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Financing Low-income Housing in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe: Implications for the Right to the City and Inclusivity

Abstract

Accessing finances for housing has been a major problem for people on low-incomes and this has been weighing heavily on them as they try to access housing. Financial institutions in the city of Bulawayo are failing to come up with financial products that suit low-income clients. There are an estimated 110000 low-income residents among the estimated 250000 residents of Cowdray Park low-density residential area in Bulawayo. This has also affected their right to the city as they have been excluded from the housing delivery system. There are so many initiatives that have been available to those on a low-income but these initiatives have rarely benefited the urban poor of the city. This research has examined how the financial services that exist in the housing sector have been crafted to benefit the urban poor. The research employed a mixed methods approach to the inquiry, where a questionnaire was the main quantitative method used and in-depth interviews and observations were the qualitative methods that complemented it. The research found that there are various financial services that are available in Zimbabwe, but these financial facilities rarely help the urban poor. The majority of the poor have been managing without any financial support and this has been stalling their access to housing. Most housing products are fashioned along neo-liberal economic principles that have very little to offer the urban poor. This has therefore denied the urban poor in the city of Bulawayo their right to the city. Most cities in Zimbabwe are struggling to satisfy their housing demand as they have long housing waiting lists. Research therefore recommends the crafting of financial facilities that are best targeted on the urban poor, and are specially adapted to their financial conditions.

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Luanda’s Slums: An overview based on poverty and gentrification

Abstract

Slum redevelopment is occurring at a rapid pace in many African cities. This paper examines the urban development of contemporary Luanda, the capital of Angola. Central to this examination is an analysis of the city’s slums according to Foucault’s concept of governmentality. The focus is on the chaotic urban development that has resulted from the civil war and on the effects of poverty and gentrification in many of Luanda’s slums. The policy of violence towards slum population adopted by the municipality appears to define a technology of domination, the subjection of the individual to the formation of the state. However, with the high earnings obtained from oil production, the country clearly has the resources needed to fund investments in electricity and utility systems. The continuing persistence of slums and a housing policy based on neglect signifies a form of governmentality, adopted as a means of government coercion and a way of dominating the poor population. The paper closes with a set of policy implications for action.

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The Nexus Between Urbanisation and Human Empowerment: Income Group Based Findings of Bidirectional Causality

Abstract

The economic and social drivers of democratisation and the emergence and establishment of democratic institutions are longstanding themes of academic discourse. Within this broad body of literature, it has been argued that the process of urbanisation is also conducive to the emergence and consolidation of democracy through a number of different channels. Cities offer better access to education and facilitate organised public action and the demand for more democratic rule and respect of human rights. The nexus between urbanisation and human rights is the theme that is taken up in the present paper. Using a sample of 123 countries for the period 1981–2011, the paper examines empirically the association between urbanisation and human empowerment using the Cingranelli-Richards Index. In broad terms, the findings reported herein do not point to a strong nexus across all income groups. Nevertheless, there is evidence suggesting the presence of such a statistically significant positive association in specific cases.

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Riding without a ticket: geography of free fare public transport policy in Poland

Abstract

A policy instrument promoting a free fare public transport policy (FFPT) has recently been put into practice in 66 municipalities across Poland. By contributing to the academic debate on the concept of FFPT (e.g. Kębłowski 2019), the main goal of this paper is to create a typology of the schemes where FFPT is in operation in Poland based on analyses of a geographical mapping of these projects. This study analyses how different municipalities are implementing the concept in order to define a typology of FFTP projects and to understand how the development landscape of the urban transport system is changing in the light of free fare transport policies, topics which are not fully covered in the academic literature. The findings confirm that there is a new dynamic in the development of urban transport systems and permit the identification of key characteristics of this trend. Besides the typology of implementation of FFPT, the study also presents an up-to-date inventory of FFPT projects with the key characteristic features of each system. Although the study does not provide specific recommendations regarding the introduction of a FFPT policy, it represents a good starting point for future and more detailed studies. Such studies are necessary in order to understand the role of FFPT not only in the context of the development of a given transport system, its impact on modal split, and travel behaviour, but also to uncover the different politics which lie behind them.

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The Rise and Fall of the Celtic Tiger and the evolution of an Urban System: 1996–2011

Abstract

During the 1990s the Celtic Tiger era began in the Republic of Ireland. This article tracks the response of the Irish Urban System to that remarkable period of growth ended abruptly with the Global Economic Crisis of 2008. Using Small Area Population Statistics from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office for the years 1996, 2002, 2006 and 2011 it was possible to record growth across the towns and cities of Ireland that constituted the Irish Urban System. The location, size, type and rates of change were recorded and mapped with a view towards discovering the extent to which the urban hierarchy and the spatial distribution was being altered, and by what geographical processes. Over 15 years the national population grew by 26% with most of that growth taking place in urban centres. A clear diffusion outwards from the Dublin region is noticeable and the capital’s role in systemic change is explored alongside other factors. The article highlights the changing nature of growth over time and, based on the empirical observations made, identifies a sequence of clear stages in the growth of the urban system. The article concludes with a proposal for a Model of Urban System Evolution under conditions of Rapid Economic Growth based on the distinct phases, or stages, of growth identified in Ireland’s towns and cities from 1996–2011.

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Economic and functional changes in the largest villages in Poland at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century

Abstract

The article deals with selected aspects of the economic structure and functions of the largest villages in Poland. The main aim of the study is to investigate the diversity and changes that can be observed to have happened since before the fall of Communism in Poland. Large villages with populations exceeding 5,000 inhabitants are located in the same part of the rural–urban continuum as small towns, including many poviat (1) seats. For this reason, they are an interesting comparative category of settlement units. The study was based on a source database from the end of the last century and on contemporary public data from the REGON database. The comparison is based not only on various data, but also uses various research methodologies.

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Housing in multiple occupation and studentification in Johannesburg

Abstract

Research concerning studentification is growing in importance. The supply of private student accommodation forms part of the wider urban process of studentification which documents changes in the social, economic and cultural fabric of cities. Although scholarly interest concerning the supply of private student accommodation has enjoyed sustained interest in the global North, only limited work is available surrounding the supply and demand for private student accommodation in global South urban centres. In South Africa there has been growing recognition of the impact of the studentification that has accompanied the massification of tertiary education in the post-apartheid period. Using interviews with key stakeholders, suppliers of student accommodation, as well as focus groups with students, this paper explores the supply of houses in multiple occupation and students’ perspectives on such properties in Johannesburg, South Africa. One distinctive influence upon the studentification process in South Africa is the impact of the national government funding system which was restructured in order to support the tertiary education of students from previously disadvantaged communities.

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The impact of population displacement due to river bank erosion on the education of erosion victims: a study in jangipur sub-division of murshidabad district, West Bengal, India

Abstract

The present research aims to find out whether population displacement due to river bank erosion has any impact on education of the erosion victims of the developing countries or not. To fulfil the objective of the study, 19 erosion affected study units were selected along the banks of the Ganga-Bhagirathi river in the Jangipur sub-division of Murshidabad district, West Bengal. Pearson’s correlation analysis and multiple linear regression analysis were performed using SPSS software. The result of the study shows that frequency of population displacement due to bank erosion and percentage of child labour are positively and significantly correlated (r = 0.51). A low mean year of schooling has been observed in almost all selected study units. The result of multiple linear regression analysis shows that river bank erosion has an adverse impact on the education of the people living along the river banks.

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Inclusiveness of Urban Land Administration in the City of Lusaka, Zambia

Abstract

Many cities in developing countries are experiencing urbanization characterised by the continu-ous proliferation of informal settlements. In the City of Lusaka over 70 percent of residents live in informal settlements. The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of how inclusive land administration is in the City of Lusaka using the perspective of good governance principles. The sample comprised 10 key informants purposively selected from government institutions/ civil society organisations and 60 respondents conveniently drawn from informal settlements. The findings were analysed thematically and using descriptive statistics. The findings show that there is need to create policies and legislation that assists in developing viable, liveable and inclusive townships. Most indicators of the five good governance principles recorded negative responses of at least 60 per cent. Formal urban land development arrangements in the city have not been able to cope with the demands of the majority of urban residents. The study suggests that land and housing policies be revised to serve a broader purpose beyond the provision of shelter in order to suit the dynamic and contemporary needs of specific societies. Further re-search is needed on tenure responsive land use planning in order to understand existing commu-nity dynamics (economic and social support networks) and implement practical changes for tackling informality if Zambian cities and communities are to be sustainable and resilient.

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Livelihood adaptation and life satisfaction among land-lost farmers: Critiquing China’s urbanisation-driven land appropriation

Abstract

Large-scale rural land appropriation and displacement, driven by the unprecedented urban growth currently experienced in China, has created millions of land-lost peasants who live in the city but remain culturally, socially and institutionally rural. The situation has attracted growing attention in the literature because of its negative social impact, but relatively few studies have addressed how land-lost farmers adapt to urban ways of life and what factors influence their life satisfaction. In this paper, we investigate the predictors of livelihood adaptation and life satisfaction of land-lost farmers from a land appropriation case in the city of Changchun, Northeast China. The results show that, five years after the appropriation, livelihood adaptation remained very difficult and life satisfaction was poor among the resettlers. Furthermore, marginalised groups, such as those who were older, less educated and from smaller families, and those with lower pre-displacement income were less likely to have a higher income level after resettlement, resulting in a lower level of life satisfaction. Women also had lower life satisfaction than men. The study highlights an urgent need to improve China’s unjust land appropriation policy with a particular focus on attending to the needs of marginalised groups.

Open access