Housing and Stewardship in Peri-urban Settlements in Zimbabwe: A case study of Ruwa and Epworth
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This thesis examines the housing-stewardship nexus in peri-urban areas based on the case of Ruwa and Epworth, satellite settlements of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. The study seeks to establish the factors that shape peri-urban environments into better managed and sustainable areas of which housing development is perceived as the major activity taking place in this zone. Using the Stewardship Theory or Partnership Model as the main framework and point of departure, five basic approaches namely biblical-religious, business, environmental, vernacular, place-based community/grassroots approaches to the study are noted. The ‘mixed-methods’ approach is used to analyse sustainability issues forming the crux of stewardship. Predominantly, the qualitative-interpretative paradigm informs the study of which the case and narrative study (case narratology) are the core research design approaches. Specific data collection tools have included extensive documentary analysis (newspaper articles, minutes, policy and legislative documents); household survey (involving 291 randomly selected households, 137 from Ruwa and 154 from Epworth, in which a semi-structured questionnaire has been used). observations (aided with photography) on operations and housing and environmental arterfacts were also carried out coupled with key informant interviews with purposefully selected officials (from Ruwa Town Council, Epworth Local Board, the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, Environmental Management Agency and the Department of Physical Planning). Quantitative data has been analysed using SPSS Version 18. On the other hand, qualitative data analysis used content, discourse, statement and textual analysis. From the study, criteria for classifying actors are central in achieving meaningful stewardship of place and creation of sustainable peri-urban environments. Often there are conflicts among the actors given their contrasting priorities and interests. History of the place, income levels among the peri-urban dwellers, lack of defined and clear-cut policies and commitment by institutions towards the creation of sustainable settlements are the factors perpetuating these conflicts. The study recommends application and use of technologies for remote sensing (Geographic Information Systems included) to help in the monitoring of peri-urban areas development, achieving evidence-based policy which is an effective tool for stewardship, co-creating an institution whose focus is urban regional development and using scenario and collaborative planning methodologies to avoid chaotic peri-urbanisation.