African smart cities in 2030

Séance de travail au Woelab © Woelabs

Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou
Architect and anthropologist, founder of the HubCité project

Rejecting Western smart cities, which he feels are too top-down and remote from people’s real needs, Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou is a champion of the neo-vernacular African city. This alternative vision of the smart city, inspired by traditional societies and the organic ways they work through peer-to-peer exchanges at the village level, proposes a city that is horizontal and distributed.

A city designed for and by residents at the local level making free use of new technologies as they see fit. A real-life application of this urban utopia can be found in Lomé where the HubCité project applies the principles of the neo-vernacular African city at the neighborhood level. HubCité exists to help people participate in how their city is designed and operated thanks to a network of technology innovation spaces, WoeLabs, that are dedicated to ultra-local urban projects. Each space serves a given area and supplies, on site, the resources that city-dwellers need to develop solutions that respond to their real needs, including waste collection, energy and 3D printing.