This book shows for the first time how green infrastructure can work in an African urban context. On one level it provides a major rethinking of the role of infrastructure in urban society since the creation of networked infrastructure in the early twentieth century. On another, it explores the changing paradigms of urban development through the fundamental question of how decisions are made.With a focus on Africa's fast-growing secondary towns, where 70 per cent of the urban population live, the book explains how urban infrastructure provides the key to the relationship between economic development and social equity, through the mediation of natural resources. Adopting this view enables investment to be channelled more effectively to provide the engine for economic growth, while providing equitable services for all residents. At the same time, the mediation of resource flows integrates the metabolism of the city into the wider ecosystem. This vision leads to a new way of thinking about infrastructure, giving clear definition to the concept of green infrastructure.Indigenous solutions are needed to address the failure of urban development in Africa, which is due, in large measure, to the use of inappropriate western development models. The history of control over Africa's intellectual space by western countries and external agencies continues through current planning methodologies and the influence of international organisations. Addressing the issue of how Africans regain control is a pre-requisite to tackling the decisions that define Africa's long-term development.On the basis of research gathered throughout an extensive career, John Abbott draws in particular from his experience in Ethiopia to demonstrate the ways in which infrastructure needs to respond to the economies, societies and natural environments of twenty-first century urban Africa.

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