José Luis SAN EMETERIO, Université de Paris, France
François MORICONI-EBRARD, CNRS, France
Hervé GAZEL, Université de Lyon 3, France
Rémi PASCAL, Geopolis Institut, France
Luana NOVAIS, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil
The Africapolis database aims at studying urbanization dynamics in Africa using a simple definition of urbanization that makes possible a comparison between regions and countries all over the world (http://e-geopolis.org). This database combines data from two different origins: the spatial delimitation of urban areas from satellite images and the results of population censuses carried out by national institutions at the smallest territorial units’ level (Local Unit).
This methodology allowed us to identify emerging patterns of urbanization that illustrate the impressive spatial changes that are taking place in the continent and that will certainly have an important impact on the development of African future societies.
Africa is in fact the continent that is most rapidly changing. We would like to raise the debate about how can African institutions use this kind of results and methodology to improve development policies and how they use spatial information for understanding the fast spatial changes that are taking place in the continent. We will use some practical examples from Africapolis to illustrate the importance of a spatial approach to understand urbanization and population changes in Africa.
Keywords: Urbanization|Development |Spatial data|Africapolis|Population