International Panels

Planning and urban development of Sèmè-Podji economic area

SEP 2012 - Seme-PodjiBenin

Download the report (in French)


In 2012 INTA organized, at the request of one of its members - the government of Benin - an expert mission on land use planning and urban development from 23 to 29 September.

The objective of this mission was to conduct a strategic reflection on a zone of activities, to give rise to the establishment of a crucible of periodic exchanges on issues of land use planning, metropolization and management of urbanization in countries south of the Sahara.

A small international team gathered to make development proposals for a logistics hub of more than 100,000 inhabitants between Cotonou, Porto Novo and the Nigerian border. Sèmè Podji, a dormitory town for Beninese people who cannot find accommodation in the two large cities, has a reinforced logistics vocation due to the digging of a new deep-water port.

Road network in 2012
(Click to enlarge)

Event program

The international meeting on land-use planning and urban development took place in two phases :
23 - 27 september: an international panel on the planning and urban development of the economic area of Sèmè-Podji, one at the BYMINS center of Sèmè-Podji ;
28 - 29 September: a two-day conference on metropolization and urban issues in Africa, at the Palais des Congrès de Cotonou.


The five-day international
panel was moderated by a dozen experts, including seven international experts specializing in urban planning and development issues. In the course of their work, these experts learned about all the issues related to the development of the space in question. The results of the panel constituted a practical case, taking its place in the work of the conference. The two-day international conference mobilized about a hundred participants from different disciplines who came from various countries of the region. It resulted in a document of diagnosis and orientation for the planning and development of Sèmè Podji Commune. It also restituted the results of the INTA 35 congress which served as a basis for the formulation of some recommendations related to land use planning, the management of rapid metropolization and other urgent urban issues in Africa.

4 work themes

  • the transition to the metropolis: the challenge of decentralization in Africa
  • transportation, mobility and infrastructure transformation
  • new habitat, new urbanism in Africa
  • green economy in urban and territorial development

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