas. The traditional way of considering streets as a place to meet, to chat, to sell things is not worknig with the huge traffic. Todays streets are more just a way to move from spot to spot than this original meeting place. Another big problem is a trash lying in the streets. [1] [2] [3]

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES BRIEF HISTORY OF AFRICAN URBANISM


African cities: 1. Indigenous - power (kingship), no ethnical diversity, no cultural, spatial diversity, walled, hierachy of houses - center=king, rural-urban balancy 2. Islamic (north of Sahara) - divided into quaters, 3 important places - mosque, market, Emir’s palace, empty place around mosque for praying 3. Colonial - administrative and trade centre for Europeans 4. European - all services for permanent European citizens 5. Dual city - indigenious and european cities are living their lives next to each other 6. Hybrid city - mixture of indigenious and european [1]

a AD M S EU grid

directions of spreading the (urban) culture in the early times of urbanization (5)

- administration - market - square - dwellings for Europeans - dwellings for Africans

b c

City developement: (6) a - Traditional walled settlement b - Colonial city - separation, best places for Europeans c - Post-Colonial city - growth

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES BRIEF HISTORY OF AFRICAN URBANISM


Congo Congo is a part of West Central Africa region. This region has very various climate as well as peoples. Over much of the region Bantu languages are spoken. Enviroment in Congo is also very diverse. In the north part there is equitorial climate with strong rainfall and dense forests. In the south we can find savanna region. A big impact on climate has Benguela Current. Due to this diversity the most of people (70%) lives between the sea and Brazzaville. [5] The first inhabitants were probably Late Stone Age hunter-gatherers of the central African rainforests, the Bambuti people. In several migration waves in the Iron Age migrants from West Africa or Sudan area were sent to find new homelands and to spread their culture trough forests of Congo basin. These agricultural people probably absorbed the first inhabitants and transmit their languages – Sudanic or Bantu. As a descendants of those are considered the Pygmies. Those people are unusually short, they are less than 150 cm tall. This feature is caused probably by low level of ultraviolet light in the rainforests or by low calcium level in the rainforest soil. We can found groups of these people all round the world, except Central Africa for example in Australia, Thailand, Indonesia or Brazil. The African ones live in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo (ROC), the Central African Republic, Cameroon, the Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia.[4] Those who came from Congo are Mbuti (or Bambuti) group from the Ituri rainforest. Those stone age people were lately replaced by Bantu people. Congo area was strongly influent by Nok culture and later by Yoruba people. The strongest Bantu tribe in this area was Kongo (Bakongo) and established several unstable kingdoms along the Kongo river. In early colonial times this area was colonised by the Portugueses in the end of 15th century. In the beginning the relation was benefical for both sides and Christianity was accepted easily and quickly became very popular. Congo was interesting for Europe for timber. The modern history of Congo begins in 1880, when French expolorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, born in Italy, signed a contract of friendship with the Makoko Iloo, the king of the Téké. By this treaty he established the French control over this region. The capital was made from small village Nkuna, later Brazzaville. Since then Congo went trought several revoltes against the rules, second world war, road to independence and after that, in 1960 Congo became finaly independent. In the beginning the democratic goverment was established but later on the there was a great impact of Soviet Union with its ideology. Congo went trought civil war, which ended about 2003 but still it is not a calm refion. Nowadays the country is struggling with poverty, growing popolation, crime and many other problems. [1] [4] [5]

Mission in Brazzaville (9)

Republic of Congo (7)

Colonialism in Africa (8)

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES BRIEF HISTORY OF CONGO


Brazzaville It is the largest city of the Republic of the Congo with population almost 2 milions people. With the Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo on the other side of Congo river, creates the conurbation of 12 milions inhabitants. The capital was established in 1880 as mentioned before. In the begining, as a small village, was under Portugese rule, later under French. During the time it was the capital of French Kongo or French Equatorial Africa. Very important was the railway conection with Point-Noire in 1924. It was a revolution of architecture and many people were working on this huge project. I these days people were moving from countryside to city for work in factories or as workers on big projects. Under the colonial rule the city went trought development typical for other colonial cities. The most attractive parts of the city, the river shore for example, were taken by Europeans. We can recoognise strong spatial separation between indigenious citizens and immigrants. The traffiic system is subordinate to cars. [1] [4] [5]

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Public space: With the invention of a car the public space changed a lot in cities all over the world. All traffic system was subordiante to it, a huge highways trouhgt cities were built, some historical building or whole parts were destroyed. Streets became just way how to move from spot to spot more than a place for meeting other people. In my opinnion this need to meet other people in the street is very strong in Africa, stronger than in Europe. For African people the street is same, maybe more, important than their house, because everything happens at the street. People are meeting each other, chating, selling things. From photos we can see that in Brazzaville, as well as in other big cities, people are mixing with cars. The separation to road and payvement is not really accepted. Trash, mainly packages, plastic bags or bottles, is everywhere.

Public transport: There is no regular network of public transport. Instead of this there are small private buses, quite cheap and safe.

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Poto-Poto: It is a quater in Brazzaville, established for African inhabitants. There is a regular grid system od street, very easy to create. Streets are mostly unpaved, about 10 metres wide and unnamed. People are orienteated by activites which happnes around more than by names of streets. But still there are several main roads; Avenue de la Paix, Avenue des Trois Martyrs, Rue Mbochi, Rue de MayaMaya, Rue Itoumbi - these three are named by ethnic groups living in Brazzaville.

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PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES BRIEF HISTORY OF BRAZZAVILLE; POTO-POTO


PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES INSPIRATION - VICTORIA OKOYE - ACCRA


Inspiration:

Victoria Okoye photographer and journlist dealing with public space in Accra, Ghana Community development, urbanism and communications professional. Expertise using media and participatory planning to document community development challenges and to inform and shape interventions. Demonstrated experience expanding community voice in planning and development processes through journalism, participatory planning/stakeholder outreach/engagement, mapping and data visualization tools. Professional experience managing and collaborating on interventions at urban, community, and rural scales in West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana) in the following areas: + + + + +

water, sanitation and hygiene urban transportat/land use arts/cultural development and public spaces tourism promotion urban economic development

Those pictures are photos and ideas of Victoria Okoye how to deal with public space in Accra. She is using very simple and cheap methodes how to work and improve spaces in cities. She tries to pull in inhabitants to participate and to help to create their own better surroundings. (13)

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES INSPIRATION - VICTORIA OKOYE - ACCRA


TRADE In Africa everything happens in the street. it is not just a way to go somewhere but it is mainly a place to meet people, to sell things, to find everything you need for life. Trade and bussines is very important and a way how to make a living for lot of Africans. Doesn’t really matter how the kiosk looks like, it could be a shelter, umbrella and table or just a ground. Marketplaces are the arteries of cities and social life. (14)

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES ANALYSING PUBLIC SPACES BY PICTURES


MEETING OTHERS The street is the place where you go when you want to meet your friends, have a beer or just to have a rest and read a book. It is not a cafe or restaurant or some place inside buildings. If you are sitting in the street you are a part of it, you can watch what happens around and vice versa everybody can see you and meet you.

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PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES ANALYSING PUBLIC SPACES BY PICTURES


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PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES ANALIYING PUBLIC SPACES BY PICTURES


(16)

Streets in Brazzaville : dust, trash, mixing cars and people, very active street live CARS AND EUROPEAN IMPACT The invetion of car was almost disaster for public spaces in towns and cities not just in Africa but all over the world. As we can see from pictures dividing a street to places for pedestrians (sidewalks), cars (roadways) and even green stripes to separate buildings from street is not really working. In thi solution cars are prioritized, sidewalks are too small and generally streets are considered as a way from place to place not as a space for social live. Nowadays we cannot live without cars and we have to take them into account while dealing with public spaces. I am afraid that we are not able to change or destroy highways and huge roads but we can change smaller and ordinary sreets. We should focuse on priority of pedestrians and try to keep the streets clean. I think that very important is to pull in inhabitants themselves and arouse their interest

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In comparasion with cities street life in villages is very natural and undisturbed. But there are aslo less people and especially there are fewer cars. Streets could be than unpaved. Inhabitants also create closer community, wich is interested in its surroundings, so people take care of their village, deal with trash and keep it clean.

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES ANALIYING PUBLIC SPACES BY PICTURES


Basic ideas:

In this work I am trying to focus in understanding how African street spaces works and how to help to improve the enviroment of streets but not withe typical European way of thinking. Due to this I have collected more ideas, inspiration and principles than real propsal. I belive, that to understand this topic deeply to be able to make a functional proposal, I should live in Africa at least several months. For my work I have chosen Rue Mbochi in Poto-Poto, because I would like to make a proposal with small changes, wich is cheap and easy to make for inhabitants themselves. I believe that cooperation with inhabitants is very important and with their help it could really works. Problems I see: • dust - streets are not paved wich can cause breathing difficulties, unpaved streets are not a good solution in streets where cars go • trash - tones of trash are produced each day and it is hard to get rid of it, streets sometimes serve as a trash bins • street equipement - if there is any, it is ugly and “inhuman” • people and cars together - there is still a feeling that cars are superior Ideas: • paving the streets by recycled bricks - those bricks are made from old damaged bricks or trash, by this solution we can deal with two things in one way - all the trash fom streets can by recycled to bricks, it is possible to use some motivation system to make people to put the trash into big containers - lower taxes for example - or using another typ of paving but not asphalt • street equipment wich can serve to all activities - meeting, selling, playground for children, bus stop, shelter in one structure • pedestrians are superior - streets are made mainly for pedestrians, who have a preference, I think that people and cars could be mixing in the streets without any spatial separation (road/pavement), but it is imortant to know the preferences, supporting the public transport instead of individual (cars) transport could be aslo useful - again by taxes or possibility to share a car, chepaer public transport in comparasion to having a car etc. • keeping the street line - if the street is straight it is easier for orientation, empty spaces between houses on the street line can be filled by public spaces -- playground, benches, small market etc. • trees - shadow, cleaning the air, public food production (fruit) • solar energy - sollar cells on the roofs of those mixed-use structures mentioned above can provide energy for public lights in the night or other public services (hospitals etc.), nowadays those solar systems are not too expensive and specialy in Africa according to climate could be very useful • shaping roofs and street pavement for catching the rainwater - reuse (splashing, gardening)

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PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES POTO-POTO RUE MBOCHI : MAIN IDEAS


MASTERPLAN SKETCH

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES POTO-POTO RUE MBOCHI : MAIN IDEAS


COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS In my opinnion for public space is most important how people, who are using it, are taking care of it. It is not just duty of municipality or goverment to keep streets and all spaces clean, it is also duty of inhabitants. My suggestion is to hold workshops in poor quaters where people could learn how to reuse trash and old things and how to make better their enviroment and be active in using public space, not just pasive. I think that some parts of big cities can work as villages.

Propsal for “Bus stop” - place to meet, talk, play, sell, whatever • recycled bricks, clay, wood - cheap, easy to built • solar cells on the roof, pipe and reservoir underground to catch rainwater • seats in circle - playing games, chating, swings - children, table for selling, seat on the side for rearing, having a rest

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES POTO-POTO RUE MBOCHI : MAIN IDEAS


Public lamps: I think that there is no sense to designe some special lamp for serial production. it is more important to designe something cheap and working. I am thinking about lamps made by things lying around - old tires, old lamps from rich city centre, old bicycle etc. I was inspired by lamp designed by Matteo Ferroni.

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PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES POTO-POTO RUE MBOCHI : MAIN IDEAS


new pavement, different pavement for crossing - more like a sign for pedestrians than for drivers, this crossing is connecting something important - shop and “bus stop”, steet = river - crossing = stones

(20) old bike can be reused

(21) recycled trash Raphia Palm

Kigelia Africana

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES POTO-POTO RUE MBOCHI : FEATURES


PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES POTO-POTO RUE MBOCHI : PERSPECTIVE


night time - providing a light by solar energy collected during the day

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES POTO-POTO RUE MBOCHI : “BUS STOP”


Literature: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

lectures of Mr. Marie-Alphonse Liwata DATUTOP 2. SOYEMI, Tunde. History of urban culture in Africa South of the Sahara. Tampere:TUT, Finland, 1982 MONROE, J., Cameron. Urbanism on West Africa’s Slave Coast: Archaeology sheds new light on cities in the era of the Atlantic slave trade. internet page, October 2011, date of use 12.10.2013, http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/feature/urbanism-on-west-africas-slave-coast/ WIKIPEDIA. org, date of use 12.10.2013 MURRAY, Jocelyn. Cultural Atlas of Africa, Phaidon, Oxford, 1981

Pictures: (1) (2) (3) (4)

ALEF JO company. arch. Erik Ivančík. date of use 12.10.2013. http://alefjo.com/sk/projekty/pripravovane-filmy/cyril-a-metod/architektonicke-navrhy UJEP. Student portal. date of use 12.10.2013. http://pf.ujep.cz/~velimskyt/pravek/08laten/08laten.htm WIKIPEDIA. org. date of use 12.10.2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooler MATUS, Morgana. Indian Researchers Create Low-Cost Bricks From Recycled Paper Mill Waste, INHABITAT, internet page, 31.1.2013, date of use 12.10.2013. http://inhabitat.com/researchers-in-india-create-low-cost-bricks-from-recycled-paper-mill-waste/ (5) DATUTOP 2. SOYEMI, Tunde. History of urban culture in Africa South of the Sahara. Tampere:TUT, Finland, 1982, page 2 (6) DATUTOP 2. SOYEMI, Tunde. History of urban culture in Africa South of the Sahara. Tampere:TUT, Finland, 1982, page 62 (7) SOUTH AFRICAN HISTORY ONLINE. date of use 12.10.2013. http://www.sahistory.org.za/places/republic-congo-0 (8) HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE 20th CENTURY online. date of use 12.10.2013. http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/maplinks.htm (9) WIKIPEDIA. org. date of use 12.10.2013. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mission_catholique_de_Brazzaville_-_le_roi_Makoko_-_Soci%C3%A9t%C3%A9_de_G%C3%A9ographie_(1907).jpg (10) EARTH OBSERVATORY, NASA org. date of use 12.10.2013. http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/4000/4329/ISS007-E-6305.jpg (11) NATION MASTER com date of use 12.10.2013. http://www.nationmaster.com/country/cf-congo-republic-of-the (12) ATHAIA online. date of use 12.10.2013. http://athaia.org/congo-republic-of-the-map.html (13) FLICKER page of Victoria Okoye. date of use 12.10.2013. (14) photos of Mr. Marie-Alphons Liwata. date of use 20.10.2013. (15) VisitCapitalCity.com. date of use 12.10.2013. http://www.visitcapitalcity.com/africa/brazzaville-republic-of-the-congo (16) date of use 12.10.2013. http://tomtobback.tripod.com/congo/pics.html (17) TREK EARTH.com. date of use 12.10.2013. http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Africa/Zambia/West/North-Western/luanga_valley/photo21195.htm (18) GOOGLE MAPS. date of use 12.10.2013. (19) FERRONI, Matteo. date of use 12.10.2013. http://www.studiomatteoferroni.com/search/label/Foroba%20Yelen (20) FLICKER.com. date of use 12.10.2013. (21) MATUS, Morgana. Indian Researchers Create Low-Cost Bricks From Recycled Paper Mill Waste, INHABITAT, internet page, 31.1.2013, date of use 12.10.2013. http://inhabitat.com/researchers-in-india-create-low-cost-bricks-from-recycled-paper-mill-waste/

PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES LIST OF SOURCES, LITERATURE, PICTURES


PUBLIC SPACES IN AFRICAN CITIES KATERINA STIEHLOVA; TUT; WT 2013

STUDY OF AFRICAN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SPACES by Katerina STIEHLOVA  

2013-Student project...Tampere University of Technology, School of Architecture...Seminar of African Architecture and Urban Planning, direct...

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