Densification of residential areas in Lusaka: the case of Chilenje.

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Mulundano, Mubiana
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The University of Zambia
Urbanisation in Zambia has continued at a rapid pace since independence. Lusaka continues to attract new dwellers who need to be accommodated though it has grown and development sprawled beyond its boundary limits. The study on densification of residential areas in Lusaka with a focus on Chilenje, a former public housing area, sought to determine the nature of densification taking place in Chilenje. Establishing the forms of densification taking place, residents’ perception of the densification on the neighbourhood and the impact of densification on basic services provided in Chilenje were key to this study. Designed as a descriptive case study, purposive sampling was used to select the respondents and houses for the interview and observation, respectively. A total of 45 questionnaires were administered. Aerial satellite imagery of a part of the study area from 2004, 2010 and 2016 was also analysed to depict new development in each period. It was revealed from the field visits and aerial imagery that many houses have gradually been transformed mainly by constructing extensions or rooms for rental income or to accommodate the growing family. Though over half of the respondents had lived in Chilenje for more than 30 years, most of them perceived their area as the same with a few who mentioned an increase in population, improved services and development of new structures in their neighbourhood. Payments for services such as water, electricity and refuse collection by the households living on a given plot is pooled each month. It can be concluded that transformation of the housing area has taken place mainly through additional development of rooms for rent or to house family members. Increased number of residents entails that when planned well and guided, the established prospect for affordable rentals in a low-cost residential area could cultivate aesthetically pleasing and sustainable residential areas which are well serviced. To this effect, the study recommends that policies and strategies formulated for the area should be cognizant of planning needs that are appealing to residents such as the type of housing units and estimated costs.
Degree of Master of Spatial Planning
Urbanization in Zambia. , Population density---Lusaka, Zambia.