International Development Planning Review

Promoting urban cohesion through town planning: the case of Caia, Mozambique

International Development Planning Review (2011), 33, (2), 169–186.

Abstract

Small towns in sub-Saharan Africa are being involved in significant changes, related both to the role they play in urban–rural interactions and to the impact of interventions aimed at exploiting natural resources. The literature has focused, especially over the last 20 years, on the importance of these small towns in rural development, but ignoring the impact that such changes can have on their precarious equilibrium. Moreover, almost no investigation has been done on the actions carried out by local administrations to face change.

This article looks at Caia, a town in rural Mozambique, in an attempt to raise awareness of this matter. First, we emphasise the hybridisation between urban and rural characters, which Caia has in common with many small centres in sub-Saharan Africa. Second, we describe the change that is taking place in the district of Caia, drawing attention to the negative impact it can have on small towns, mainly the creation of a dualism earlier absent. Finally, we show how this impact can be dealt with by local administrations, with reference to a planning experience in which the authors were involved.

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Author details

Diamantini, Corrado

Geneletti, Davide

Nicchia, Roberta