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Planning for urban growth : with special reference to Windhoek, Namibia


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Yon, Alicia P 1999 , 'Planning for urban growth : with special reference to Windhoek, Namibia', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The focus of this project is geared primarily to the provision of
housing in Windhoek and those least able to help themselves, the
substantial numbers of urban poor in that city, whether they are
from the indigenous urban population or migrants from rural areas. The primary reason for the "urban poor" focus is partly because it is
often felt that the poor should not be in cities in the first place, since
it is assumed that they are economic "parasites" and that any
assistance given to them in the form of housing and services will
only attract more migrants and increase the problem further. This
argument, however, fails to recognise that the urban poor make a
collectively substantial contribution to both urban and regional
economies. Planning and housing policies can be a powerful tool
in helping reduce inequalities and thus making a major contribution
to development strategies. In order to do so, it will be necessary for
planners, architects and policy makers to learn from the poor and
work and plan with them rather than making arbitrary assumptions.
The aim of this project is to:
• better understand the urbanisation dynamic at work at national
and local metropolitan scales in Namibia, and how it impacts
and exacerbates the housing issue in Windhoek
• investigate the housing issue as one aspect of the entire
complex urban system, incorporating a critique on various low-income
housing projects in order to see how housing relates to
the issue of sustainability
• put forward relevant policy and strategy recommendations as a
means of addressing the low-income housing issue
Methodology: the process of urbanisation in Namibia is a symptom of socioeconomic
development of the rural sectors of the country. It would
be impossible to address all those issues in this study, and will
therefore focus on one of the most critical issues, ie facilitating
housing for the urban poor. The provision of appropriate standards
of housing for all income levels, and the lack thereof, is currently a
pressing issue and the biggest dilemma facing planning which is
what this study seeks to address.
The project is divided into four components to facilitate a
coordinated and structured approach. The first component sets
the context and background necessary for further discussion of the
central theme, that of low-income housing. The next two
components form the core of this study, the latter highlighting the
housing situation amongst the urban poor in greater detail. This is done through a review of various low-income housing projects. The third alternative leads to conclusions about prospects and
alternatives as a means of addressing the housing issue in a multi-disciplinary
framework. The final section is a summary of the study,
and also draws general conclusions.
Most information was obtained through interviews and
correspondence with experts from various organisations, ie
government and NGOs along with one short field visit to Namibia.
Further information was gained from relevant literature and
statistics. Obtaining relevant data was one of the biggest obstacles
during the research phase of this project. Information regarding the
development of Windhoek during the apartheid era was abundant.
However, literature on low-income housing was scarce. Most
writings refer mainly to historical development, urbanisation and the
living situation in Katutura, the suburb which became the focus of
this project. Besides the lack of data on current city growth, there
are no concrete figures on the actual population size, the extent of
squatter settlements or current housing backlog. Some experts
have attempted to estimate these figures. The 1991 Population
Census is not considered very reliable by most experts and has
become obsolete due to the rapid changes in population growth
and distribution. Nonetheless, this project has been developed to a
reasonably useful level such that policies and strategies can be
usefully developed.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Yon, Alicia P
Keywords: Cities and towns, City planning
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1999 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis ( MTP )--University of Tasmania, 1999. Includes bibliographical references

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