The interface between the evolving Urban Landuse and the planning of Solwezi Urban
Hakwendenda, Phanuel Chuka
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This report examines the interface that existed between the evolving urban land use and the planning of Solwezi urban. This came from the realization that the problem of urban land use fragmentation, coupled with a growing number of suburban and informal housing areas, appeared to have impacted negatively on Solwezi's urban morphology and on the spatial distribution of infrastructure and services in the town. The report seeks to explain the various functions of the town and their existing patterns and how these related to the overall planning of the town in terms of land use management and service provision. In order to arrive at this interface and establish the likely causes for the current situation, literature, particularly that relating to similar studies done elsewhere in Zambia and the Third World in general, was reviewed. This was literature relating to land use and infrastructural development, management and planning and the provision of urban services in the reviewed areas. The study used both structured and semi-structured questionnaires to get first-hand information from Solwezi residents and council officers respectively. It also used a stratified random sampling method to select respondents using a list of households obtained from CSO as a basis for determining both the total sample of 90 residents and the proportional sample sizes for each residential category. Field data were then analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively using appropriate techniques.Notwithstanding a considerable change in landuse as evidenced through reconstructed periodical maps and data obtained from the council, the study shows that there was some degree of misuse of land as indicated by some overlaps in landuse and a considerable mismatch between the use of urban land and the spatial distribution of infrastructure and services in Solwezi urban. The study further shows that the land allocated for commercial, institutional and recreational development was not adequate to cope with the rapid growth of the town. A remarkable socio-economic division existed in which poor housing standards, lack of clean and safe water supply, unsanitary conditions, poor roads and long distances to service centres were still prevalent among the low-income groups. Factors cited as likely causes for this situation included, inter alia, legacies of the colonial era, lack of adherence to zoning and building standards and regulations and, to a lesser extent, rigid traditional practices in which chiefs owned part of the urban land. The functions of the town still showed a character that lacked distinctiveness and in which a lot needed to be done in order to reduce the existing inequalities. The report gives a brief prospective overview of Solwezi's future town plan and wraps up by citing areas of improvement in an endeavour to attain a positive and balanced interface and suggests ways on how to round off the situation.
- Natural Sciences