Change of land use from residential to commercial in Livingstone: implications for urban planning

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Mtawali, Tozya
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University of Zambia
The study assessed the change of land use in Livingstone and the implications it has had on urban planning from 2009-2015. Simple random sampling was used to select 50 out of 120 property owners who had changed use. A questionnaire was used to obtain information. A total number of 5 key informants from institution such as; Livingstone City Council, ZESCO and SWASCO was obtained using an interview guide. The study established that the main type of change of use was from residential to commercial (72 percent), followed by residential to office (24 percent) and residential to place of worship (4 percent). The year 2013 recorded the highest change of use, which was attributed to the co-hosting of the UN-WTO Conference which stimulated the demand for accommodation. Out of the properties that changed use from residential to other uses, 44 percent reverted to residential use. The reverting which occurred towards 2014 was attributed to the post UN-WTO conference which reduced the demand for lodges and guest houses as well as the shift of the provincial capital to Choma in 2012 where government meeting/workshops are taking place now. This provided a challenge to business owners. In terms of the drivers of change of use, the study revealed that the major driver in the City of Livingstone is business (70 percent), predominantly lodges and guest houses. Other drivers include accessibility (16 percent) to the CBD and rent value (14 percent), uses such as office has more rent value than residential use. The implications on urban planning mainly concern service and infrastructure provision, such as increase in the demand for services such as water, road networks, street lighting and power. Sixty-two percent of property owners had made alterations and extended their buildings without upgrading the other infrastructure services such as water and electricity to suit the new use. The other implication on urban planning include overload on the domestic line hence causes blockage. The study concludes that if no proper check is done on the change of use, it has great potential to cause challenges for urban planning such as cost on the Local Authority to repair the damages (Solid waste, drainage blockage, sewer blockage). One of the main recommendations is for Livingstone City Council to enhance on its development control mechanism as well as avoid sectorial planning and ensure that the processing of application for change of land use involves other key institutions such as ZESCO and SWASCO. Key Words and phrases: Change of land use or change of use, Urban Planning, Livingstone, residential, commercial.
City planning--Zambia , Land use, Urban--Zambia