In the last few years academic research and urban development projects have underlined the important role of African small towns in promoting the growth of the surrounding rural areas and in reversing the polarization trend of major urban centres. Nevertheless, exploring the particular nature of these towns ?which the majority of African population lives in or refers to? is still an unsolved issue. This book describes the main characteristics and urbanization trends of African rural towns. These are defined as a particular typology of human settlement that is characterized by a hybrid settlement pattern, in which persisting elements of the rural world melt together with emerging urban features. Moreover, a conceptual and methodological framework is proposed, that aims to support the spatial planning activity in the rural towns of local administrators and technicians, to whom recent public sector reforms have assigned this responsibility for the first time. The research is based on accurate literature review and in-the-field research that was conducted by the author in Caia and Sena, two small towns situated in the rural Mozambique.