Unlocking Africa's Urban Potential: Improving Informal Settlements through Sustainable Planning

As Africa experiences rapid urban growth, this webinar will shed light on best practices for managing informal settlements and expanding sustainably.

date & time
22 Nov 2023, 4:30PM UTC
hosted by
C40 Cities
a screenshot of the C40 webinar on informal settlements and sustainable planning in africa

Africa is experiencing unprecedented urbanization--through natural population growth, economic migration, climate-induced migration, and other factors--with a population expected to reach 1.5 billion inhabitants by 2050. Urbanization in and of itself is not necessarily a problem but this rapid urban growth has given rise to numerous challenges, notably the expansion of informal settlements where often vulnerable communities lack access to quality basic services and infrastructure. Three years ago, it was estimated that 230 million (50.2%) of Africa’s urban population lived informal settlements. From an equity, social justice, climate resilience, and socio-economic development perspective, it is imperative to upgrade existing informal settlements and provide quality housing to a growing urban population through sustainable planning strategies and mainstreaming climate action into urban development.

This webinar, hosted by UrbanShift and C40's Land Use Planning Network, aims to shed light on the complexities of urban growth in Africa, with a particular emphasis on informal settlements. We will delve into the experiences of two cities: Freetown, Sierra Leone & Durban, South Africa, sharing their approaches to tackling informal settlements and fostering sustainable urban development.


  • Robert Lewis-Lettington, Head of Housing, Land and Slum Upgrading at UN-Habitat
  • Alice Kaumba, Senior Manager Land Use Planning at C40 Cities
  • Modupe Williams, Integrated Municipal Expert, Freetown City Council
  • Claire Norton, Senior Manager: Land Use Management, eThekwini Development Planning, Environment and Management Unit
  • Viola Follini, Project Manager, UrbanShift at C40 Cities