Urban design as a tool for re-imaging a capital city : planning Conakry, Guinea after independence
Author(s)Czysz, Jennifer (Jennifer Lynn), 1973-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Lawrence J. Vale.
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Guinea, unlike any other French colony in West Africa, had refused assistance from the French in transitioning to an independent nation. As a result much of what the French had created began to decay lying unused by the new nation and abandoned by the French, leaving behind what were described as ghosts. These ghosts were abandoned buildings and railways throughout the country. There were other ghosts besides the abandoned infrastructure of the French. They had in fact influenced the shape of cities and architecture. In this research I intend to answer the following question: How does a newly independent former colonial capital city use urban design plans to create a new image representing the new nation? To answer this question I will explore the attempts of Conakry, Guinea to use an urban design plan (1963) to redistribute land and resources to create a new post independence image. This question thus entails an analysis of intentions. What actions did the plan propose to create a unique image of a capital city in an independent nation opposed to a colonial territory? How were the political, social and economic ideals of the new nations represented in the design? To understand the design plan I first examine Guinea and Conakry's historical past to gain an understanding of the existing conditions at independence. I then explore the theory of creating a national image, African responses to independence and several case studies in order to understand common trends and the process of re-imaging a post-independence capital city. Analysis of the 1963 urban design plan for Conakry reveals four large gestures that were to create a post-independence image for the city. First, the plan decentralized the urban and political city centers. Second, circulation focused on developing connections within the City opposed to creating a flow toward the port and out of the City. Third, public services were to be distributed equally throughout the City for all citizens. Lastly, the City was to become homogeneous, where all people were equal, and segregation ceased to exist.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2001."June 2001."Includes bibliographical references (leaves 132-136).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.