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ARCH 603 – Zooming In & Out: Postcolonial Accra and Cities of the Global South


Cities in the Global South developed at an accelerated pace in the second half of 20th century. This development included not only their rapid growth, the restructuring of their economies, and radical shifts in everyday lives of large population groups, but also an unprecedented internationalization and diversification of actors in charge of urban planning. In the course of the Cold War, planners and advisors were arriving to the newly decolonizing countries from both sides of the Cold War conflict, in particular Eastern Europe, but also from countries of the Non-Aligned Movement, and international organizations (the World Bank, United Nations). The study of these complex trajectories of global knowledge transfers faces specific challenges, including the fragmentation of documents, often dispersed and sometimes destroyed, which make comparison difficult. In turn, planning documents in themselves require new tools of research and analysis, as they typically consist of a large number of drawings and sets of data, including numerical data.

This course will be based on a combination of lectures and discussions of texts and research-based group work. It will end with an exhibition and an online publication (for an example, see here). It will draw on GIS at Michigan resources. 


Wed 9:00am-12:00pm 3146 A&AB


Lukasz Stanek


Course Brief