- The Case for Improved Urban Governance as a Tool for Sustainable Urban Development in Malawi   click here to open paper content214 kb
by    Luka, Loudon | lluka@cgd.vic.gov.au   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Malawi has experienced unprecedented rates of urbanisation in the past 15 years. This paper will argue that improved urban governance is a vital tool to foster sustainable urban development.
Malawi is among the most rapidly urbanising countries in the world. According to a study released by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) in 2004, Malawi was in fact first among the most rapidly urbanising countries in the world, with an urban population growth rate of 6.3%. It is estimated that there were 1,101,000 people living in urban areas in Malawi in 1990 . This figure is projected to grow to 2,691,000 people by 2010, representing a 144.41% increase in just 20 years . An unprecedented 25.1% of the national population (i.e. 4,188,000 people) is projected to live in urban areas by 2020 . As the population becomes increasingly urbanised, a major challenge is to ensure that there is sustainable urban development to meaningfully manage this rapid growth. Experience in highly urbanised Western societies has shown that entrenched democratic traditions and grassroot actions have played an important role in fostering sustainable urban development. However, the question of urban governance in Malawi as a tool for sustainable urban development has hardly attracted attention in contrast to other policy responses posited by authorities, such as slum upgrading, accelerated housing access, urban land tenure reform, spatial planning, among others.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the importance of improving urban governance as a tool for sustainable urban development in Malawi. To set the context, the paper will examine urban governance (or a lack thereof) in the post-independence era dominated by Hastings Banda’s single party dictatorship from 1964 to 1994. The paper will then discuss the extent to which urban governance in the multiparty democracy era has fostered sustainable urban development. In the face of policy and structural failures identified, the case for better planning education and capacity building as tools for fostering sustainable urban development will be posited.
Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Governance, Sustainable Development
click here to open paper content  Click to open the full paper as pdf document
click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper  Click to send an email to the author(s) of this paper