A book reflecting a University of Cape Town (UCT) academic’s research into the lives of people living in Rwanda more than two decades after the 1994 genocide has been named the winner of the Book Award in the Environmental Design Research Association’s (EDRA) 2019 Great Places Awards.
The Great Places Awards recognise work that combines expertise in design, research and practice that contributes to creating dynamic humane places that engage attention and imagination. The EDRA is dedicated to promoting research, teaching and practice that furthers the understanding between people, their built environments and natural eco-systems.
Titled Interpreting Kigali, Rwanda: Architectural Inquiries and Prospects for a Developing African City, the book explores the challenges and opportunities that exist in planning, designing and constructing a healthy, equitable and sustainable Kigali.
Co-authored by Professor Tomá Berlanda from UCT’s School of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics, in collaboration Professor Korydon Smith from Buffalo University in the United States, the book reflects Berlanda’s teaching in and research on Rwanda.
It poses the question: What is an authentic-yet-modern, prosperous-yet-feasible African city, Rwandan city? And with one billion people living in informal settlements worldwide, Interpreting Kigali also presents proposals and suggestions on how to further develop neighbourhoods in Kigali’s informal settlements.
Berlanda’s research and the lessons learned in Rwanda provide a complex, fascinating and urgent study for scholars and practitioners across disciplines and around the world.
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