Luanda Mapping - A Southern African Megalopolis with Unlimited Potential | The Plan
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Luanda Mapping - A Southern African Megalopolis with Unlimited Potential

After a brief sortie into the Far East where we stopped over in Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo, this time we are going to the African continent, to Luanda, the capital of Angola in Southern Africa. The continent of Africa is a vast region of very different landscapes and territories. But there is one common denominator throughout: the huge drive to transformation and development. In recent years increasingly widespread modernisation has had both positive and negative knock-on effects. As a result we are seeing the creation of increasingly complex and mature megacities.
In the case of Angola’s capital, for example, population growth in the next twenty years is forecast at 100%. That means Luanda’s population, today around 6,5 million, will double by 2030. As usual the city of Luanda is described in five GIS-based maps. The first (population) map provides the blueprint for understanding the other four (topography, services distribution, public transport density, and greenery).
The population distribution map shows clearly that unlike almost all cities investigated in the last two years, Luanda has a densely populated centre. This is a legacy of its 30-year civil war, when people from outlying villages crowded for safety to the heart of the city.
More recently the city has extended outwards as a fast-growing ring of slum settlements which have overrun the outer ring road and distending the city’s footprint.
In addition, there have been several large-scale public housing developments. The road system converges markedly on the hub and is dissected by Catete Road which connects the city centre with its hinterland. Substantial voids in the infrastructure grid show that many of the city’s communities have not been supplied with an adequate road network, another indication of rapid, unplanned urban over-spill.
 The contour map shows that much of Luanda sits on a plateau with depressions along river courses. The rest of...

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