(Contract) Future Cities Africa (FCA) - Part of Output 2 - The Urban Expansion and Compactness Debate in the Context of Mozambique



Approval Date
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type


Research Project 1: The urban expansion and compactness debate in the context of Mozambique 15. Background and Research Questions. Mozambique had a history of planned urban land expansion that was spearheaded by the Instituto Nacional de Planeameneto Fisico (INPF) and a cadre of land use planner technicians. In the 1980s the government of Mozambique developed the ‘Strategic Action Planning’ programme of land redistribution to address the situation of unplanned urban sprawl and increasing housing demand by making minimally serviced plots available for development in its growing urban areas. In addition the 1990 Mozambique constitution and the 1997 Land Law formalised tenure in an unprecedented way in the continent by granting ownership rights to people who had squatted on plots of land for over 10 years. In the early 2000’s this initiative lost momentum with the dismantling of the INPF and the closure of its technician training programme. In its place a more traditional approach to land use planning was adopted and the promotion of university trained architect planners. 16. Notwithstanding these initial land expansion initiatives, the urban areas of Mozambique are increasingly marked by the proliferation of slums, lack of water – sanitation – hygiene (WASH) facilities, flooding and subsequent public health risks. Maputo, the capital city, with a population of 1.3 million has some 70% of its residents living in slums; Nacala has a population of about 220,000 inhabitants of which 48% are slum dwellers and about 60% of Manica’s 42,000 inhabitants live in slums. (UN-Habitat, 2010, ‘Mozambique Cities Report’). The fact that these urban service deficiencies have persisted despite a 7.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) (World Bank) over the past 20 years clearly illustrates the need to improve the quality of urban planning, land use management and service provision. The urban land expansion initiatives in Mozambique have been applauded for making land available for urban housing and infrastructure needs, and also criticised for promoting sprawl and lack of a modern compact city vision. 17. In the context of seven municipalities growing at over 10 per cent per annum, with a further five growing at five per cent or more per annum (in effect doubling or even tripling their populations within the next 10-15 years) and a near total lack of trained capacity, land use planning has failed to make a positive impact. Rather cities are growing rapidly in an unplanned manner resulting in congestion and the proliferation of un-serviced settlements on flood plains and unstable slopes. 18. Mozambique is a good example of how in the context of rapid urbanisation, land management is one of the most critical issues that needs to be addressed to secure the long term sustainability of city development. There is an unresolved debate whether making land and service available for forecasted urban expansion - which provides advantages in terms of long term planning - is the upfront policy option in contrast to more visionary compact city solution that purports to offer a higher potential for environmental benefits and economies of scale. Faced with huge demand for land and limited resources, the comparative advantages of prioritising early planning for expanded delivery of services and land vis-a-vis densifying the built environment first needs to be further understood. 19. The purpose of this research project is to fill crucial theoretical and evidence gaps related to the comparative merits of planned expansion and density, by collecting and analysing data on cities and urban land expansion in Mozambique, testing the relevant theories/models and feeding the results into the current academic and policy debates at national and international level. City-level data and evidence should be gathered by the cities participating in but not limited to the FCA programme (Tete, Nacala, Nampula). It is expected that the results of the Mozambique case study will be compared to wider African evidence. 20. In addressing the topic the following research questions are of initial guidance to the service provider. It is recognised that the main research question and its sub-questions will need further refinement as part of the Project Initiation / Inception Phase – taking into consideration the more detailed context of the study and likely research challenges. The development of an appropriate framework for analysis should form part of the Inception Report. • How can planned urban expansion support climate change, environmental and economic resilience for developing cities in Mozambique? • How is making room for urban expansion a preferred policy option relative to the alternative of compact cities in terms of securing resilience, environmental benefits, economies of scale and inclusive growth? • What are the opportunities and benefits, including direct, indirect, environmental and socio-economic benefits that shape these policy choices? • How can planned urban expansion be applied in a rapid urbanising development context in secondary cities in Africa often facing resource scarcity and capacity gaps? • What are the long term benefits and potential trade-offs for stakeholders, governments and beneficiaries in implementing urban expansion in a developing country context?
• Task 1. Inception. This task will lay the conceptual foundations of the study and the plan to execute research. During the Inception Phase, the service provider will provide a literature review covering the most recent global and regional theory/debates on the subject, identify key challenges, gaps and trends, define the main research questions and sub-questions, define the main hypotheses and models to be tested, and assess the available data sources. The detailed deliverables’ description, work plan and project management arrangements will be further developed and specified along with the approach to collaborating and building capacity of the participating national and regional research networks/centres, research institutes/universities and other stakeholders. • Task 2. Mobilisation and engagement of the scientific communities. As part of this task, the service provider is expected to mobilise and engage the existing networks of research professionals/entities in the country (such as AURI where available) as well as the national research entities and other stakeholders in the development, review and dissemination of the research project. While the national level is the most relevant, engagement should also involve the international scientific community – especially within Africa through AURI or other leading institutions. Engagement should take place at all stages in the research process through a series of workshops, knowledge exchanges, roundtables, seminars etc. in the final modalities and schedule as agreed with the Cities Alliance Secretariat. The critical focus here should be to build long term research capacity within the participating research institutes and to develop a research agenda aimed at strengthening resilience and inclusive growth as part of the urbanisation process. • Task 3. Data collection and analysis. This task includes the collection of the best available secondary data and as practical primary data at the field level for the main case study in the Mozambique cities (sample should include Tete, Nacala, Nampula) as well as nation-wide data. Data will be then be statistically analysed, aggregated and structured to test the research hypothesis and models related to urban expansion. Methods of analysis should be quantitative to the extent viable. Qualitative data should be used to triangulate and complement information where relevant. Data collection might also include secondary data and other data gathered from the other FCA countries and other relevant regional example for cross comparison, testing and induction purposes. • Task 4. Write up and dissemination. This task includes the finalisation of the different deliverables, most notably the monograph of the case study as well as activities finalised at the dissemination and ownership by the scientific community of the research project outputs. This task should also define potential research frontiers and setting future priorities for a country research agenda.
Expected Impacts and Results