Urban Form Through Residents’ Practices

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The unconventional transformation processes in suburban areas in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The persistent informal practices of ordinary urban residents in most developing countries are becoming crucial in shaping the cities of today.

This study attempts to grasp inherent useful attributes in such practices which may inform the contemporary urban discourse.

Dar es Salaam city is used as a case to demonstrate, explore, explain and present the residents’ informal urban practices that influence the urban form.

It is revealed that in the process of confronting the challenges of shaping and servicing urban space, urban residents utilize creatively various modalities including forging formal and informal mechanisms for handling urban spatial operations, joining in groups to mobilize resources and use of formal urban administrative units to legalize informal actions.

The conclusion draws the ingenuity of informal actors in production of relevant urban goods and services.

It also identifies the underlying weaknesses of informal process and hence emphasizes the need for a shift to professional understanding that urban form production strategies can fairly be built on both conventional and unconventional wisdom.

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