Heritage and Sustainable Urbanization: Freetown, Sierra Leone

Freetown has a complex history that is inextricably linked to both the slave trade and the struggle for African independence. The population is projected to double within the next fifteen years, driven primarily by rural to urban migration, and the City Council is currently seeking ways to incorporate heritage sites into its plans for rapid growth and densification.

This report was produced by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), in collaboration with Fourah Bay College (FBC) in Freetown, Sierra Leone and World Monuments Fund (WMF). The report compiles the findings of a semester-long joint Historic Preservation (HP) and Urban Planning (UP) studio in the fall of 2019 at GSAPP, which incorporated a weeklong field work-shop in Freetown with GSAPP, FBC, and WMF collaborators.

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