Urban types in rapidly urbanising cities

University dissertation from Stockholm : Infrastruktur

Abstract: One of the challenges confronting cities innon-industrialised countries today is the fact that cities aregrowing at unprecedented rates, sizes and densities. Growthtrends in these cities are largely unregulated. In thesecountries, cities have changed in at least four major ways:their size, spatial organisation or morphology, the quality anddistribution of public services and infrastructure and theiremployment base. While this situation can be attributed toglobal urbanisation trends, the general poor knowledge on howthese cities develop, densify and acquire certain physicalcharacteristics has limited effective urban planning andmanagement. At times, the pervasive knowledge gap has beenassociated with the lack of relevant theories and concepts toexplain the evolution, growth and prevailing spatial qualities.However, the limited research in this field has alsocontributed to this problem. The other problem that confrontsthe rapidly urbanising city is continued sprawl that has beenmanifested in externalities of inadequate infrastructureprovision and under-utilisation of scarce resourcesparticularly land.This thesis is an attempt to contribute towards addressingthese two problem areas. The main field of study is on urbantypes within a rapidly urbanising city context. Dar es Salaamcity was selected a case study area. The study exploresthetheoretical framework for classification and analysis ofsettlements. The relevance of this framework in the studycontext is examined. At low scale level, the study provides ananalysis of house forms, density, plot characteristics, spacesand space uses in formal and informal settlements.The analysis shows that urbanisation under poverty andlow-density urban types greatly influence the sprawlingcharacter of the city. The increasing market-led housingdevelopment and ineffective planning responses are contributingfactors to the observed unguided densification anddeteriorating spatial qualities. It has also been shown thatwhile theoretical frameworks developed from most industrialisedcountries can be adapted to analyse urban types innon-industrialised countries, these theories are limited incomprehending fully the growth and character of rapidlyurbanising cities.Key words:Urban types, house forms, density, plotcharacteristics, spaces and space use, spatial quality, formaland informal settlements, Dar es Salaam.