The impact of fragmented settlement patterns on provision of infrastructure and services in Lusaka

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Kangwa, John
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Like many other cities that were established during the British colonial period, Lusaka was created to reflect the town planning ideas of the late 19th century in Europe. The ideas propagated by the 'Garden City Movement' played an important role in the design ethic applied to Lusaka. This resulted in a city that fostered the ideals of suburban living for the white minority while ignoring the living conditions of the African majority. While insisting on a "generous, gracious city" for the small, white community, the planners of colonial Lusaka had difficulties finding a suitable site for the growing African population. The European areas were provided with all the modern amenities necessary for urban living while the African areas had little in the way of infrastructure and services. Independence in 1964 halted the racial segregation but replaced it with a physical and social segregation based upon income levels. As a result mainly of colonial planning policies, Lusaka is now characterized by a physically and socially fragmented urban structure in which a majority of residents do not enjoy equitable access to infrastructure and services.This study investigates levels of access to infrastructure and services in a sample of residential areas and arrives at an index of accessibility showing the different levels of access across the study area. The methodology of the study consisted of a field study of 100 respondents drawn from eight residential areas covering the high, medium and low cost areas and a literature study of the relevant source material on the issues of housing and infrastructure access both in Lusaka and Third World cities in general. The research findings broadly confirm what was suspected that the low and medium cost areas, which were originally African housing areas, suffer more from deficiencies in access to infrastructure and services in comparison to the high cost areas. However, they also point out the fact that a certain amount of consolidation has taken place, particularly with respect to the permanence of shelter among the low cost residents. The research concludes with the view that there is still much to be done to improve accessibility to infrastructure and services for the low cost majority who continue by and large to carry on a seemingly rural way of life in a city, which is increasingly adopting an urban mode of existence.
Settlement patterns -- Lusaka -- Zambia , Social settlement -- Lusaka , Colonial Cities -- Lusaka , Housing -- Colonial -- Lusaka