International Development Planning Review

Land management and urban development projects: A comparison of experiences in French-speaking and English-speaking West Africa

International Development Planning Review (2004), 26, (1), 83–96.

Abstract

Fieldwork carried out in Bamako and Accra has provided material for this analysis of past and changing land management in West African cities. It considers long-term constraints inherited from colonial rules and post-colonial speculative practices which still affect land markets, but also a planning strategy more recently introduced into urban projects with international financial support. In both Mali and Ghana, globalised models of urban management are applied to structural adjustment and to the fight against poverty. In this respect, they emphasise various techniques for improving land registration and market rationalisation, as well as local and community participation in decentralised urban operations. However, the paper points out a number of differences between Bamako and Accra, rooted in their historical backgrounds, the sharp conflicts arising from access to land, market actors, political involvement and their varying levels of urban fragmentation.

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Author details

Bertrand, Monique