An effectively functioning city responsibly carries out its day-to-day activities. Well planned infrastructures provided to accommodate these daily activities, such as movement, and socialization. Addis Ababa is not able to efficiently satisfy the urban status-quo because of the lack of these infrastructures such as hygiene and proper waste management systems, among others.

Several European cities left by industries and who has accumulated ‘obsolete’ built environment, which is human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings to parks. Among such cities Barcelona, Glasgow and Bilbao have become models of a tourist magnet city by adopting urban regeneration strategies. Consequently, more and more cities have begun to invest in building hospitality facilities, cultural and convention centres as well as museums, landmarks, entertainment and sports facilities in order to attract tourists and to please ‘the tourist gaze’. This can be called tourism-led urban regeneration.

Inspecting through the maps of Addis Ababa from the 1880s up to today’s Google satellite images, it is impossible to avoid noticing how the city has handled its expansion and morphological transformation within a century. And in what way it dealt confrontations between modern planning and traditional settlements.

Unlike African cities planned by colonialists, Addis Ababa is a city unique for its indigenous urbanization created out of natural necessities. The expedition to assimilate the south in the mid-1880s concluded with the emergence of a new capital. So, the first settlements of Addis Ababa were set up with a vision of reestablishing the country. These individual settlements known as ‘sefers’, were naturally conceptualized with a top-down hierarchy named after their own chiefs.

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