Headline August 14, 2016/ ''' SPREADING CITIES - BIZARRE WAYS '''



TO THE PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN   -an accomplished and a very happy  *Independence Day*, from the World Students Society

Why then have,..............so few gardens and  flowers bloomed?
What ashes spew?, what molten streaks? what drums and flags?
These students ask:

Have cuddled us all-
In a world so viciously bent  and groomed!

THE REAL OBSERVATION IS : that the cities of both Africa and Asia are spreading nuke fast,  and in some terribly bizarre ways:

Inside, Essa Mwaitulo's house on the edge of  Dar es Salaam is the picture of middle-class African. The sofas are luxurious, the curtains are golden; the walls are shocking pink; the floor, on which-  Ms Mwaitulo's daughter has crashed out, is polished stone.

''We are free, actually,'' she says contentedly, sounding like anyone who has ever moved from a rented city-centre flat to a suburban house of her own. ''I can do whatever I want.''

Step outside, though, and the impression of harmony and control dissolves. The scene around Ms. Mwaitulo's house in Mikwambe is chaotic. Houses are rising higgledy piggledy. Many are half finished and look abandoned, although they are not; one has no floor and a tree growing inside.

What appears to be small village square turns out to be a plot on which the owner has not yet got around to building. The neighbourhood has only one paved road, no central water supply and no sewer. It is a kind of Bourgeois shanty town.

A huge and growing number of people live somewhere like Milwambe. Like Between  2005  and  2015 the world's cities swelled by about  750 million people, according to the UN. 

More than four-fifths of those growth was in Africa and Asia, specifically on the fringes of African and Asian cities.

With few exceptions, cities are growing faster in size than in population. Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, is typical: it doubled in population between 1990 and 2010 but tripled in area. In short, almost all urban growth is sprawl.

In some ways African and  Asian cities are following American and European ones. London, Paris and New York all sprawled in the 19th and 20 centuries while the  inner-city slums hollowed out, as though giant hammers were beating the cities from above.

The population of Paris increased almost  20-fold  between 1800 and 2000 as the metropolis expanded more than  200 times. Commentators wrung their hands: London was likened to an invading army and a giant octopus.

Not Like Levittown : Next to today's fast growing cities, though, it was a rather a lame octopus. London took two millennia to grow from fewer than  50,000  people to almost 10 million; Shenzhen in China managed that within three decades. And most African and Asian cities are growing more chaotically.

Although no two are quite the same, their suburbs tend to be unplanned, with scant space for roads, let alone public parks. Many new suburbanites have a weak claim on the land they build upon.

To planners the sprawl seems haphazard, and it has bad consequences, especially in Africa. But it has a logic of its own, and in any case cannot be wished away. Like it or not, this is how the great cities of the 21st century are taking shape.     

Dar es Salaam is a case in point. The British governors who ran Tanzania [then called Tanganyika]  until the 1960s envisioned it as a small, orderly city. With 5 million people, population growth of more than 5% a year and some of the world's worst traffic jams, it is now neither of these things.

And the colonial rulers made another assumption, with great consequences for the modern metropolis, says Wolfgang Scholz of the Technical University in Dortmund.

The city was to be planned, with Western-style owner-occupied homes on large plots, at least in the European areas. The countryside beyond was to be unplanned and African, with property owned collectively.

Dar as Salaam has swelled so much that almost all building is now in what is technically countryside. Land there can be bought and sold, but only informally; commercial developers will not touch it.. The buyers, largely families moving out of the city centre, cannot encumber land that they do not truly own, so they cannot obtain mortgages.

They build slowly, adding bricks when they can afford them. The urban fringe is littered with  ''almost houses''  and shops selling building supplies. Ms Mwaitulo's house, which was financed partly by personal loans, was built in four years  -fast by local standards.

If house-building is slow, installing roads and other infrastructure is much more so. When Ms Mwaitulo arrived, Mikwambe was always dark at night. Homes now have electricity but little else.

She gets water from a private  and  borehole and sells some to neighbours.Resident cut informal deals over public space. 

Aisha Hassan, a farmer who sold most of her land but still lives in Mikwambe, says she asked the homebuilders who bought from her to leave space for a road.

The narrow track will be woefully inadequate when the neighbourhood fills up with car owners.

The Honour and Serving of the latest ''Operational Research on Life and Living'' continues. Thank Ya all for reading and sharing forward. And see you all on the following one.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and !E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Research Galore '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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