This paper reviews the approach to urban land management widely supported by international agencies, and its application in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. It describes the scale of poverty in Maputo, where more than half the population is poor, including 30 percent who are destitute. Most of the city's population gets land for housing through the informal market. Access to formal ownership, often through illegal means, serves mainly the economic and political elites. The paper reviews the limitations of a programme that was meant to improve urban management; but with an emphasis that was inappropriate in the face of massive poverty and unrealistic in regard to the institutional and political realities. In conclusion, the paper argues that urban management improvements have to focus on demand-driven social improvements (in this instance improving informal land access for the majority) as much as on economic ones (for example, improving formal land access for the minority). It also notes the often under-estimated difficulties in improving urban management within countries with fragile local governments, especially where the adverse effects of structural adjustment and globalization are strong.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Environment and Urbanization|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2000|