Home > Africa > Peri-urban dynamics in Africa: Implications for building healthy cities

Peri-urban dynamics in Africa: Implications for building healthy cities

Journal of African Studies and Development Vol. 2 (2) pp. 015-026 March, 2010

Peri-urban dynamics and regional planning in Africa: Implications for building healthy cities

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Innocent Chirisa. Department of Rural and Urban Planning, University of Zimbabwe.
E-mail:  innocent.chirisa@gmail.com

Much as peri-urban zones in Africa are places of possible disaster outbreaks in terms of disease outbreaks and other social hazards due to their general lack of planning and institutional integration, they can act as cradles for building health cities. This is so for many practical reasons poised in the sustainable development framework – the prevalence of horticultural activities; their attractiveness to investment by the moneyed classes of society in the areas of housing, commerce and other big-time ventures; and attention by regional planners in their quest for tapping on the wealth of the rural-urban linkages. This article captures these various dynamic activities and developments in the peri-urban zones of some African countries towards building a case for building healthy cities in the sustainable development framework. The key questions addressed in the article are:

  • (a) To what extent are Africa peri-urban zones areas of possible disease outbreaks owing to the increased migration trends in different countries?
  • (b) What regional planning measures to be put in place so that the sustainability of peri-urban areas of the selected cities and towns to curb incidences of waterborne, airborne and other pandemic diseases?
  • (c) What housing options must be put in place towards addressing the slum conditions in these quintessential areas? (d) What is the contribution of developers and investors in the place making of peri-urban settlements?

In addressing these questions, the comparison of the different factors are key in determining whether or not the question of spatial scale matter; technologies to be employed and how best a stewardship approach will help in consensus-building by the different stakeholders so that harmonious places in the form of healthy and stable peri-urban African settlements are fostered. The case study approach was chosen in order to depict spatially  relevant details and dynamics that link the subject of peri-urban interfaces and their implications for regional planning in Africa.

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