Public lecture at the Institute for Housing Studies (IHS)

14 February 2018

Rachel Keeton gave a presentation on the ongoing research for her PhD at IHS, Erasmus University on 14 February 2018. The lecture touched on the spatial challenges of contemporary African New Towns, and explored alternative approaches. The objective of the research is to establish a set of planning principles that will inspire and guide future New Town planners in the African context. The draft guidelines presented at the close of the presentation proved to be fertile ground for discussion with the housing, policy, and governance experts at IHS. 

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PrepCon for African Perspectives in Addis Ababa

25-27 January 2018

The PrepCon was jointly organized by the Faculty of Architecture at TU Delft, and EiABC at Addis Ababa University to determine the themes of the upcoming African Perspectives conference (March 2019). The event was held at the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa from 25-27 January 2018.

The PrepCon combined two days of presentations by experts in the field of African urbanization and heavy discussion and debate related to the education of architects working in the African continent. The results of the event will inform not only the conference in 2019, but also future research and education trajectories at the Faculty of Architecture at TU Delft. Rachel Keeton was part of the organizing committee from TU Delft and an active participant at the event. 

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Lecture on methodology

25 October 2017

As part of the workshop series Understanding Key Methodologies of Complex Cities, Rachel Keeton was invited to present her research methodology to masters students in the Complex Cities graduation stream at TU Delft. From the website: 


Analysing perspectives and participation of actors
with Katarzyna Piskorek, Rachel Keeton, Ana Chagas Cavalcanti
Introduction: Perspectives and participation of actors in planning research;

·        In her PhD research, Rachel Keeton seeks to provide a transdisciplinary roadmap for inclusive, sustainable, future African new towns in the form of a series of planning principles. She will elaborate on fieldwork and interviews with stakeholders, conducted under challenging circumstances;

·        In her PhD research, Katarzyna Piskorek investigates communication for urban transformations in perspective of the relation between citizens and local authorities. She will elaborate on how to analyse communication acts;

·        In her PhD research, Ana Chagas Cavalcanti proposes a method for the design of social housing that emerges from the social practices in informal settlements. Her particular interest is in the building of labour relations in contemporary systems of economic circulation. During the workshop she will elaborate on how to identify these practices and how to relate these to design principles, discussing appropriate approaches in analyzing perspectives and participation of actors.

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Urban Thinkers Campus at TU Delft

7-9 June 2017

The first and only Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) to address education was held at the Faculty of Architecture at TU Delft.  The UTC was one of many event organized around the world as part of UN-Habitat's World Urban Campaign

Rachel Keeton developed a full-day workshop as part of the UTC that brought together 21 multidisciplinary experts to reflect on contemporary African New Towns and identify alternatives to current practice. A full report is available on request. 

The Urban Lab: Imagining Adaptive Planning for African New Towns took place on 8 June 2017 at TU Delft. This event was organized in collaboration with the International New Town Institute and with financial support from the Delft Global Initiative.

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Contribution to The Beeker Method: Planning and Working on the Redevelopment of the African City

23 March 2017

Rachel Keeton contributed a chapter on the need to 'unplan' the planned African city to the book The Beeker Method: planning and working on the redevelopment of the African City: retrospective glances into the future, co-edited by Antoni Folkers and Iga Perzyna. To celebrate the book launch, a seminar with Coen Beeker and other speakers was organized at the African Studies Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands, together with AAMatters. A video of the entire seminar is available here

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Lecture at Harvard GSD

22-23 September 2016

The Toward 21st Century New Towns conference at Harvard University convened 30 scholars and practitioners working on a book about the international experience in new town development, operations, management, and the perceptions and quality-of-life of residents.   

Additional events included a public panel on Thursday evening, a conversation with alumni and friends involved in real estate, and a pre-workshop dinner.

Rachel Keeton presented a lecture on contemporary African New Towns and contributed a paper on the same topic, co-authored by Michelle Provoost, of Crimson Architectural Historians. The resulting book, co-edited by Ann Forsyth and Richard Peiser (both of Harvard GSD) will be published by University of Pennsylvania Press in 2018. 

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