1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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From Unsustainable to Inclusive Cities

Author(s): David Westendorff
Programme Area: Governance
Project Title: Urban Governance
No. of Pages: 256

Chapter 4: Sustainable Development in an Urban Tanzanian Context, by Batilda Burian and Alphonce T. Kyariga

Among many mainstream development agencies, it is generally believed and accepted that planning for more socially equitable and environmentally sound development requires broad consultative processes and citizen involvement in decision making. The Sustainable Cities Programme in Tanzania started as a demonstration project in the city of Dar es Salaam—the Sustainable Dar es Salaam Project (SDP)—and is one of the Sustainable Cities Programmes (SCP) worldwide advocating the Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) approach. Despite the SCP’s expressed emphasis on broad-based stakeholder involvement rather than master planning, and bottom-up problem solving rather than top-down decision making, in attempting to localize and implement Agenda 21, there has been a mixed experience in the participatory aspects of the SDP. Political and institutional/administrative practices explain many of the reasons for this mixed experience, as discussed in this chapter. Over the past three years, the Sustainable Cities Programme in Tanzania has attempted to initiate more pragmatic efforts to promote participation in other Tanzanian municipalities. The experience in these efforts differs from one municipality to another, mainly due to variations in terms of capabilities, resources and localities. This chapter reviews the experience of development endeavors in Tanzania in general, and through its Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP), in particular.

In assessing the sustainable urban development initiatives in Tanzania, various questions are raised. However, the authors do not attempt to answer all of them; rather, they highlight general issues for further attention.