The Rates and Effects of Urban Sprawl in Developing Countries: The Case of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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This paper presents the rate and effects of urban sprawl in Ethiopia highlighting the city of Addis Ababa. The purpose is to assess the rate and effects of urban sprawl and its role for metropolitan linkage. The study was conducted based on both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources were obtained from selected informants who can be principally distinguished as key government officials such as mayor and head of sub-cities and selected satellite towns. The qualitative approaches used were based on document and content analysis. The rate of urban sprawl along the five outlets of the city is dissimilar. The highest growth rate of urban spread has been observed along the Mojo outlet stretching to the towns of Dukem and Debrezeit; the rate of spread along the Jimma outlet to Alem Gena is also high. A lesser extent of urban sprawl is found along Dessie, Gojam and Nekemite outlets. The rate of urban sprawl along the Mojo and Jimma outlets is more than double that of the other outlets. Holistically, in 2010, the growth of the city stretched along its catchments for an average of about 1 km in all direction, and 2 km along the major outlets. From 2020 onward, it is predicted to 0.5 km intervals. The city may also expand vertically rather than horizontally. Urban sprawl has both positive and negative effects on the areas of expansion and their peoples. The positive effects are that it contributes to improvements in the economy of farmers in the invaded areas, changes their way of life to an urban style, and the indigenous peoples also have a better chance of being reclassified as urban and therefore of engaging in urban employment than under the previous system of farming. This development also plays a significant role in the urban growth of the city and the integration of satellite areas. Thus, the rate of urban growth of the city is very high. The ideal prescription would be to practice strong integrative work with the sub-cities and proximate rural areas in order to encourage timely and proper supervision and to bring the required growth to the city.

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