An Atlas of Khartoum Conurbation

El-Bushra, El-Sayed. An Atlas of Khartoum Conurbation. Khartoum:
University of Khartoum Press, 1976, 97pp.




Atlas of Khartoum Conurbation


Khartoum Conurbation refers to the Three Towns: Khartoum,
Khartoum North and Omdurman which straddle the confluence of the White and the
Blue Niles. The Atlas's first chapter, “Physical Setting”, describes the
geographical location, the geology and the climatic conditions of the site.

 The second chapter, “Rise and Growth, is a
historical review of the rise of the Three Towns beginning with the prehistoric
settlements in the vicinity and passing through the Christian and Islamic
periods. A small village grew in each of the three sites after 1500 CE. In the
Turco-Egyptian period (1821-1885) Khartoum village was chosen as the capital of
Sudan, and grew into a town of 300,000. Omdurman and Khartoum North remained as

In the Mahdiyya period (1885-1898) the capital was shifted
to Omdurman and Khartoum was reduced into ruins. In the early years of the
Condominium period (1898-1956), Khartoum was reconstructed according to a
master plan on a European model. Planning and zoning regulations were introduced
and a three class system of residential areas was adopted for different social
strata. Centralisation of government and services after
independence led to industrial and commercial concentration and consequently to
increasing migration from rural areas into the capital.

 The book also discusses the population growth of the Three
Towns, from 50,000 in 1900 to 1,000,000 in 1979, and the impact on population
distribution in the region and social services. The study is perhaps the
earliest to point out the impact of this dramatic change on unauthorised
settlements; however, it falls short of acknowledging the consequences in terms
of security, health, food supplies etc.

The chapter devoted to “Land-Use” is well illustrated by
aerial photographs and air photographic mapping; it shows the major
characteristics of land-use and direction of growth in the 1960s. The last
chapter, “Sphere of Influence, draws attention to the importance of the
study of the interrelationship between the Capital and its immediate hinterlands.


Fathi Bashier


Bashier, Fathi. '"English abstract of 'An Atlas of Khartoum Conurbation'". Translated by Fathi Bashier. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 22. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
Related Documents