We’re delighted that you’ve decided to join our membership base of individuals, organisations and communities committed to advancing knowledge and sharing resources regarding public spaces in Africa.

Thank you for taking the time to complete our member registration form. The information you share here will help connect you to other like-minded public space advocates, community activists, urban practitioners and planners, placemakers and scholars and will support us in growing a robust network. In the interest of building connections, please do consider adding a photograph of yourself.

To support you in completing the form please see below the outline of the topics and workstreams identified as key to the strategic development of the Centre on African Public Spaces (CAPS).

Topics or Thematic Areas
CAPS has identified thematic areas/topics in which we will be initiating and or supporting existing Communities of Practice (CoPs). Given the current climate crisis and the high percentage of youth in Africa, all the CoP’s will include a lens that highlights climate action and youth inclusion. These CoP’s will comprise of African public space stakeholders and include but are not limited to the following:

  1. African Placemaking: aims to extend the reach of the Nairobi Placemaking Network and involve additional African cities, to activate an African-wide Placemaking Network. The network focuses on connecting placemakers across the Continent fostering the development of home-grown public space solutions that are: people-led, inclusive, tailored to local needs, sustain local dynamics, and designed for community benefits.
  2. Cities for All: focusses on the principle of Universal Design (inclusive design that aims to ensure that city public spaces are accessible to people irrespective of their age, size, ability, or disability.)
    • Age-friendly Cities is aligned with the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities network and focuses on initiatives that identify and address barriers to the well-being and participation of older people living in cities.
    • Child-centred Cities aligns with the UNICEF Child-Friendly Cities initiative and has a specific focus on identifying and addressing the needs of children in urban spaces.
  3. Creative Cities: incorporates all initiatives that focus on including and building creativity and cultural industries within cities. It also aims to connect to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network that promotes cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban spaces.
  4. Nature-based Solutions: refers to the sustainable management and use of natural features, processes, urban ecosystems and green spaces to tackle socio-environmental issues. Included in this topic is climate crisis (mitigation and adaptation), water security (rivers and wetlands) food security, urban forestry, urban parks, preservation of biodiversity, and disaster risk reduction.
    • Urban Forestry: highlights issues pertaining to the greening, management, and reforestation of urban spaces with a focus on community forestry.
    • River and Wetland regeneration: explores how waterways can serve as important public spaces that offer a wide range of benefits for communities, including recreation, natural beauty, cultural heritage, education, ecological services, social gathering, and environmental justice.
  5. Safer Cities: focuses on how the design, management, and use of public spaces can significantly influence perceptions of safety and actual levels of security within urban environments.
  6. Urban Health: focuses on how design, accessibility, and quality of public spaces in urban areas directly impact the health and well-being of residents.
  7. Urban Informality: focusses on all initiatives that target and address the needs of those who live or work outside of formal structures (informal workers and slum dwellers). It recognizes that informal settlements serve as crucial hubs for social interaction, economic activities, and access to services, highlighting the intertwined relationship between urban informality and public space.
  8. Urban Mobility: responds to the diverse mobility needs of urban citizens as they relate to public spaces, exploring how people move in and through cities. It includes a focus on both modes of transport (e.g., walking, cycling, and public transit), and the spatial arrangement of these modes in urban settings.

In your registration form, you will be asked to select the topic/s that are best aligned to your work/interest in African public spaces.

The work of CAPS is divided into 4 streams. You may be working across several of these streams are only in one of them. Please find below a brief description of each of the 4 workstreams to assist you in deciding under which stream your work falls.

  • Strengthening Public Sector Capacity. This workstream includes all efforts that contribute to enabling city authorities to collaboratively envision, plan, design, maintain and manage public spaces in an inclusive manner.
  • Engaged and Active Communities. This workstream focuses on all initiatives that support active civil society organisations and communities to lead, advocate for and take ownership of public spaces.
  • Cross-sectoral and Transdisciplinary Research and Teaching. The key objective of this workstream is to create accessible cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and teaching on African public spaces.
  • Knowledge Exchange. This workstream aims to facilitate a multi-stakeholder knowledge exchange that focuses on the experience, home-grown solutions and lessons from formal and informal public space role-players and knowledge sources.

We look forward to co-creating human(e) centred African Cities with you.

Register now