Event—Public Programming

Imaginary Spaces and Colonial Realities: Urban Planning in Freetown 1786-1810

As British abolitionists in London designed a settlement in Sierra Leone for former slaves from the British Atlantic World, particular attention was given to the colonial capitol of Freetown. The abolitionists attempted to create an idyllic world, establishing the former slave’s political and economic freedom upon the design of Freetown. However this plan failed as it was based on reports of Sierra Leone as a picturesque landscape. After the failure of the abolitionist’s vision, Freetown was constructed through the successive administrations of Royal Navy officers and administrators who advanced the practicalities of public administration and urban planning within Sierra Leone.