Senior Fellow Alain Bertaud was interviewed by Mercatus Senior Research Fellow Shruti Rajagopalan for the Ideas of India podcast, about “how Indian cities have evolved, utilities pricing, land use restrictions such as floor area ratio and floor space index, slums, charter cities, urbanization in Africa and much more.” On urbanization in Africa, Bertaud notes:
If I look also at cities like Bamako, again looking from Google Earth—this is my favorite pastime, to look at cities on Google Earth when I cannot travel—I see that there are many, many roads which are relatively wide compared to Asia, for instance. They’re well traced. Very often, it’s a grid and very low density, but you don’t see that much track of economic activity. It’s just a big camp. A bit, I would say, like a Burning Man development or something like that.
Again, if you are a planner there, certainly you have to stay there, observe things, not try to say, “Well, this is all wrong. It has to look like Copenhagen,” or something like that, and see what is the best way to provide mobility, physical mobility so people can get to their jobs, and especially basic infrastructure, power, electricity.