HOUSING INTERVENTIONS AND ITS INFLUENCE ON URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Opportunities and Challenges in Mixed Informal Settlements, in Dar es Salaam - Tanzania

Kalugila, Shubira

Rapid urbanisation that is not accompanied by socio-economic development strains the capacity of local and national governments to provide even basic services such as shelter. Informal settlements i.e. settlements not built or developed according to the formal regulations have become a solution to many urban dwellers in developing countries. In Tanzania informal settlements accommodate people from low, middle and high income groups. The study explores the nature of potentials and challenges posed by the existence of mixed socio-economic groups in informal settlements, including an assessment of what can be done to optimise utilisation of potentials and mitigation of conflicts. Using a case study strategy, the study was conducted in Dar es Salaam city focusing on Makongo mixed informal settlement. The results show that mixed informal settlements are as a result of several factors including uncoordinated energies of people. The urban development forces that bring change in the development of the city are stronger than the public states capacity to coordinate and manage them. Informal settlements also offer user-friendly land tenure, flexibility in house construction and proximity to livelihoods. Other factors include the nature of socio-economic living patterns and extension of urban boundaries. Community members operate using social norms. Advantages of mixed informal settlements include availability of plots according to needs and affordability while a disadvantage is, people of different socio-economic groups perceive problems differently. For policies to be effective, their formulation should be derived from what is happening on the ground i.e. addressing informal settlements according to their heterogeneity. Moreover, empowered local authorities can assist in implementing national development plans; also actors in land development including government institutions, non-governmental institutions, financial institutions, private sector, professionals, political leaders, research institutions, policy-makers and training institutions need to recognise, understand and respect each other’s roles, and pull resources together to minimise problems related to informality in land development; utilise potentials and minimise challenges in mixed informal settlements in Dar es Salaam. Key words: Informal settlements, land development, urbanisation


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