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Book chapter - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Constructing alternative spatialities in Kampala City

Namuganyi, Lilian; Johansson, Rolf


Central Kampala, like many colonial cities, was modelled on modernist planning ideals of functionalism and visual aesthetics of science, logic, and order, to be reflected in its physical form, its life and functioning, and in its citizenry. These ideals pre-supposed a formal, elite, un-emotive and logical being, with a Western outlook, as opposed to cultural man that assigned meaning to place. The modernist city resisted alternative spatialities by enforcing strict planning and zoning laws, which assigned functions and people to specific areas in the city, directed public life, and excluded people who did not fit the definition of modernist citizenry. But by subverting these laws in countless ways, the previously fringe city in all its diversity embedded itself in the space of modernist Kampala, becoming ever more central, and making of the modernist city something other than its surface presentation. An ethnographic study explores how two people from alternative poles encounter the city, negotiate its rules, and construct different spatialities out of diverse but interconnected practices in the space of the one physical city. It emerges that these practices which are often invisible and fluid, are of a more complex logic and order than has previously been acknowledged and that the physical, functionalist, city is but only a medium for those diverse practices. 
Keywords: Public Space, Kampala, Diversity, Spatialities, Urban Practices


Public Space, Kampala, Diversity, Spatialities, Urban Practices

Published in

Book title: Urban sustainability: innovative spaces, vulnerabilities and opportunities
ISBN: 978-84-9812-243-5
Publisher: Institute of psychological studies and research

Authors' information

Namuganyi, Lilian
Makerere University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development

UKÄ Subject classification

Landscape Architecture

URI (permanent link to this page)