What is it about?
We analysed the footprint of millions of buildings in Africa, detected by Google AI, to model the shape of all its cities. We measured if cities are more elongated (like a sausage) or round and if cities are sprawled or compact. Cities that are elongated and with more sprawl have longer commuting distances, so they need more energy to sustain their daily activities.
Photo by Tom Podmore on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Cities in Africa will keep growing in the next few decades. Thus, planning better cities with shorter commuting distances (rounder and compact) will make them more livable and less pollutant. Due to the demographic expansion of the continent, some cities in Africa will be larger than Tokyo is today.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Scaling of the morphology of African cities, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, February 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2214254120.
You can read the full text:
Boosting African cities' resilience to climate change
A related article, where we analyse urban forms and green spaces
Mapping Territorial Transformations in Africa
OECD Website where we analyse the impact of urban forms
Open access dataset of urban form indicators
Linked dataset corresponding to all the highways in the continent. Data obtained from OpenStreetMap
Visualization of seven cities
Video with aerial photos and street-level images of seven cities in Africa.
The following have contributed to this page