• Rising Diabetes Prevalence among Urban-Dwelling Black South Africans

    Diabetes has globally emerged as a major public health challenge of the 21stcentury. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where diabetes was considered rare prior to the 1990s, has also witnessed a rise in the burden. Studies conducted 10–20 years ago found that diabetes prevalence varied across the region. There are, however, limited data as to the extent of the rise. In urban Tanzania rates increased from 0.3% in the 1980s to 4.6% in 1996 according to the 1998 WHO criteria, and in urban Cameroon from 1.5% in the 1990s to 6.6% in 2003.

  • Reshaping Cities, Rebuilding Nations: The Role of National Urban Policies

    The challenges of rapid urbanisation in large parts of Africa are beyond the capacity of local government to manage. The paper explores the arguments for a national urban policy to complement local strategies, reflecting the unique power of the central state and the special circumstances of cities. With appropriate support, urbanisation could become a more positive force for economic and human development. Recent experience in South Africa illustrates some of the difficulties and possibilities for agreeing a systematic approach to planning and managing…

  • An historical perspective on the viability of urban diversity: lessons from socio-spatial identity construction in nineteenth-century Algiers and Cape Town

    Social heterogeneity is fundamental to many conceptions of urbanism. Social contact in diverse cities is valorized by theorists linking pluralism with social justice, democratic functioning and the psychological development of tolerance. Others express caution, noting that conflict and instability are equally possible outcomes of intergroup contact. This paper argues that these ongoing debates can be informed by longer-term, cross-cultural perspectives on urbanism.

  • Ubungo Darajani, Tanzania: Urban planning, land rights, and food security

    Access to land is a central problem and source of conflict in urban contexts in Africa, and Tanzania is a good example of this. In this country, located in eastern Africa1, one of the main problems derives from the absence or poor organization of urban planning, especially in the more peripheral areas of the cities. For the purposes of this case study, an urban setting is defined as contiguous sub-places predominantly made up of proclaimed land where there is a reasonably high density of people (more than 500 people per km2) and where residents have access to urban amenities…

  • The Urban Transition In Ghana: Urbanization, National Development and Poverty Reduction

    The first point to note is that the intensive urbanization of the industrial nations which occurred in the past is currently under way in today’s developing countries. Although the rate of urbanization in the developing world is proceeding at a fairly comparable rate as that of the industrial nations in the heyday of their rapid urbanization, the rate of population growth of cities in developing countries as distinct from urbanization is rather unprecedented (Songsore,2003a ;Davis, 1967;Satterthwaite,1996; Preston, 1979). In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population,3.3 billion people, are living in…

  • The case of Abidjan, Ivory Coast

    This report is part of a set of studies of slum conditions, policies and strategies, commissioned and compiled in preparation for the United Nations Global Report on Human Settlements 2003 – The Challenge of Slums. The case study cities were selected by an expert group assembled by UN-Habitat to design and prepare the first draft of the Global Report in January 2002. Care was taken to achieve a representative geographical distribution, a spread of city sizes and ‘levels of development’. The availability…

  • Incrementally Securing Tenure: An Approach for Informal Settlement Upgrading in South Africa

    Informal urban land markets are operating in the parts of our cities in which poorer people live. Although they function well in the short term and provide access to land, their effectiveness is limited, including locking poor people into marginal locations. Urban LandMark advocates opening up more officially recognised channels of land supply as a primary means for improving the pro-poor functioning of urban land markets. Increased tenure security in informal settlements is the first step towards official recognition. Once greater tenure security…

  • An urban slice of pie: the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act in South Africa

    Security of tenure had very little meaning for the vast majority of South Africans as Nelson Mandela walked out of Pollsmoor prison. Told what citizenship to have by apartheid, where to live by the Group Areas Act, liable to eviction at the whim of any landlord or security force and easily arrested for trespass, black South Africans faced often insurmountable legal obstacles in establishing their right to occupy their own land. outh Africans also found that their recently bought houses could easily be attached and sold by mortgage holders…

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