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Urban density and socioeconomic characteristics of informal settlements: evidence of interrelation from Maputo, Mozambique.


Year published: 2023
Categories: Journal Article
URL Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/09562478231195512

Author / Authors:

  • Mottelson, J.
  • Venerandi, A.


Environment and Urbanization, 35(2), 349-368. https://doi.org/10.1177/09562478231195512


Several studies have documented extensive low-density urban expansion of cities in sub-Saharan Africa, exacerbating issues of inadequate infrastructure, limited mobility and human impact on the environment. However, the relation between socioeconomic factors and urban expansion trends in sub-Saharan Africa remains understudied. This study investigates the links between household socioeconomic status and urban form of informal settlements based on case studies in Maputo, Mozambique. The findings of the study underscore that (1) built densification occurs over time, reflecting an incremental house expansion process enabled by household economic resources; (2) households with higher socioeconomic status consume comparatively more land, contributing to urban expansion; (3) households in more recently established settlements within the city limits have higher socioeconomic status than households in older settlements located in comparable proximity to the city centre; and (4) rental housing is more widespread in the centrally located settlements and accommodates younger residents with lower socioeconomic status.


  • Journal Article