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The vision of a great many projects that have seen the light of day on the African continent in recent years is to create a framework for new communities. With a variety of design approaches architects are trying to strengthen the sense of   togetherness, local traditions and traditionally inspired types of construction.   It is therefore common to several of the projects that local residents are drawn into the process of designing as well as   building them, and that the new projects are so flexible and open in their structure that space is created for a multitude of people and interests. This multifunctionality continues a spatial tradition that is characteristic of both the original African village and the slums of the modern city, where for example a school can function as a church on Sundays; but combinations such as a market place coupled with a university are also examples of how the capacity to absorb the new or foreign still exists and continues to take new forms. The success criterion for these projects is therefore not first and foremost the beautiful space, but also direct open-endedness and usefulness. NEW COMMUNITIES 181


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