Bubonic plague, colonial ideologies, and urban planning policies: Dakar, Lagos, and Kumasi, by Liora Bigon, in Planning Perspectives, DOI:10.1080/02665433.2015.1064779
The Third Plague Pandemic originated in Southwest China in the mid-nineteenth century, reached Africa’s shores around 1900, and spread globally for about a century. This article examines three plague loci in colonial Senegal (Dakar, 1914), Nigeria (Lagos, 1924), and the Gold Coast (today’s Ghana; Kumasi, 1924). A tripartite comparative analysis is made of French and British doctrines of colonial rule, colonial urban planning policies, and anti-plague practices. While some common features are demonstrated in the policies and practices of the colonizing forces such as the implementation of rigorous measures and embracing segregationist solutions, divergent features can also be distinguished. These relate to the methods of implementation of planning and anti-plague policies, in accordance with colonial ideology (assimilation, direct and indirect rule); and to the very nature of autochthonous communities, responses, and levels of agitation. Our both comparative and more nuanced site-related view is also based on a large collection of archival and secondary materials from multilateral channels.
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