Urban land use conflicts in Harare: exploring the notion of inclusive cities through an analysis of urban agriculture in Mabvuku suburb
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The study focuses on urban land use conflicts in Harare, exploring the notion of inclusive cities paying particular attention to the analysis of urban agriculture in Mabvuku suburb. The study used Henry Lefebvre(1991)’s concept of ‘‘the right to the city’’ as the theoretical framework informing the study and this gave adequate theoretical expositions of the study. Urban agriculture is not a recent phenomenon. In recent years, the notion of the right to the city has been given urgency by SDGs. Thus the invisibility of urban agriculture in urban bylaws and residents are dealt with when they farm is important for in explaining urban land use conflicts between urban authorities and urban farmers. Often there are accusations that they are farming illegally, on unauthorised urban spaces, un-built stands, steep slopes, wetlands, road sides, open spaces against the laws. Henry Lefebvre (1991)’s notion of “the right to the city” highlights a need for urban justice (where everyone enjoys his or her right to the city) through his vision of moving towards a renewed perspective of the city ( inclusive city ) after realising the exclusive nature of cities and existing neoliberal urbanism which was associated with inequalities. Qualitative research design was used and within the qualitative research paradigm the case study design was adopted. Qualitative research methodology was used for the entire data collection process. The study looks at reasons for urban farming from a residents’ point of view and note that economic hardships, unemployment and the high food prices poor urban dwellers have resorted to urban agriculture as a livelihood strategy despite the fact that it is prohibited by the urban authorities (EMA and Council) and an illegal activity within the urban areas .The study shows that, land use conflicts are as a result of the city conservative laws and authoritarian handling of its residents. The conflicts point to the elusiveness of the idea of inclusiveness of cities and also points to contestations in rights to the city and use of its spaces. The poor urban dwellers are excluded with exclusionary policies in use in the city. The city of Harare has not yet in complied with the idea of an inclusive city, just city where everyone accesses services equally and have the right to the city, right to decide and shape the city collectively within its structures and systems from their perspectives and needs with the city facilitating responsible and sustainable use of space.The study concluded that there is a gap of inclusivity in the city and the urban land use conflicts are as a result of sagregatory policies crafted long back which can no longer suit the cities of today where almost everyone is leaving in the city. Therefore, study revealed that there is need for a paradigm shift in terms of bylaws used to govern urban land uses within cities which will enable the crafting of new policies which are inclusive and sensitive to everyone‘s needs. In this vein, this study contributes to sociological debates on inclusive cities in Zimbabwe.
Additional Citation InformationHove, P. (2019). Urban land use conflicts in Harare: Exploring the notion of inclusive cities through an analysis of urban agriculture in Mabvuku suburb.[Unpublished masters thesis].University of Zimbabwe.
University of Zimbabwe