French colonial Dakar

The morphogenesis of an African regional capital

By Liora Bigon

French colonial Dakar


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9935-9
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: February 2016
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Africa / North, Modern History, Geography, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism, HISTORY / Historical Geography, History, Historical geography, Geography, Earth sciences, geography, environment, planning / Geography, Humanities / African history, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, Colonialism & imperialism, African history
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


This volume explores the planning and architectural cultures that shaped the model space of French colonial Dakar, a prominent city in West Africa. With a focus on the period from the establishment of the city in the mid-nineteenth century until the interwar years, the book reveals a variety of urban politics, policies and practices, and complex negotiations on both the physical and conceptual levels.

Chronicling the design of Dakar as a regional capital, the book suggests a connection between the French colonial doctrines of assimilation and association, and French colonial planning and architectural policies in sub-Saharan Africa. Of interest to scholars in history, geography, architecture, urban planning, African studies and Global South studies, the book incorporates both primary and secondary sources collected from multilateral channels in Europe and Senegal.


1. Introduction: French colonial Dakar: the morphogenesis of an African regional capital
2. Planting the flag and military planning in imperial Dakar: asymmetries, uncertainties, illusions
3. Street naming, infectious diseases and planning in early colonial Dakar: segregationist insights
4. The quest for architectural style for French West Africa: invented traditions and ideologies in colonial Dakar
5. Afterword: Dakar's 'old city' and beyond


Liora Bigon is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Western Cultures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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