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The opportunities and challenges of urban planning in practice – The Case of Maseru By Maseru City Council.

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Presentation on theme: "The opportunities and challenges of urban planning in practice – The Case of Maseru By Maseru City Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 The opportunities and challenges of urban planning in practice – The Case of Maseru By Maseru City Council

2 Urbanization? Urbanization is understood to refer to a process by which an increasing proportion of a countrys population ends up living in towns and cities; Substantial differences exist in the way in which different countries divide their populations into urban and rural; Different criteria have been used in various countries, including population size, dominant economic activities/functions and legal declaration.

3 Urbanization in Lesotho Legal declaration has been used to define urban areas, with the inherent drawback that often such definition is not based on any functional or statistical criteria; For instance, Lesotho had 11 proclaimed urban centres up to June 1980, after which an additional 5 rural settlements with a combined population of over people were proclaimed as urban, thereby bringing the total number of urban centres in Lesotho to 16; In 1986 the 5 urban centres that had been added in 1980 were again re-designated as rural; In 2006, yet another hitherto rural settlement of Semonkong had been gazetted as urban, thereby increasing the number of urban areas to 12; These shifts make it extremely difficult to compute the level of Lesothos urbanization with any degree of certainty.

4 Urbanisation … the level of urbanization in Lesotho stood at 17%, a figure which was somewhat low compared to some of the Southern African countries; A more recent survey (CWIQ Survey 2002)put the level of urbanization in Lesotho at 23%; Maseru City continues to increase its share of Lesothos urban population since 1976; The rapid expansion of the industrial and commercial base in recent years, and the poor performance of Lesothos agricultural sector, has given an impetus to the migration of large numbers of the rural population to the City.

5 Population Indicators Indicator Total Population1,216,8151,606,0001,841,9671,872,721 Urban Population127,435188,028312, ,5412 Urban as % of total population Maseru population65,031 98,017137,837227,880 Maseru as % of total population Maseru as % of urban population Maseru growth rate 6.6%5.9%3.5%5.2%

6 Population Projections SubjectMaseru 2006Ongoing sprawl Total Population MPA Population MUA Population MPA ex. MUA Satelite Town Population

7 Status of Maseru There is a general recognition that Maseru City has today become an important settlement with regional, national and international functions; The city stands out as an undisputable primate settlement in Lesotho, and as an administrative, industrial and commercial capital of the country; Its growth, both in terms of population and physical development, has far outpaced the provision of services, a problem that poses serious challenges for urban planners.

8 Social Aspects Since Maseru City has expanded amongst traditional villages and the City itself has largely grown through rural-urban migrations, it has retained a very strong rural outlook in social structure where modern and customary laws are applied side by side and where the poor and the rich are closely integrated; However, a few traditional villages have remained clearly distinct and largely characterized by dilapidated housing and concentrations of poverty; Similarly, the central business district and its surrounds (old Maseru reserve) have not been fully integrated with peri-urban areas in terms of service provision, with the latter areas remaining largely underserved.

9 Spatial Planning Issues Attempts at spatial planning in Lesotho started soon after independence and continued sporadically until 1985, ending with the National Settlement Policy in 1990; At the local level, spatial planning appears to predate independence; A series of plans were prepared for Maseru again ending with the Maseru Development Plan in 1990; Draft MUPTS now in place – yet to be accepted as a working document/planning policy.

10 Spatial Planning ….. Spatial planning is by nature statutory and although recent international best practices show that planning has significantly shifted towards collaborative and participatory approaches, success has in the past depended on appropriate and effectively implemented legislation; The implementation of planning laws in Lesotho has generally not been very effective.

11 Challenges of urban planning in Maseru It is in Maseru that the countrys most significant urban challenges are seen, including: -rapid population growth, -the destruction of much of the citys physical infrastructure due to rapid population growth, -Land tenure issues, -a sharp increase in land prices and rents, -high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, -high rate of unemployment, -inaccessible infrastructural services such as water, electricity, road networks, -fragmented policies all aimed at addressing urban management, -high levels of poverty, -Sporadic urban sprawl -Urban planning not implemented to the latter (development control aspect only)

12 Key actors in urban planning in Maseru Ministry of Local Government & Chieftainship Department of Lands, Survey and Physical Planning Maseru Municipal Council Lesotho Housing and Land Development Corporation Department of Housing Ministry of Public Works and Transport Ministry of Natural Resources WASCO LEC Absence of integrated planning Uncoordinated and often conflicting plans (case of Ha Mabote)

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