Mark Duerksen is a PhD student in the African and African American Studies department at Harvard University. His research looks at the history and current state of African mega-cities, particularly Lagos, Nigeria. He seeks to understand the political and social forces that explain how these cities expanded historically, how they have accommodated (or excluded–and at what cost) those who live on the margins economically and spatially, and how to create more inclusive African urban spaces. To better visualize and represent these complex transformations, he is working to utilize spatial and visual design technology, including ArcMap and Harvard’s WorldMap.

Under the “Arcade Africa” tab on this site, Mark writes a blog primarily as a way to stay current with news on African cities and to save material for future research projects, but also hopefully to create a place–an online arcade–where people who are interested in the subject can find a collection of information and links.