Circular Economy in Africa’s Informal Cities: A Review of Residents’ Value Retention Practices and Their Implications for Participatory Urban Planning

Stephen Leonard Mensah, Louis Kusi Frimpong, Seth Asare Okyere, Shine Francis Gbedemah, Matthew Abunyewah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Spatial informal urbanism practicesPractices towards value retention and circularity have received little attention in extant literature. Yet, informal settlementsInformal settlements in African citiesCities have played out as built spaces for necessity-driven value retention of materials, goods, and services, which potentiate the circularity of waste resources. This chapter highlights informal settlementInformal settlementspracticesPractices that contribute to value retention and circularity of waste materials in selected African citiesCities. This perspective departs from and contests dominant but empirically misleading notions of informal settlementsInformal settlements as the “habitus of environmentally deteriorating practices” in northern scholarship. Data for the chapter is derived from secondary sources such as journal articles and grey literature. The findings of the chapter reveal that spatial informal urbanism practicesPractices oriented towards meeting everyday basic socioeconomic needs in the form of sorting out waste for recycling, reuseReuse, and repurposing support circular principlesPrinciples and are critical to realizing circular goals in Africa’s informal citiesCities. The chapter invites scholars and practitioners to recognize and support informal urbanism practices that contribute to the circular citiesCities agenda while addressing any trade-offs and disservices that negatively affect the capacity of informal settlementInformal settlements dwellers to advance circular initiatives from below.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Slums and Circular Economy Synergies in the Global South
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical and Policy Imperatives for Sustainable Communities
EditorsSeth Asare Okyere, Matthew Abunyewah, Festival Godwin Boateng School of Geography and the Environment , Michael Odei Erdiaw-Kwasie
Place of PublicationGermany
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789819990252
ISBN (Print)9789819990245
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameAdvances in 21st Century Human Settlements
VolumePart F2557
ISSN (Print)2198-2546
ISSN (Electronic)2198-2554


Dive into the research topics of 'Circular Economy in Africa’s Informal Cities: A Review of Residents’ Value Retention Practices and Their Implications for Participatory Urban Planning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this