Urban planning lost in translation: colonial urban planning systems and today’s reality

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In Sub-Saharan Africa urbanization is progressing at a rate unprecedented in human history. In most countries, the state is not in a position to apply a responsive legal framework and to mobilize adequate resources to guide urbanization. A major obstacle are the outdated legal framework, its institutional set-up and the inappropriate planning concepts inherited from colonial governments which often contradict post-colonial policies and are unsuitable to respond to rapid urban growth. The paper will present results of a joint research analysing empirically factors on space standards and land use in prevalent types of formally planned and informal settlements in Dar es Salaam as well as the stakeholders involved in planning decision. To understand the current urbanisation there is the need to understand its history: The paper will analyse the historical development of urban planning, its legislation and the physical outcomes as settlement pattern on the ground. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, now informal settlements cover more than 70% of the city areas because the statutory system cannot provide sufficient building land and settlers have to find plots on the informal land market. It shows the need for a new approach to statutory planning in order to guide urban development effectively, to create more functional settlements, to assist the urban poor to access affordable plots with basic services. Or with other words, there is a need to rethink urban planning for a weak institutional environment and develop an idea and a model for urbanization Africa under poverty.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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