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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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City-region governance in transitional contexts: the case of the BRICS

Abstract

The bulk of the scholarly literature on city-regions and their governance is drawn from contexts where economic and political systems have been stable over an extended period. However, many parts of the world, including all countries in the BRICS, have experienced far-reaching national transformations in the recent past in economic and/or political systems. The national transitions are complex, with a mix of continuity and rupture, while their translation into the scale of the city-region is often indirect. But, these transitions have been significant for the city-region, providing a period of opportunity and institutional fluidity. Studies of the BRICS show that outcomes of transitions are varied but that there are junctures of productive comparison including the ways in which the nature of the transitions create new path dependencies, and way in which interests across territorial scales soon consolidate, producing new rigidities in city-region governance.

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Investigating factors affecting the mode choices of commuters in Kuwait city & surrounding urban areas: Strategies for a higher quality and more sustainable public transport system

Abstract

This paper reports on the social, cultural, and demographic factors affecting Kuwaiti commuters. The objectives were to 1) investigate the awareness of Kuwaitis of transportation problems, 2) examine the perceptions of Kuwaitis of daily traffic congestion and how it affects them emotionally and physically, and the main objective 3) study the attitudes of Kuwaitis towards using public buses. An online survey was used to examine these factors, and a sample of five hundred transportation system users was obtained. The primary findings showed significant associations between the use of public transport buses and the user’s nationality, gender, age, education, and income level. Men are 2.6 times more likely to use buses, and non-Kuwaiti residents are 6.4 times more likely to use them. In relation to the perceptions of daily traffic congestion, findings indicate that with increase in travel time, commuters, in general, developed more negative feelings, such as exhaustion and stress. A large proportion of the sample population is aware of current local transportation problems and future transportation projects. The results of this study fill a gap in the knowledge of the socioeconomic and cultural factors that influence the success of sustainable public transportation solutions to the traffic challenges found in Kuwait. This knowledge is also crucial to foreign consultants working on planning and transportation projects in the region. It is recommended that officials use this new knowledge on cultural factors to develop integrated land use and transportation plans of the urban areas in Kuwait and to develop more effective and sustainable transportation demand management policies in support of UN Sustainable Development Goals that Kuwait has signed up to pursue.

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A model of the analysis of the dynamics and structure of socio-economic development (an example of the set of the largest Polish cities in the years 1998–2015)

Abstract

The complexity of the reality studied by geographical research requires applying such methods which allow describing the state of affairs and ongoing changes in the best possible way. This study aims to present a model of research on selected aspects of the dynamics and structure of socio-economic development. The idea was to determine whether we deal with the process of reducing or widening the differences in terms of individual features. The article primarily pursues a methodological goal, and to a lesser extent an empirical one. The methodological objective of the paper was to propose and verify a multi-aspect approach to the study of development processes. The analyses carried out reveal that in terms of the features taken into account in the set of 24 of the largest Polish cities the dominating processes are those increasing differences between cities, which are unfavourable in the context of the adopted development policies aiming at reducing the existing disparities. In relation to the methodological objective, the results of the conducted research confirm the rationale of the application of the measures of dynamics and the feature variance to determine the character (dynamics and structure) of the socio-economic development process of cities. Comparatively less effective, especially for interpretation, is the application of principal component analysis and a multivariate classification, which is mainly the result of differences in the variance of particular features.

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Pasteloza – refurbishing of the PPR heritage

Abstract

Colourful zigzags, arcade game motifs, geometric figures, pseudo-frames of windows and even infantile drawings of flora and fauna – those are just some of the visible symptoms of the aesthetical and urbanistic chaotic condition also known as Polish pasteloza. One of the most common readings is that the excuse of thermal insulation is being (ab)used in order to radically erase the urbanistic, cultural and political heritage of Polish People’s Republic (PPR) from the city landscape. On the other hand, inhabitants of ‘pastelized’ housing estates claim to be satisfied not only with the insulation but also with their role in decision-making processes. A sense of alienation from one’s home seems to have gone away, together with the centralized state administration, and it is being replaced by citizen participation. The possibility of vindication of pasteloza’s ‘crimes against aesthetics’ will be deliberated in this paper – in order to pave a path for more complex understanding of this phenomenon that could offer a solution for achieving a compromise between aesthetics and civic participation in post-transition processes.

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Regeneration of a historic city block: the example of the relocation of the historic Atelier building to the cloister area of the Congregation of the Resurrection in Krakow

Abstract

The article discusses a project that features the relocation of the historic Atelier building, built by Krakow-based architect Wandalin Beringer (1839–1923) who was active in the early twentieth century, and the regeneration of a plot belonging to the Congregation of the Resurrection since 1885, which is located at 12 Łobzowska Street in Krakow. The method includes cutting the entire structure off at the foundation and then after reinforcing it with a steel structure transporting it in its entirety to the new location. The project included two possible variants of moving the building in a straight line, either by 21 or 59 metres and evaluates two projects of further regeneration, the adaptive reuse of the building as an exhibition and religious space as well as a proposal for the remodelling of the nearby plot that belongs to the Congregation into a space for meditation and as a recreational park. The aim of these measures is to prevent the demolition of this building, now over a century old, as a result of which a forgotten element of the cultural heritage of the city will be saved. This project was based on the results of analyses of the cultural and historical conditions of Krakow. The block of buildings in which the Atelier in question is located is a very attractive location, near to the very centre of Krakow, adjacent to residential, service and educational buildings. It is directly adjacent to the Monastery Complex of the Congregation of the Resurrection, listed as a heritage building under conservation protection (municipal registry of heritage buildings). In the second half of the twentieth century, the building was used as a workroom by artists such as Xawery Dunikowski and later by the sculptress Teodora Stasiak. The case of the Atelier may provide an inspiration for discussion as well as raising awareness among citizens and city authorities to avoid future situations in which cultural heritage may become forgotten or demolished.

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