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Planning and development regulation amid rapid urban growth:explaining divergent trajectories in Africa

Goodfellow, Tom (2013) Planning and development regulation amid rapid urban growth:explaining divergent trajectories in Africa. Geoforum, 48. pp. 83-93. ISSN 0016-7185

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Why are urban plans, land use regulations and construction codes implemented effectively in some African states but not others? This constitutes an increasingly urgent development concern with major implications for the environment and the urban poor. Rather than being explained by economic factors, bureaucratic capacity or the nature of the urban policies and regulations in place, this paper argues that divergent outcomes are largely rooted in differing political bargaining environments. Comparing Uganda and Rwanda, it presents an empirical study that analyses contrasting planning and regulation trajectories in contexts of similarly low levels of socioeconomic development and soaring rates of urban growth. It argues that the divergent outcomes can be explained in relation to the political resources and incentives confronted by governing elites, which in Rwanda impel state actors to implement plans and regulations while in Uganda incentivize overriding them in the interests of political or economic gain. In highlighting political bargaining contexts and how these change over time, the paper illustrates the critical importance of historically informed city-level political economy analysis for understanding divergent urban development outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 22 May 2013 16:16
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:29

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