• Mining, welfare and urbanisation: the wavering urban character of Zambia’s Copperbelt

    This article focuses on the character of life and social welfare services in the mining towns of what was once the most urbanised country in central Africa. The services provided by mining companies varied over the years: from minimal at the time of the industry’s establishment in the 1920s; to a period of largesse between the 1950s and the late 1970s; and then a slow decline following the slide in world copper prices. The withdrawal of the mines from welfare provision from the mid-1990s to the present has radically altered not only people’s well-being, but…

  • The power of mining: the fall of gold and rise of Johannesburg.

    The City of Johannesburg has developed through the entire life-cycle of the mining industry. In its early years, its development was tied to the varying, but generally upward, fortunes of the mining industry. During this time, gold mining in Johannesburg, and along the Witwatersrand, propelled the growth of South Africa’s national economy into a phase of self-sustained development, and created an integrated labour market across southern Africa. It also played a key role in shaping the racial oligarchy that dominated South Africa until the fall of apartheid in the 1990s. However, gold was eventually to decline, first in the areas around Johannesburg, and then elsewhere. The growth of Johannesburg…

  • Packaging Township Development Projects

    This module will examine how the inputs for successful township development projects can be mobilised and managed through the course of a project. Any physical intervention project – be it the establishment of a node, an activity spine or improving an open space system – needs four inputs to be mobilised and applied: 1. Land, 2. Capital, 3. Human resources and skills and 4. Statutory approvals and authorisations. To secure these inputs, a fifth condition is required: leadership. Someone needs to drive the complex…

  • The Case of Nairobi, Kenya

    Urbanisation in Kenya has a long history with urban agglomeration in the form of trading centres being found along the Kenyan coast as early as the 9th Century AD (Obudho 1988: 3) . However, the growth of many urban centres can be traced to the pre-independence period when they were used as centres of administrative and political control by the colonial authorities (UNCHS 1985). The proportion of Kenyans living in urban centres increased from 5.1 percent in 1948 to 15.1 percent in 1979, to 18.0 percent in 1989 and 34.8 per cent in 2000. There are…

  • The Case of Durban, South Africa

    Recent critical reflection on post-Apartheid housing, urban development and other policies is, however, highlighting a number of weaknesses that reveal a failure to adequately address the spatial and socio-economic legacies of the past and sustain the positive impact of infrastructural interventions (cf. BESG 1999; Charlton 2001).

  • The Case of Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka is the capital city of Zambia, a country in the Central African Plateau with an average altitude of 1,000 to 1,400 m above sea level. Zambia is generally considered to be a Southern African country, because of its strong social and economic ties with the countries in the Southern African sub-continent rather than those in Central and Eastern Africa. Zambia lies between latitudes 100º and 180º south and 220º and 330º east. It is landlocked and shares borders with eight neighbouring countries. Zambia has a land area of 752,614 km and a population of just over 10 million…

  • The Case of Khartoum, Sudan

    Rapid, unorganised, sometimes unauthorised urban growth (urban sprawl) has become a prominent feature of developing countries, and the Sudan is no exception. This urban growth is generally measured by increases in area and density more than by functional development. Rural mass exodus to Sudanese urban centres is attributed mainly to geographically and socially uneven development and the concomitant depression of rural ecosystems and communities, the long civil war and armed conflicts, natural disasters like drought and famine, and the failure of government economic…

  • Self-Help, a Viable Non-Conventional Urban Public Service Delivery Strategy: Lessons from Cameroon

    Although cities with populations in excess of 1million receive almost all the attention from national and international development authorities, most urban dwellers in developing countries live in cities with populations below 50,000. Neglecting such smaller- and medium-sized cities often means that they receive little or no support from the central government and international sources.

  • Urbanization and development in sub-Saharan Africa

    Data from the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report and the World Bank’s World Development Report are employed to test the hypothesis of a positive link between urbanization and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Level of urbanization is defined as the percentage of a country’s population in cities with at least 20,000 inhabitants. Development is operationalized in terms of the human development index (HDI). Results from correlation and t-test analyses confirm the hypothesized relationship. Thus, the study shows…

  • Cities and Biodiversity Outlook —Action and Policy

    CBO – Action and Policy provides the summary of a global assessment of the links between urbanization, biodi- versity, and ecosystem services. Drawing on contributions from more than 120 scientists and policy-makers from around the world, it summarizes how urbanization affects biodiversity and ecosystem services and pres- ents 10 key messages for strengthening conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in an urban context. It also showcases best practices and lessons learned…