October 17, 2016
News /
Posted by NCID

Alberto Cendoya receives his price in the presence of South African Minister Jeff Radebe


His poster and paper argued that digital technologies need to be contextualized in African cities in order to promote the socioeconomic inclusion of slum dwellers

Alberto Cendoya, Reseach Assistant at Navarra Center for International Development, Institute for Culture and Society, won the Routledge Prize during the 52nd ISOCARP (International Society of City and Regional Planners) annual congress in Durban, South Africa, last month. The award, granted by the British multinational publisher Routledge to the best poster, valued the technical content, the poster as a medium of communication, and its graphical quality.

The congress theme was ‘Cities we have vs. Cities we need’. Alberto’s poster was based in his paper, Digital Slums: Understanding the importance of the digital connectivity to transform African slums, which he presented at the congress under the track: Intelligent Cities for People.

His poster and paper argued that during these times of rapid urbanization in Africa, digital technologies need to be contextualized in cities in order to maximze their potential to promote the socioeconomic inclusion of slum dwellers. For this purpose, he examined both traditional connectivity strategies that have shown to be efficient and modern digital connectivity strategies across Africa that are giving new tools for development to the urban poor.

The participants in the competition came from 22 different countries and from diverse backgrounds, specially from academia (Harvard University, Stockholm University, University of Oxford…) and urban planning institutions from Shanghai, Cape Town, Detroid, Berlin or Lagos among others.

The jury was composed of Guy Perry (Chair, USA), Zeyne Gunay (Turkey), Jianxiang Huang (China), and Dorota Kamrowaska-Zaluska (Poland), and specified the following: “Alberto proposed a stimulating and thoughtful topic of slums in the digital age. He had the most impactful and graphically memorable poster, touching on a stirring and meaningfully optimistic smart technology theme.”

Young Planning Professionals Workshop and South Africa

Before the Congress, celebrated during 12-16 September, Alberto participated in the 25th Young Planning Professionals Workshop from 8-11 September, which was hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Composed of 80 national and international planners from 22 countries, they developed 7 projects in the Durban metropolitan area for the municipality of eThekwini.

Alberto also visited local NCID partners at South Africa in order to strengthen relations and promote future research collaborations along the lines of economic development, urban development and poverty alleviation strategies.