Social Design

The ANAM city urban design references Igbo aesthetic and spatial culture while regulating character and micro-climactic performance of urban spaces through form-based urban design guidelines and controls. Given that ANAM is a greenfield development, it is imperative that the character of the urban spaces – how they look and feel – reference traditional aesthetic values and spatial patterns. Culture is therefore legible in the image of the city, while simultaneously reinvented for the 21st century. Noting that shoddy and degraded buildings and environments devalue their urban context, high quality infrastructure and building construction will be demonstrated, promoted and supported by a culture of maintenance.

The key urban design strategies are to:

  1. Prioritize navigability and locatability: Among the challenges of most African cities is the difficulty inherent in finding a specific location within the city. While a rational street grid combined with designated addresses can help in this regard, uniformity can also make the city alienating. Consequently — as complement to rationalized urban morphology — micro-watersheds, new and existing waterways and water catchment ponds should inform the fundamental structure of urban districts and neighborhood communities.
  2. Maximize the public nature of all urban places: In order to safeguard the spirit of community living, any and all aspects of public urban space such as plazas, sidewalks, streets and parks, as well as their relationship to private buildings, should be organized so as to ensure a sense not only of order, but also inclusiveness.
  3. Encourage active streetscapes: Streets should be more than simple routes for circulation. They should perform additionally as conduits of the public sphere, places that foreground social interaction, commercial activity and the life of the city in the form of an outdoor and participatory theater.
  4. Promote optimized density of urban fabric: Relative adjacency of activities, buildings and networks of circulation is by definition central to production of an urban environment and can be balanced with the need for light and air. Both over-congestion and sprawl should be avoided.

Dr. Aloy
Anam City is a dynamic model for sustainable development that balances ecology with economic growth, delivers world-class quality of life across generations and leverages technology within the African culture of collective progress. The new city project is a collective effort of the greater Anam community in partnership with the Chife Foundation.