• SmallBanner 01
  • SmallBanner 02
  • SmallBanner 03

The Consolidation Of ‘Traditional Villages’ In Pikine, Senegal: Negotiating Legitimacy, Control and Access to Peri-Urban Land


Year published: 2021
Categories: Journal Article

Author / Authors:

  • Emilie Pinard


African Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00020184.2021.1906205


This article examines the actors, everyday practices and norms involved in the production of peri-urban land in the prolongation of ‘traditional villages’ in Pikine, Senegal. It refers to the conception of governance in African cities as the outcome of daily transactions and negotiations between various institutions and inhabitants, and of adaptations to changing socio-economic and political conditions. Using the case of two recent neighbourhoods located on the urban periphery, the article documents planning processes in which traditional authorities and local institutions collaborate to craft new land subdivision and regulation practices in order to develop and control the territory. It argues that traditional authorities need to create new alliances with municipal actors and share the benefits of land allocation. However, traditional authorities manage to sustain their influence and governance capacity through the possible negotiation and exception of the application of regulation practices. The article contributes to studies on urban governance in Africa on two fronts. First, it challenges normative assumptions about the absence or weakness of planning practices and regulatory power pertaining to peri-urban areas. Second, by shining light on the particular logic of land allocation, claims and authority, the article deepens our understanding of neo-customary land delivery systems, and their spatial and social consequences.


  • Journal Article