Access to the city: Mobility patterns, transport and accessibility in peripheral settlements of Dar es Salaam

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This paper is concerned with access to the city for urban residents living in the periphery of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The paper presents an analysis of the mobility practices of residents and investigates the mobility constraints they experience in relation to the limited accessibility provided by the urban transport system. The paper draws upon qualitative interviews with residents in the periphery as well as recently collected travel speed data and offers a unique combination of testimony with GIS-based modelling of overall accessibility. A central finding is the overall importance of regular mobility and access to the city for residents in the periphery. Regular mobility is an ingrained part of residents' livelihood strategies. The majority of households rely on one or more members regularly travelling to central parts of the city in relation to their livelihood activities. The analysis reveals a widespread, near-to-universal, dependence on motorized transportation, with the vast majority depending on public transport. Raster-based modelling of overall accessibility provides an indication of the very high travel times endured by residents in the periphery. The analysis identifies and distinguishes between three overall mode types: 1) Private car, 2) public transport and 3) motorcycle/car combined with public transport. While private cars appear marginally faster, differences in travel times are actually limited. This suggests that travel times are less influenced by mode of transport than by road and traffic conditions and highlights how accessibility problems of peripheral settlements are not easily understood separately from the general dysfunctions of the overall mobility system of city.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Accessibility, Cost-distance analysis, Mobility, Peri-urban, Urban expansion, Urban transport

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