Interpreting Kigali, Rwanda

Architectural Inquires and Prospects for a Developing African City

Interpreting Kigali, Rwanda cover shows a woman with her head turned away looking at a city in the distance.

Korydon Smith, Tomà Berlanda and colleagues explore the pressing challenges and opportunities to be found in planning, designing, and constructing a healthy, equitable, and sustainable city. 

Asking “what is an authentic-yet-modern, prosperous-yet-feasible African city, Rwandan city?” Smith, Berlanda, and colleagues conducted research on Rwandan activities of daily living and how these routines are connected to space-making practices.

Through a culturally informed view of urban and rural lifestyles and spaces, Interpreting Kigali, Rwanda presents principles and proposals for neighborhood development in the challenging context of Kigali’s informal settlements. With one billion people living in informal settlements worldwide, a number expected to double by 2030, the lessons learned in Rwanda provide a complex, fascinating, and urgent study for scholars and practitioners across disciplines and around the world.


Korydon H. Smith
Tomà Berlanda


Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design and the University of Arkansas Press

Date Published