Urban types in rapidly urbanising cities - a typological approach in the analysis of urban types in Dar es Salaam

  • J M Lupala


One of the challenges confronting rapidly urbanising cities is the fact that these cities are growing at unprecedented rates, sizes and densities. Besides, growth in these cities is largely unregulated. It has been observed by Habitat (1996) that cities have grown in at least four major ways namely; their size, spatial organisation, distribution of public services and employment base. While this situation can be related to global urbanization processes, the general poor knowledge on how these cities develop, densify, or acquire certain physical characteristics and how to characterize built environments has limited affective urban management and governance. Cities have sprawled to the extent that the negative externalities associated with horizontal growth undermines the functionality and efficiency in terms of service provision and land utilisation. Land underutilisation has been manifested even in some of the prime locations of the cities. The concept ‘urban types' has been employed to refer to sections of the built environment having a common set of physical characteristics in terms of house forms, density as depicted by number of storeys, land coverage and floor area ratios. An attempt to identify, classify and analyse urban types within the context of Dar es Salaam city is being made. It is notable from this characterisation that apart from urban types that constitute the core of the city, the immediate built environments reveal low density, low-rise house types and low land coverage and floor area ratios that have contributed to the sprawled city structure of Dar es Salaam.

Journal of Building and Land Development Vol. 13 (2) 2006: pp. 1-21

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eISSN: 0856-0501