Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10216/79295
Author(s): Ana Silva Fernandes
Augusto Nascimento
Title: 'Dream cities' in Africa: polemics around Expu Gongá, the 'New City of São Tomé'
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: In the African archipelago of São Tomé and Príncipe, a new project announced an urban revolution: involved in polemics, the Expu Gongá - a private development by the Chinese group Guangxi Hidroeclectric Contruction Bureau and the Angolan company Investimentos e Projectos Angolanos, with public participation -, if confirmed, would be located in the outskirts of the capital city and occupy 210 hectares of land, in a 58-month construction process of 300 million dollars of investment.In a country of around 187.000 inhabitants, two thirds of which living below the poverty line and in precarious dwelling conditions, and where housing policies hardly contribute to tackling the needs of the low-income population, the prospect of a 'new beginning' appears fascinating. The long-desired house in a brand new 'dream city' - picture profoundly imprinted in the imaginary of a society to which much if often denied - is here advertised by the developers as finally possible, both for the upper and middle classes and for the low-budget families.Nevertheless, while some see this project as the ultimate opportunity of modernization, critics arise to the process (a twenty-five-day competition for a proposal for both design and construction), the adequacy to the demand and the indifference to the problems within the existing urban areas. Furthermore, recent experiences of current housing provision - both in São Tomé and Príncipe and other African territories -, when not accompanied by careful economic support, have often proved incapable of reaching the lower-income populations, therefore perpetuating the inadequate living conditions of the most needed.The future of this specific project is still uncertain: as the government changed, the new political decision-makers have announced that this process is to be suspended. Nevertheless, rather than discussing the content of the proposal or its future, this paper aims at debating the process, the social aspirations and representations, as well as the political background, that have created the conditions for this process to take place and that have shaped the discourses around it.
Subject: Políticas urbanas, Artes, Artes
Urban policy, Arts, Arts
Scientific areas: Humanidades::Artes
Humanities::Arts
URI: https://repositorio-aberto.up.pt/handle/10216/79295
Source: Proceedings: Optimistic Suburbia - Large Housing Complexes for the middle-class beyond Europe
Document Type: Artigo em Livro de Atas de Conferência Internacional
Rights: openAccess
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Appears in Collections:FAUP - Artigo em Livro de Atas de Conferência Internacional

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