Through Local Eyes – International Conference (29 – 31 October 2018)

The HABITER center is part of the organizing team of conference “Through Local Eyes: Place-based approaches to emerging architectural, urban design and planning challenges in Africa and the Global South”.

The conference is a joint initiative of research groups working in the Université libre de Bruxelles, the University of Addis Ababa and the Université de Liège, and will take place at the UNCC-AA, the UN-ECA’s Conference Center, in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), from the 29th to the 31th October 2018.

Our conference is conceived as a platform for researchers, PhD students, academics, decisions makers and practitioners whose work engage local approaches to the built environment at different scales in the Global South and in particular in Africa.

We encouraged contributions developing place-based approaches to emerging architectural, urban design and planning challenges in Africa and the Global South, with a twofold objective. First, to explore the possibility of overcoming Western-based dominant approaches to urban planning and development, testing alternative visions and paradigms. Second, to question the tendency towards replicating and reproducing of strategies borrowed from metropolitan contexts to different urban settings, especially allegedly backward territories. We particularly appreciated contributions that are based on an empirical confrontation with reality and that aim to:

  1. singling out site-based local/urban practices and development strategies, emphasizing their adaptation/conformity/proximity to their specific geographic setting (rural, suburban, urban, metropolitan, …);
  2. challenging the assumptions of modernist and/or dominant architectural and planning theories and their use in situations radically different from those for which such theories were devised in the first place;
  3. testing and formulating new and unforeseen concepts, theories, research paradigms stemming from the specific “urbanities” of Africa and the Global South.

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