Urban Enclaving Futures


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Description of the project

UrbanEnclavingFutures explores and maps the unequal distribution of urban resources in separated spaces across the cities of Accra, Johannesburg and Maputo.

Picture of the so-called 'Oxford' types of houses in the Appolonia City close to Accra, Ghana. Image taken in November 2016.
Bjørn Enge Bertelsen


Urban Enclaving Futures is an interdisciplinary research project that explores and maps the unequal distribution of urban resources in separated spaces across cities. In exploring enclaving more broadly, we recognize that social actors co-produce and engage urban space.

Based on research in and on Accra, Johannesburg and Maputo we analyze enclaving as a globally emerging cultural orientation which create new social forms. By comparing enclaving in these cities, the project contributes to finding solutions for two key challenges of African urban development, namely housing and inequality.

The project engages with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Comparative methodological approach

Urban Enclaving Futures transcends the mere mapping of general enclaving patterns by applying a comparative methodological approach, in which the project divides between two subprojects (SP1 and SP2), three primary site teams (PSTs) and three metropolitan sites (MS).

The project's approach allows researchers to work in a cross-site fashion and for co-investigators, working together, to compare and juxtapose findings from SP1 (financing) and SP2 (inhabiting) as well as between MS1 (Accra), MS2 (Johannesburg) and MS3 (Maputo).