It is fairly obvious how a rigid infrastructure — the interstate highway system, for instance — can allow the architect some measure of influence, while also being appropriated by the people of a city1.  But to combine appropriate and influence within a project that is less rigidly defined (given that rigid definition typically comes at the expense of the homes of the poor) is considerably more difficult.  Appropriate is not difficult to imagine — that might be the core of being less rigidly defined, in fact — but what/where is the space for influence?  In particular, where is the space for generative influence, an influence that gives more positive shape to the coming city?  Should that be abandoned as too hubristic?

Or does the infrastructure take various forms, reacting to the degree and kind of influence that is desirable?  More rigid, more generative in the portions of the city inhabited by those with the wealth, time, and ability to influence the placement of the infrastructure as it is designed, while more flexible, less controlled, placement and deployment driven more by the needs and whims of the inhabitants in the musseques?  This would suggest at least two cases: the musseques and the city-center (or ocean-side strip).

[1] An example:

“But the breakthrough came when he noticed that these self-organizations from the informal Alaba Market to the sea of informal traders around the trains and highways are completely dependent on the formal infrastructure of the modernist infrastructure of the 60’s and 70’s.”






2. UN FAO Africa water maps (precipitation, evapotranspiration, etc. — not terribly detailed)

These are old, but fantastic (especially the map of industries, which I could see being altered to reflect current reality and future infrastructures, as a diagram).

Link to source (UT-Austin).





brkt: luanda images

November 28, 2008

The Luanda Wiki page has some nice hi-res views
link to google map of Luanda with images

Some standouts from the google map I’d like to keep track of:

aerial 1

a couple more:

dry lake:
this is not a good source of drinking water:

brkt: luanda videos

November 28, 2008

has HQ version @ youtube


great, but skip the first 3:40


awesome, and HQ version @ youtube


this is probably enough for now, there are a ton more – especially ones from windows of hotels, and on taxis.