Displaceable mobility: movement and class formation on the peripheries of Addis Ababa with Tom Goodfellow, University of Sheffield, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

28 Octobre, 2021 - 17:30 - 19:15

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Since the mid-2000s, the Ethiopian government has rolled out one of Africa’s largest publicly-funded housing programmes, with hundreds of thousands of units in Addis Ababa alone. Many of the earliest clusters of condominium apartments were in central areas of the city, but increasingly these developments are mushrooming in the urban periphery, transforming the fringes of the city and feeding into a complex politics of land and new spatializations of socioeconomic difference. This has resulted in highly diverse communities that share the same peripheral geography but highly differentiated levels of socio-economic exclusion and mobility. People displaced both from rural farmland and urban slums are sucked into these new peripheries, where they find themselves often able to access some of the benefits of ‘modern’ urban life but in other respects highly constrained in their ability to exercise control over their everyday social and physical mobility. Examining the relationship between physical mobility and social mobility, this paper argues that new social class identities are not simply about being mobile, but relate to the ability to control one’s mobility both physically and imaginatively.


Tom Goodfellow, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield

Tom Goodfellow's research concerns the comparative political economy of urban development in Africa, with particular interests in the politics of urban informality, urban conflict and violence, urban infrastructure, transport and housing. His work focuses primarily on Eastern Africa, though he has conducted research in Nigeria as well as Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Tanzania. He is co-author of Cities and Development (Routledge 2016), a Trustee of the IJURR Foundation and sits on the Editorial Board of African Affairs.


Marco Garrido, University of Chicago

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