Cities for the urban poor in Zimbabwe: urban space as a resource for sustainable development

Large areas of Zimbabwean cites still reflect colonial planning traditions designed to promote racial segregation, which no longer adequately meet the demands of urban areas which are doubling in size every 10 to 15 years. This paper looks at the political, economic, and social influences on urban space production and use in Harare, and the extent to which the planning and regulatory system accommodates competing demands on public space in a fast-growing city. It argues that urban space is a crucial resource for poor households that cannot be ignored in the context of sustainable development, and that the failure of official policy and regulations to recognise its importance inhibits the ability of the urban poor to help themselves. Policy initiatives to redress this balance are explored. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities