Accepted paper:

Planners' views on urban natural systems in Africa: knowledge, practice and outcomes in Lusaka


Gilbert Siame (University of Zambia)

Paper short abstract:

With its annual growth rate at 5%, the city of Lusaka faces significant ecological pressures. While spatial planning is seen as an important instrument for ensuring ecological integrity and sustainable urban development, planners’ views, knowledge and practice seem to be static and problematic.

Paper long abstract:

Zambia is the third most urbanised country in Sub-Saharan Africa with 40% of the country's population living in urban areas. Lusaka city is Zambia's capital and is the largest urban centre with over 30% of Zambia's urban population. The City has been growing at high rate, averaging 5% per year, and now it is close to a metropolis. This growth has brought to the fore challenges facing spatial planners in the City. The City has expanded into natural rural and semi-rural lands and has consumed important ecological systems. This has challenged the role of planning as an instrument for urban development management. This is against the fact that Lusaka City Council (Local authority) through the Department of City Planning working in collaboration with Lusaka Province Planning Authority have legal mandates to ensure sustainable urban expansion and development. This paper seeks to investigate the extent to which city planners consider nature in formulating development frameworks for Lusaka. The paper will analyse how planners' views, knowledge and practice impact on ecological systems of cities.

panel P200
Sustainable Cities in Africa: plans, dreams, and practices