Africa’s energy investment needs to double by 2030

Africa’s energy investment needs to double by 2030


Africa’s energy investment needs to double by 2030 to meet development and climate goals

Delivering modern energy to all Africans will require nearly $25 billion in spending per year until 2030, report says
Africa’s energy investment needs to double by 2030

Wind turbines at the West Coast One wind farm near Vredenburg, South Africa. Bloomberg

Swift action to improve capital access and reduced financing costs are crucial to boosting clean energy spending in Africa, a report has found.

Energy investment in the continent needs to more than double by 2030 to meet African development ambitions and climate goals, with nearly two thirds going to clean energy, the International Energy Agency and the African Development Bank Group said in a report on Wednesday.

“The African continent has huge clean energy potential, including a massive amount of high-quality renewable resources. But the difficult backdrop for financing means many transformative projects can’t get off the ground,” said Fatih Birol, the agency’s executive director.

Despite having 20 per cent of the world’s population, the region only receives 2 per cent of the global investment in clean energy.

A range of “real and perceived” risks are affecting energy projects in Africa as well as higher borrowing costs following the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, the report found.

The cost of capital for utility-scale clean energy projects in the region is at least “two to three times higher” than in advanced economies, preventing developers from pursuing commercially viable projects, it said.

“The current shortfall in clean energy investment in Africa puts at risk the achievement of a host of sustainable development goals and could open new dividing lines in energy and climate as clean energy transitions gather speed in advanced economies,” said AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina.

The agency and the AfDB said lowering capital costs and supporting investment-worthy projects would require scaling up several instruments, including early stage financing and the use of tools that can reduce perceived investment risks.

Delivering modern energy, which includes fossil fuels and renewable energy, to all Africans will require nearly $25 billion in spending per year until 2030, according to the agency.

“This is a small amount in the context of global energy spending – equivalent to the investment needed to build one new LNG [liquefied natural gas] terminal a year,” the report said.

“But it requires a very different type of finance, given the need for small-scale projects, often in rural areas and for consumers with limited ability to pay.”

Concessional finance – funding from development finance institutions and donors – of about $28 billion per year is required to mobilise $90 billion of private sector investment by the end of this decade, the report said.

To meet energy and climate goals, funding sourced from or distributed through local channels must nearly triple by 2030, it added.

“Urgent action is needed to dramatically increase clean energy investment in Africa, which has fallen short despite the immense opportunities,” Kenyan President William Ruto said in the report.

Africa’s installed renewable energy capacity is set to grow to more than 530 gigawatts by 2040, from about 54 gigawatts in 2020, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Developing countries require an investment of about $1.7 trillion per year in the clean energy sector but only managed to attract foreign direct investment worth $544 billion in 2022, Unctad, the UN intergovernmental organisation that promotes the interests of developing countries in world trade, said in its World Investment Report in July.

How MENA’s economic and climate crises add fuel to wildfires

How MENA’s economic and climate crises add fuel to wildfires

Arid climates, deforestation, and urbanisation have each aggravated the risk of wildfires in the MENA region. Countries have scrambled to find strategies to mitigate this, however, without resources, they remain at the mercy of the climate crisis.

Researchers said that July 2023 would be the hottest month on Earth in history. According to the World Meteorological Organization, the global average temperature for July was 16.95 °C, exceeding the previous record set in 2019 by a third of a degree Celsius.

In the Arab region, temperatures soared to unprecedented levels with Egypt and Algeria experiencing temperatures exceeding 45 °C, while some cities in Iraq recorded temperatures close to boiling point.

The world has experienced intense heatwaves in the past six weeks, which led to numerous forest fires in various countries, including those in the Middle East and North Africa region. Countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon have suffered casualties and significant losses in vegetation and animal life due to these fires.

“Drought is a perfect condition for fires. It is not the only reason for wildfires in the MENA region however as human activities such as deforestation and burning rubbish or agricultural waste close to the forest also cause wildfires”

Perfect conditions

The eastern Mediterranean countries of Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Palestine, as well as the northwest African countries of Algeria and Morocco, are among the most vulnerable to wildfires in the MENA region.

It is anticipated that heatwaves can have negative effects on wildfires in the MENA region. A simple explanation is that vegetation can dry out during unusual heat events, making it more flammable. Excessive evaporation of soil moisture during these prolonged heat events also stresses vegetation and makes it more prone to fire, according to Ahmed Kenawy, professor of climatology at Mansoura University, Egypt.

Ahmed told The New Arab that some of the common plant species in the region’s drier areas, particularly those that have adapted to the dry climate, contain oils and resins that can be very combustible, especially during heat waves. However, depending on the prevailing weather conditions, these effects can vary greatly from one region to another.

How MENA's economic and climate crises add fuel to wildfires
Hotter temperatures dries out crops and increases the risk of wildfires [Getty Images]

Professor Ahmed Kenawy also pointed out that increased humidity during these heat events may reduce the likelihood of wildfires in coastal areas.

Lower humidity accelerates the drying process of vegetation and decreases the moisture level of lifeless organic matter, such as leaves, twigs, and grass, which makes them more prone to burning in interior regions. In certain parts of North Africa, like Egypt, local hot winds, such as the Khamisin, can rapidly spread wildfires, particularly in late spring.

Hesham Eissa, an environmental expert, told The New Arab that winds can rapidly spread wildfires, making them difficult to contain and control.

Also, human activities in the extreme heat during heatwaves may lead to increased use of fire-related activities, such as outdoor cooking or burning waste, which can inadvertently spark wildfires.

Hesham explained that climate change is also affecting wildfires by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, further exacerbating global warming. “This, in turn, can lead to more frequent and intense heat waves, creating a vicious cycle that increases the risk of wildfires in the region.”

Regional struggle

Morocco is one of the countries in the region most affected by forest fires, and the authorities used Canadair (amphibious) planes to extinguish the fires while evacuating the residents of the areas near this forest. The temperature was recorded at 50.4 degrees Celsius in the city of Agadir, in the centre of the country.

At the end of last July, the National Agency for Water and Forests in Morocco announced that the number of fires registered from the beginning of January to the date of July 24, 2023, amounted to 222, in which the fires swept 10,000 square meters. Forests cover 12 percent of the country.

Since the start of this summer, numerous fires have erupted in various regions of Algeria, with the most intense one hitting the northeast of the country, causing the death of 34 individuals, including ten soldiers, in late July. Additionally, the Algerian authorities have disclosed that the fires that affected multiple states last month resulted in the damage of 11,500 people, 972 buildings, and 24,000 hectares of land.

In Libya, the National Center of Meteorology announced last week that temperatures had risen, touching 49 degrees Celsius in some internal areas. At the same time, fires continued to break out, causing no deaths or injuries, but palm trees were damaged in different parts of the country.

The same dangers extended to Tunisia, which witnessed the outbreak of seven fires that spread to some populated areas as well as the destruction of large areas of agricultural crops close to the Gall ranges. Fires of varying size and strength also broke out in Lebanon and Palestine.

In Syria, the high temperatures caused fires to break out in agricultural and forested areas, especially on the Syrian coast, which witnessed widespread damage. The largest fires were in the countryside of Latakia Governorate, which lasted for five consecutive days in the coastal forest areas and required the intervention of Russian helicopters, along with Syrian ones, to extinguish them.

Professor Ahmed Kenawy believes that wildfires are common in these countries because of the typical Mediterranean climate: wet winters and dry, hot summers. “Symbolic cedar trees, for instance, are a common target of forest fires in Lebanon. The 2010 Carmel forest fire in Palestine was one of the deadliest in the country’s history. Importantly, the high rates of urbanization in these countries, especially in close proximity to forested areas, raise the danger of forest fires, especially those started by humans.”

Mitigation is a must

Theresa Wong, a geographer and Climate Change Officer in the FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa, said that the region is highly vulnerable to climate change and that the climate is expected to be hotter and drier in the future. “Drought is a perfect condition for fires. It is not the only reason for wildfires in the region however as human activities such as deforestation and burning rubbish or agricultural waste close to the forest also cause wildfires.”

She explained to The New Arab that wildfires have significant environmental impacts, affecting various ecosystems and natural processes. Some of the major environmental impacts of wildfires include loss of biodiversity, soil degradation, maintaining the water cycle, and air pollution. It also makes the livelihoods of people who rely on these forests difficult.

Wong mentioned that the FAO supported the creation of a regional network on forests and wildland fires (Near East Network on Wildlands Forest Fire, NENFIRE). “We supported countries to have a fire management plan, such as Morocco, Lebanon, and Algeria. It is important for countries to include fire mitigation processes in their national strategies to combat climate change.”

The professor of climatology affirmed that since wildfires know no international boundaries, fighting them may be more effective if done at the regional level. “In the affected regions, it is also crucial to establish buffer zones between wilderness and populated areas. Community participation in fire prevention efforts is also encouraged through volunteer fire departments.

Mohammed El-Said is the Science Editor at Daily News Egypt. His work has appeared in Science Magazine, Nature Middle East, Scientific American Arabic Edition, SciDev and other prominent regional and international media outlets. Follow on Twitter: @MOHAMMED2SAID

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Kuwait to be uninhabitable in the next few decades

Kuwait to be uninhabitable in the next few decades


Kuwait to be uninhabitable in the next few decades: Report

Experts say Kuwait needs to push renewable energy transition

By Ali Hamza in Kuwait Times

KUWAIT: As Kuwait experiences a faster rise in average temperatures compared to the global average, numerous reports suggest that many parts of the country will become uninhabitable in the coming decades. According to the Environment Public Authority, certain areas of Kuwait could experience temperature increases of up to 4.5 degrees Celsius above the historical average, rendering large portions of the country unsuitable for human habitation. Additionally, according to statistics from Our World Data, Kuwait ranks third in the world for electricity consumption per capita, with a staggering 19,433 kWh per person.

This high electricity demand is primarily met through fossil fuels in power plants, contributing significantly to carbon emissions. Kuwait also faces a substantial water consumption rate, with 61 percent of its water produced through energy-intensive desalination processes, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases, acting as greenhouse gases, trap heat from the sun, exacerbating the temperature rise. Kuwait’s economy heavily relies on the oil sector, which involves the burning of fossil fuels and further contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2021, Kuwait’s per capita CO2 emissions reached 22.49 tons, making it one of the countries with the highest carbon emissions per capita. Consequently, Kuwait currently ranks as one of the most polluted countries globally, ranking seventh for air quality. Addressing the impending environmental disaster in Kuwait requires concerted efforts and innovative solutions. While the country heavily depends on oil and gas production, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential. Technologies like Direct Air Capture (DAC) offer the ability to capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere, regardless of location, for storage or other uses.

Given the substantial greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry, adopting Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to capture CO2 emissions from industrial processes and power plants can help mitigate emissions while allowing continued hydrocarbon production. Kuwait’s significant reliance on desalination for fresh drinking water poses another challenge. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with desalination, Kuwait can transition to more renewable energy sources, such as solar thermal desalination.

Kuwait’s flat and open terrain provides an ideal setting for wind power generation. Installing wind turbines strategically can harness wind energy and convert it into electricity. Moreover, investments in large-scale solar panels can lead to hybrid electricity systems, combining multiple renewable energy sources like wind and solar with energy storage systems for a more stable energy supply. Promoting electric-powered vehicles, such as electric buses and installing charging stations in parking lots, can further reduce carbon emissions.

Several companies have already initiated projects to promote renewable energy sources in Kuwait. For example, KOC’s Sidrah 500 project is a large-scale photovoltaic solar energy initiative with the capacity to generate 10 MW of electric power from solar energy. This project is expected to save 500,000 barrels of oil over 20 years, equivalent to planting 500,000 trees.

Numerous other renewable energy projects are in development in Kuwait, with the Shagaya solar power project aiming to generate approximately 3.2 GW of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. “Kuwait possesses significant potential for large-scale renewable energy production, but it has a long road ahead,” said Sameer Ahmad, an environmental supervisor at Dietsmann Technology, emphasizing the need for sustained efforts and progress in this direction.






The Gulf states can catalyze trade within the Middle East and North Africa region and the region’s integration into the global trading system

The world has witnessed a tectonic shift in global economic geography and trade toward emerging Asia in the past two decades. However, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has remained one of the least dominant, accounting for just 7.4 percent of total trade in 2022. The region’s trade is characterized by a relatively high concentration of exports in a narrow range of products or trading partners, limited economic complexity, and low participation in global value chains.

Even so, commodity-dependent nations in the MENA region have made substantial gains over time, specifically in trade diversification, as shown by the Global Economic Diversification Index, which tracks the extent of economic diversification from multiple dimensions, including economic activity, international trade, and government revenues.

The MENA region’s total trade in goods as a percent of GDP (an indicator of openness) was 65.5 percent in 2021, indicating a relatively open regional economy. Yet, as shown in Chart 1, intraregional trade is low, representing only 17.8 percent of total trade and 18.5 percent of total exports, despite a common language and culture as well as geographic proximity. The six oil-exporting Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations—Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates—account for the bulk of intraregional trade.

Their dominance of intraregional trade suggests that the Gulf nations could become a catalyst for regional trade integration, helping lower barriers to trade, improving trade infrastructure, and diversifying the region’s economies. Greater integration of non-GCC Middle East nations with the GCC will lead to more intraregional trade and greater global integration (via the GCC’s existing global linkages and participation in global value chains). With the growing global economic integration of the GCC nations and their concerted effort in supporting the region’s other nations (via increased trade and investment deals with Egypt and Iraq, for example), they can be a conduit for greater integration of the rest of the region into world trade.

Region’s laggards

Why have non-GCC countries lagged when it comes to intraregional trade? In part it is a failure of the MENA region’s multiple regional trade (and investment) agreements. The share of intragroup exports in the Arab region, excluding the GCC, has remained below 2 percent of their trade flows, partially a reflection of regional fragmentation, violence, and wars since the mid-1990s and following the Arab Spring in 2011. The region comprises a group of nations characterized by significant political differences, and this is reflected in trade patterns as well. For example, the orientation of the Maghreb nations of North Africa has been toward Europe, with the regional Euro-Med program and agreements supporting such linkages.

A contributing factor to the stagnation of intraregional trade is the lack of growth of trade in services. MENA services trade has ranged between 4 and 6 percent of global services trade in the past two decades. This pales in comparison with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, which account for more than two-thirds of global services trade. Within the MENA region, the GCC accounts for the bulk of services trade, with the largest shares in relatively low-value-added sectors like travel (and tourism) and transportation. The services trade is held back by restrictive policies that limit entry in sectors dominated by state-owned enterprises, such as telecommunications, or that impose high fees and license requirements, especially in professional and transportation services.

Such restrictive policies, along with structural deficiencies, encumber MENA nations’ trade both within the region and globally.

MENA nations apply more, and more restrictive, nontariff measures than in any other region. These almost doubled between 2000 and 2020. Lack of uniform standards and harmonization, pervasive red tape, and corruption compound the effects of these barriers. Business and investment barriers include cumbersome licensing processes, complex regulations, and opaque bidding and procurement procedures.

MENA as a region underperforms on trade facilitation measures to ease the movement of goods at the border and reduce overall trade costs, though there are wide disparities across the region. The quality of trade- and transportation-related infrastructure is significantly lower in the non-GCC MENA nations. Furthermore, delays at the port result in excessive “dwell times” (delays of more than 12 days) for imported goods in some MENA countries. Algeria and Tunisia delays average about 20 days versus less than five days in the United Arab Emirates (among the top three globally).

Knocking down barriers

Overcoming these impediments to wider trade for the region requires removing barriers to trade and investment, diversifying the region’s economies, and improving infrastructure.

A new generation of trade agreements, including more knowledge-intensive services, would not only support export diversification policies but would also help bridge gender gaps, improve women’s economic empowerment, and subsequently result in more inclusive economic growth and integration.

The pandemic has underscored the need for trade diversification (both of products and partners) and development of new supply chains. Although the GCC’s oil trade remains dominant, its members have embarked on various policies and structural reforms, such as increasing labor mobility and opening capital markets across borders, to diversify away from overdependence on fossil fuels and associated revenues. This has resulted in diversification of both the output mix (for example, increased focus on manufacturing) and the export product mix (for example, more services exports) alongside an evident shift in trade patterns toward Asia and away from the United States and Europe. More recently, the war in Ukraine further highlighted the plight of food-importing nations in the Middle East in the context of food security. (Ukraine and Russia accounted for a third of global wheat exports; Lebanon and Tunisia were importing close to 50 percent of their wheat from Ukraine.)

The Global Economic Diversification Index trade subindex shows that the commodity-dependent nations with the most improved scores over time have either reduced dependence on fuel exports, reduced export concentration, or witnessed a massive change in the composition of exports. An example of the latter is Saudi Arabia’s increased focus on medium- and high-tech exports, which rose as a share of overall manufacturing exports, to almost 60 percent right before COVID from less than 20 percent in 2000. The MENA region as a whole has already made some headway toward diversification, as shown in Chart 2.

The GCC nations have benefited from the recent rise in commodity prices, but the pandemic reinforced strategies, including the development of free zones and special economic zones, to diversify into new sectors. These policies range from attracting investment (including foreign direct investment) to higher-value-added, higher-tech manufacturing; investing in new sectors (renewable energy, fintech, artificial intelligence); and opening markets to new investors and investments (as is evident in the recent spate of initial public offerings in both the oil and non-oil sectors). These reforms help expand markets (within the MENA region and toward Africa, Europe, and South Asia), while up-and-coming sectors like renewable energy and agritech offer sustainable ways of expanding the extensive and intensive margins of trade and generating new job opportunities.

Engine for regional integration

Full achievement of the benefits of regional trade integration requires a reform of trade policies to break down barriers, including restrictive nontariff measures, complex regulation, corruption, and logistical roadblocks.

Integrating the MENA region’s trade infrastructure (ports, airports, logistics) with that of the GCC would lower costs and facilitate intraregional trade, leading to greater regional integration and generating gains from trade for all parties. The GCC can lead the economic integration and transformation of the region via investments in hard infrastructure and trade-related infrastructure and logistics, in addition to developing an integrated GCC power grid. A GCC renewable-energy-powered, integrated electricity grid could extend all the way to Europe, Pakistan, and India.

The GCC nations have an opportunity to benefit from global decoupling and fragmentation with their unfolding strategy of pursuing globalization as a regional group through new trade and investment agreements, foreign aid, and direct and portfolio investment. The ongoing disengagement from long-standing regional conflicts, in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Yemen, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Libya, and elsewhere, and the forging of new links (diplomatic opening such as the Abraham Accords) reduce the geopolitical risks of promoting regional trade and investment. The GCC can use this as an opportunity to shape the MENA region into an interlinked trade and investment hub. The GCC’s accelerated new free trade negotiations with key partners in the MENA region, including Egypt and Jordan, and in Asia, including China and South Korea, could become the cornerstone of this transformation. The United Arab Emirates have already signed comprehensive economic partnership agreements with India, Indonesia, and Türkiye covering services, investment, and regulatory aspects of trade.

There are two complementary ways to move forward. One is to implement the GCC Common Market, invest in digital trade, lower tariff and nontariff barriers, and reduce restrictions on trade in services, along with reforms to facilitate greater mobility of labor and enhance financial and capital market linkages. Second, the GCC should develop new deep trade agreements with the other MENA countries, going beyond international trade to encompass agreement on nontariff measures, direct investment, e-commerce and services, labor standards, taxation, competition, intellectual property rights, climate, the environment, and public procurement (including mega projects). The GCC nations, which have historically used foreign aid and humanitarian aid to support MENA nations, should opt for an “aid for trade” policy to support their partners in implementing trade-boosting reforms that lower business and investment barriers, improve logistics infrastructure, and facilitate the movement of goods.


NASSER SAIDI is the president of Nasser Saidi and Associates. He was formerly chief economist of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, Lebanon’s economy minister, and a vice governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon.

AATHIRA PRASAD is director of macroeconomics at Nasser Saidi and Associates.




Our cities: Now it’s in our hands to make them homey


Our cities: Now it’s in our hands to make them homey and it is not too late.  Anyway, let us start by going through the following steps to reshape economic geography and rejuvenate the MENA cities.

The above-featured image is credit to Efetova Anna /Shutterstock

The philosopher Marc Augé defined our cities. Now it’s in our hands to make them homey

By Isabel Argüelles Rozada, Universidad de Oviedo

“[The] city is a spatial figure of time in which present, past and future come together. It is, at times, a cause for astonishment and, at others, for remembrance or expectation […]. In this sense, the city is both an illusion and an allusion.” (Marc Augé, “Pour une anthropologie de la mobilité”).

We head to the mall to do some shopping. Since it’s out in the suburbs, we take the car. Along the way, we pay less attention to our surroundings than to the traffic signs we encounter, with which we automatically comply.

When we arrive at our destination, we walk through the doors (also automatic), and navigate the aisles of the store by following, once again, the signs. We select products by either studying their ingredients or simply by their brand name. We come across other people, but don’t converse with them. At the cash register, new figures and familiar phrases await us.

We frequent these kinds of spaces on a daily basis: subway systems, gas stations, airports, malls, theme parks. Unlike traditional settings, they aren’t intended as places to dwell, but simply to be transited.


French anthropologist Marc Augé, who died on July 24, is renowned for his concept of “non-places”. His 1993 text of the same name describes a reality that is very much relevant to our everyday lives.

By reading it, we can better grasp the apparent paradox of life in the big city. That is to say, why, despite the fact that we are surrounded by so many people, we still often feel lonely.

Marc Augé, in a photo at an event in Italy in 2012.
Vedro/Flickr, CC BY-SA

As is often the case with any frequently quoted statement, its meaning has often been reduced to a negative critique of the spaces that modern capitalist societies have created.

The fact is that a non-place is a depersonalised space in which we act as mere users, devoid of history – what does the history of a supermarket matter? However, it’s also relational since in these spaces we become cashiers, drivers, customers, etc. and in those terms we interact with others. This illustrates that the non-place is defined, by its very nature, by what it is not.

It’s precisely for this reason that the term is so elusive. However, no space can be understood simply by being a place or a non-place, but by what we do in it and with it. Of course, as a function of their design and purpose, an airport or a supermarket have far more chances of being labelled a non-place than a town square.

Nonetheless, as its users, we are able to redefine it, however tenuous or temporary that may be. After all, Nobel Prize-winning author Annie Ernaux turns a supermarket into a place for romance in _Look at the Lights, My Love. It seems the French have a knack for unlocking the aesthetic potential of non-places.

Augé and beyond

Augé’s more recent works should also be remembered in the wake of his death. These include Pour une anthropologie de la mobilité, which examines the concepts of borders and migration in the context of the globalised world.

Meanwhile, L’impossible voyage: le tourisme et ses images, reminds us that, strictly speaking, the concept of travel is a difficult undertaking in the modern world of mass media since we have already consumed images and perceptions of our destination before we set out on our journey. These days, it’s impossible for us to replicate the experience of Ulysses facing the unknown.

Augé taught us a great many things. For instance, that we need not travel to inhospitable lands, if that notion still exists, in order to be anthropologists. He started out, in fact, in African studies. Although Augé was born and died in Poitiers, most of his texts focus on Paris, where he spent much of his life.

He also demonstrated that academic prose is no impediment to beautiful writing. He enjoyed providing literary and cinematographic examples, illustrating that links between anthropology or philosophy and the arts are not only possible, but necessary.

For the scholar, our experience of the city must not be limited to its infrastructures. Instead, it should comprise the dynamic result of the complex interplay of our personal memories and experiences, the collective past and the arts. Some of his other examples include Venice, which cannot be viewed without the filter of Thomas Mann, Santiago de Chile, without recalling Isabel Allende, and San Francisco, without picturing the mysterious woman in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo.

An image from the film Vertigo, by Alfred Hitchcock, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

Even if we haven’t read anything by Charles Baudelaire, we have acquired a series of expectations about Paris that have, to a large extent, a lot to do with his tableaux (portraits of the city).

In effect, the city is what we see, but also what we don’t see. Its streets, or what’s left of them, or even the buildings that are no longer there, in a gentle or violent manner, transport us to other times, and that’s why every city is like poetry of which we are readers and, at the same time, writers.

Or, in the words of Augé himself:

“Urban planners, architects, artists and poets ought to realise that their fate is intertwined and that their raw material is the same: without the imaginary there would be no city, and vice versa.”

Isabel Argüelles Rozada, Investigadora predoctoral en Filosofía, Universidad de Oviedo

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.