Beyond the networks: Self-help services and post-settlement network extensions in the periphery of Dar es Salaam

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This paper offers insights from comprehensive case studies of rapidly growing peripheral settlements of Dar es Salaam. The paper explores how a broad range of services and infrastructures have developed and improved over time, and how residents have been engaged in this in various ways. The gradual improvements in services and infrastructure are to some extent created, organized and financed by residents through informal self-help solutions, which are often costly and place huge strains on residents' time and resources. Alongside this, residents are also involved in attracting formal service providers through applications, co-financing of network extensions as well as lobbying efforts towards urban authorities and service providers. The formal service providers primarily take a reactive role, responding to demand, requests and political pressure from residents. Post-settlement network extensions are often complicated and impeded by costly and cumbersome land-acquisition processes, and because of the reactive and often piecemeal approach to network extensions, society may be missing out on potential benefits of scale. The way urban services work also means that the provision of services and infrastructure is extremely differentiated and fragmented across the urban territory, creating and reinforcing major inequalities in access to services.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHabitat International
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

    Research areas

  • Peri-urban, Urban expansion, Urban infrastructure, Urban peripheries, Urban services

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ID: 152992691