The current rapid urbanization in Africa is an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of mankind, as urban growth is no longer linked to economic growth. With this "urbanization in poverty" a new way of urban life evolves and for this an appropriate city model is needed. The city of Addis Ababa being the only large African city without a colonial legacy is built on an indigenous settlement structure. This urban tissue consists of two elements: streetliners, the linear development of mid-rise, mainly commercial buildings along the ever-expanding street network, and in-fills low-rise, mainly residential buildings in-between the wide-weave grid of the street network. Together, both elements form an urban tissue with outstanding, advantageous properties. They create an urbanity characterized by a ‘mixity’ – as it is called in Addis Ababa – of social strata, functions, and economies. The close proximity of everything everywhere in the city makes crucial issues of survival for the large majority of poor inhabitants redundant, e.g. transport costs, ghettoization, etc. This paper argues that in contrast to the colonial or post-colonial city model based on the notion of centrality, segregation, and functional division, it is the noncentralized, non-segregated, non-functionalist urban tissue of Addis Ababa that could serve as an appropriate city model for the future of the rapidly growing African metropolis.