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The Tale of Two Capital Cities: the Effects of Urbanisation and Spatial Planning Heritage in Zimbabwe and Zambia.


Year published: 2020
Categories: Journal Article
URL Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12132-020-09410-8

Author / Authors:

  • Chigudu, A.
  • Chavunduka, C.


Urban Forum (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12132-020-09410-8


This paper examines the effects of urbanisation in the capital cities of Zimbabwe and Zambia with specific reference to their inherited spatial planning systems. Many cities around the world are faced with urbanisation challenges, owing largely to population growth caused rural-urban migration. Most of this urbanisation occurs as people search for favourable economic opportunities and a better life. The paper analyses the colonial spatial planning legacy of the two countries, highlighting how inherited spatial planning practices in Zimbabwe and Zambia has continued to influence urban development in the rapidly urbanising cities of Harare and Lusaka. Data was obtained from document reviews and the analysis of secondary data. Some data was acquired through interviews from expert planners and observations. The results revealed that urbanisation is an enduring phenomenon in these capital cities, and the growth of slums and informal settlements is very pronounced there. Although efforts have been made to address challenges associated with urbanisation, these have not been sufficient. Moreover, although Harare and Lusaka are experiencing rapid urbanisation, minimal priority is given to deliberately reviewing their spatial planning systems and addressing their urbanisation challenges. Noteworthy attempts have been made to control urbanisation in Harare and Lusaka, but these have largely been inadequate due to the lack of will to review the adopted colonial spatial planning frameworks in Zimbabwe and Zambia. There is need, therefore, for strong spatial planning institutions and sustainable statutory frameworks that address contemporary urbanisation problems in these Third World cities.


  • Journal Article