Mafundi EXPO

Rapid urbanisation is a pressing issue in the global south, bringing forth the challenges of informal urbanisation that proliferates when the state is unable to produce adequate and affordable living conditions for the expanding urban population. [Under informal urbanisation problems arise in terms of inadequate access to water, sanitation, living space, durable shelter and security of tenure]. Dar es Salaam in Tanzania is being confronted by these processes, the city currently comprises of an estimated 4,5 million inhabitants of whom 80% live in informal, under serviced and unplanned settlements. Government has not been able to provide the institutional and infrastructural frameworks for inclusive growth. This thesis aims to investigate the phenomenon of informal urbanisation in Dar es Salaam in order to formulate a housing policy beneficial to the substandard housing conditions in the unplanned and under serviced settlements. Three theoretical frameworks are therefore presented; firstly determining the root causes of the unplanned and under serviced areas in Dar es Salaam to come into existence, secondly reflecting on a housing policy overview towards to the unplanned and under serviced settlements in Dar es Salaam, and thirdly theorising the ethical considerations when proposing a housing policy for the situation. The constraints drawn from the frameworks, guide the formulation of a housing policy integrated within current local government policy and the international aid agenda. The strategy presented negotiates the tradeoffs between the collective interest and the individuals right to the city, by targeting the informal construction professionals, mafundi, to mitigate top down control and the bottom up reach. The targeted mafundi, uneducated and not formally organised, are enabled with technical tools and knowledge on constructing a redesigned affordable housing typology in line with the collective interest. Democratic distribution of knowledge on improving current informal building practice, with technology, materials and typologies is proposed in an Expo that makes explicit in full scale new scenario’s for the process of housing. The proposal is situated within the government, Cities Alliance and UN Habitats’ ‘Action Plan for Upgrading Unplanned and Under serviced Settlements in Dar es Salaam’ in which there are funds available for the capacity building of local artisans in housing construction. The informal construction professional is proposed to build the link between a government of little means, and an inadequately housed rapidly growing public. Presenting a hypothesis for housing policy that aligns to the mutual benefit of both government, mafundi and inhabitants, as a viable contribution to the improvement of the substandard living conditions in the settlements of Dar es Salaam.

About Frank Reitsma