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Community / Land projects / Uprooting injustices and establishing formal linkages for inclusive, integrated African cities

Uprooting injustices and establishing formal linkages for inclusive, integrated African cities


08/21 - 08/24


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In Nairobi, Kenya and Kitwe, Zambia, long-standing land tenure questions have hindered urban planning and the provision of affordable housing and services in informal settlements. Poor access to services creates acute risks of insecurity for women and girls and denies them their dignity. The last decade, however, has seen concerted efforts to stem the deep inequality and exclusion in Nairobi’s informal settlements. Special planning areas (SPAs) have emerged as a transformational model to spur redevelopment, first in the Mukuru area, with plans to replicate those efforts in the Kibera neighbourhood and the Mathare Valley. In Zambia, new urban-planning powers to create improvement areas and title urban properties offer promise to support large-scale redevelopment. Building on those opportunities, this project will bring together grassroots movements, local authorities, universities, and civil society organizations to co-produce knowledge needed to foster inclusive and equitable change. In Nairobi, the project team will lead research to identify options for overcoming land tenure impediments to SPA processes in Kibera and Mathare. They will document ongoing support under the Mukuru SPA to apply emerging lessons across research sites. In Kitwe, Zambia, the project team will undertake a situational analysis that will serve as a basis for developing an integrated local area plan for the Ipusukilo settlement. Data collection across sites will involve strong participation of residents as part of larger efforts to place the urban poor at the centre of planning processes. This project was selected for funding through a competitive call for proposals entitled “Closing the justice gap - a legal empowerment research and learning agenda”. The resulting cohort of projects will cover 12 country case studies in West Africa, East and Southern Africa, and Southeast Asia, and include a regional hub for each of those sub-regions.

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