Exploring possibilities for community-led urban land development in Dar es Salaam

Originally posted on the Bartlett Development Planning Unit blog.

For the first two weeks of May, students of the MSc Urban Development Planning worked in three sites across Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as part of their field trip project supporting community-based initiatives for informal settlement upgrading.

Working with the Center for Community Initiatives (CCI), a local NGO, and members of the Tanzanian Federation of the Urban Poor, students have been trying to understand the realities of urban life in these three areas while developing ideas to guide more socio-environmentally just trajectories of urban development at the city-wide scale.

Incomplete houses on the Chamazi site
Incomplete houses on the Chamazi site

The three sites in which the groups are based—Karakata, Chamazi, and Mabwepande—have much in common: they are all growing peri-urban areas, they are all mostly “informal” or “unplanned”, most residents are low-income, and they face similar interlinking challenges such as infrastructure, access to basic services, sanitation, and solid waste disposal. But they also represent different patterns of land acquisition and development within the Tanzanian context.

Photo 2
Learning about the Gulper machine, a mechanism that the Federation has been using for the emptying of pit latrines in Karakata

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Naomi Klein: Occupy Wall St. helped environmentalist victory

The Obama administration announced it would delay any decision on the building of the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline until 2013, which environmentalists are viewing as a huge victory after over 10,000 people protested at the White House against the proposed plan.

Naomi Klein (skip to 3:15) says the victory might not have happened without the eruption of Occupy Wall St across the country. These are part of the same struggle, she says, as the corporate greed that is being called into question by the Occupy movement is the same greed that has wreaked havoc on our environment. If people are asking what the demands are of Occupy Wall street, what it hopes to accomplish, well this is already a victory. Klein points to a lot of possible directions for the Occupy movement.


“What do we want to build in the rubble of this failed system?”