Sudan student protests show how much city planning and design matter

0
Khartoum at sunset
Khartoum at sunset / © Shutterstock

Student protests in Sudan usually centre on politics. But something different is driving protests at the country’s historic University of Khartoum in 2016: architecture and heritage.

Students are outraged after claims emerged that the university’s historic premises on the Nile Avenue have been sold off to private developers. The claims are as yet unverified, but reports suggest that the spot where the university’s heritage buildings have stood since 1902 will become a tourism hub.

If this happens, it will be because of a controversial set of documents called the Khartoum Planning Project-05, or KPP-05. The first invitation to tender on the project was issued in 2005. But the details were shrouded in secrecy and the media did a poor job of reporting about what KPP-05 entails, in an extremely poor and inaccurate manner. So it’s only recently that people have started to understand what its consequences might be for the city. […]