Douala, the «intertwined city»

Douala 2013 / Cameroon
Professionnal workshop
22 June 2013 / 6 July 2013

NB: all the documents produced by the workshop are available in French on the French version of the website.

The city of Douala, economic capital of Cameroon, faces two issues for urban development : improve the living conditions of inhabitants in the existing city, and take in the new arrivals in the short and medium term.
Every year, 100 000 migrants settle in the city, and the prospect of a further 1,5 million inhabitants in the next 15 years will take the agglomeration from a population of 2,5 million in 2012 to 4 million around 2025.
This unprecedented growth in population takes place on a background of multi-dimensional crisis:

  • economic : loss in competitiveness and attractiveness as industries redeploy across the region;
  • environmental : site degradation and constant industrial risk;
  • social : issues of access to work and lodgings;
  • identity : thinning link between the city and its Estuary.

New issues are appearing in the wake of the demographic growth:

  • linked to the reaction of the informal sector to this inflow of migrants, in all domains of economic life including transport and lodgings;
  • linked to the overflow of public spaces, which weighs on the general attractiveness of Douala.

Those issues are closely interwoven. An immediate consequence of the economic crisis, they could also - if handled in the right way - give the city levers to enable the informal sector to improve urban economics and keep Douala strong as the economic capital of Cameroon.


This workshop is open to professionals of all ages and nationalities, working in or having experience related to urban planning. All backgrounds are welcome : architecture, sociology, geography, landscape, enginery, economy, art. It will be essential to work in English and/or French with ease.

Participants will be put up in Douala and will work in a dedicated space. They will receive a document presenting the context and related projects, as well as the necessary maps and documents. Participants get no remuneration, but the following expenses are paid for: travel (within reasonable limits), housing in single rooms, food, translation, excursions, and work furniture.

21 participants will be selected by the pilot team of the workshop on the basis of their professional experience, their familiarity with the theme, their first outlook on the issue, their communication skills (both in language and drawing), and their motivation !

In order to apply, please send an email until April 22nd to with the following documents:

Selected participants will be notified in the following two weeks.


Launch of the call for applications: March 25th 2013
Deadline for applications: April 22nd 2013
Announcement of the selected participants: Beginning of 2013
Workshop: June 22nd to July 6th 2013


Pilots: Christophe Bayle, architect-urban planner and Marion Talagrand, landscape architect-urban planner.
Assistant-pilots: Hamadou Yalcouye and Réana Tahélary
Contact for Les Ateliers : Claire Vigé Hélie, Director


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