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The Role of Architecture in Shaping a Sustainable African Future

The Role of Architecture in Shaping a Sustainable African Future

When we think of migration, we think of movement. We think of the movement of people simply looking for greener pastures – a better life for themselves. But we also think of war, of conflict, of an unstable situation in a specific place forcing the hand of a location’s residents to seek safety elsewhere. Historically and into present day, war has been the reason for the increased presence of refugees. Instability in places such as Syria, Iraq, or the Central African Republic have caused millions to flee their homes. Lurking amongst this migration due to conflict, however, is the migration of people at mercy of the changing environmental conditions of the Earth – climate migration.

Island nations such as Kiribati in the Central Pacific are bearing the brunt of this climate change - as extreme rises in sea levels sees homes destroyed, leaves people without livelihoods, and makes places which people have lived in for generations inhospitable. Architectural interventions are made, such as walls built out of stone and driftwood to withstand the frequent storm surges, but it is far from enough. Estimates are that in the next 30 or 40 years, Kiribati could be underwater. This is just one example of the perilous state a lot of nations around the world are in due to climate change, a state that has worldwide implications on the urban quality of cities around the world as movement between cities and countries continues to increase.

While it is island nations like Kiribati that have arguably received the larger share of global attention in regards to climate change, the effect of climate change on the African continent is given less of a spotlight on the world stage.

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