By 2030, more than half of African residents will be living in cities. These cities are being built, in large part, by China—from major roads to government buildings, apartment towers, and sports stadiums.
Since the 1980s, more than 500 million Chinese moved from the countryside to urban centers. While Chinese cities have problems with over congestion, pollution, and shoddy construction, there’s much Africa can learn from the Asian giant. And more African architects and designers can have a hand in the design and construction of the continent’s new cities.
Christian Benimana, a Rwandan architect with MASS Design Group, is leading this effort with a new design and architecture school in Kigali in hopes of training a generation of African architects to guide the continent’s massive population and urbanization boom.
Benimana spent eight years studying architecture in Shanghai, and learned a lot about what African cities should emulate and reject from China. […]