Launching of CityLab Dar es Salaam

Launching of CityLab Dar es Salaam

The CityLab is a platform for re-imagining the co-production of space in Dar es Salaam. The CityLab is hosted at the Institute of Human Settlements Studies (IHSS) and aims at developing innovative research, conduct purposeful training and do experiment on urban transformation. The aim of the CityLab is to understand and influence systemic change, to produce policy-relevant knowledge and to develop solutions and ideas towards a more sustainable human settlement path.

Background and Idea

The CityLab vision is grounded in the idea that urban challenges need to be addressed through co-produced knowledge and equitable partnerships. This is the reason why the CityLab looks into working with a multidisciplinary group of researchers, practitioners, game changers, activists, artists and all other important stakeholders, aiming at inquiring, documenting and intervening in the way the city is reproduced.

The CityLab initiated its pilot activities in 2017 through seed funding from the African Urban Research Initiative (AURI) and gradually developed as a platform for action research taking into account a diverse pool of knowledge. From 2018 until 2020 the CityLab is supported by the Robert Bosh foundation.

Operations and the structure

The CityLab core research group under the leadership of Dr. Nathalie Jean-Baptiste, Senior Research Fellow at IHSS will carry 13 interventions in a first phase of 24 months. These interventions take different forms. There are for example: Public Lectures, Urban Night series, Creative Design and Methodology Workshops, International exhibitions and Prototyping. It is also planned to develop an interactive online platform in the long term.

The CityLab collaborates across borders with other African institutions with a similar ‘laboratory approach’ to expand the knowledge co-produced at Ardhi University as well as to exchange on drivers of urban development and transformation. Some of these laboratories are the Tanzanian Urbanization Laboratory at ESRF (Tanzania), the Urban Action Lab (Uganda), the Living Lab (Nairobi), CLUSTER (Cairo), and the Laboratoire Citoyenntée (Burkina Faso)

2Vice Chancellor Prof. Evaristo Liwa giving a opening speech of the launching of CityLab Dar es Salaam.

3Participants of CityLab workshop listening an opening speech from Vice Chancellor Prof. Evaristo Liwa.

4Director of Institute of Human Settlement Studies (IHSS) Dr. Makarius Mdemu giving an introduction of IHSS.

5Dr. Nathalie Jean-Baptiste Head of CityLab presenting the structure, goals and research agenda of CityLab Dar es Salaam.



8Participants in a group photo.





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