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The power of the informal settlements – The case of Dar es Salaam

Rasmussen, Maria LU (2013) In Planum The Journal of Urbanism 26(1).
Abstract
The power of the informal settlements– The case of Dar es SalaamMaria Isabel RasmussenHousing Development & Management – HDMLund University, Swedenmaria.rasmussen@hdm.lth.seAbstractThis paper discusses the importance of the maps in urban planning and the consequences for the cities planned within a non existence of maps context, when the power decision is derived to the dwellers. Although map is a constructed, limited and manipulated reality; a unique system of signs including political, and a spatial form of knowledge. The power of the maps resides in their facticity; the analytical measure of factual objectivity and the credibility that it brings to collective discourse. However, today's techniques have developed a digital world... (More)
The power of the informal settlements– The case of Dar es SalaamMaria Isabel RasmussenHousing Development & Management – HDMLund University, Swedenmaria.rasmussen@hdm.lth.seAbstractThis paper discusses the importance of the maps in urban planning and the consequences for the cities planned within a non existence of maps context, when the power decision is derived to the dwellers. Although map is a constructed, limited and manipulated reality; a unique system of signs including political, and a spatial form of knowledge. The power of the maps resides in their facticity; the analytical measure of factual objectivity and the credibility that it brings to collective discourse. However, today's techniques have developed a digital world where more complex cartography is possible, and multi-disciplinary actions, social sciences for instance, make efforts to "represent the world" closer to the complex reality it demands. Representation of realities, such as maps, needs to improve to give opportunity and capacity to reformulate what already exist, and allowing more efficiency in planning, in spatial and in social solution. Placing informality in maps will be a way to recognize the weaker dwellers of developing cities, but this process needs to be fair and legitimate because there are several qualities in this settlements that are not possible to represent by traditional techniques; qualities of which the "formal world", could gain benefits. There is a knowledge among urban professional planners, architects and technicians working in the production of sustainable and effective modern cities, in optimizing urban land use, and in making possible social cohesion and creating harmonious formal cities. But there is a limited knowledge and lack of understanding of the informal cities, the cities built by the effort of the citizens themselves and outside the law, these cities that often are understood as chaos. When understanding logic and virtues behind slum formation and everyday life, we will be able to carry out more sustainable neighbourhood interventions. Professionals working in urban planning need to develop tools to bridge the gap between formal and informal cities.The informal settlements in Dar es Salaam hosts 75% of the residents. This city has been developed without maps. Three design concepts, territoriality, liminality and seasonality, extracted from Dar es Salaam informal city case, that could contribute in discussions on the role of urban planning and design tools for the urbanized process of the "global South", are presented in the paper. Understanding and using concepts as territoriality [1] could be seen as a tool to fight segregation, considering social inclusion. Liminality [2] , can contribute in the design of more secure neighbourhoods when community and the existing sense of community are understood and recognized. Seasonality [3] focusing on diversity could help professionals to understand and focus on urban and cultural harmony. This paper used informal settlements in Dar es Salaam city, as case study. The context for the discussion is based on relevant literature, theoretical concepts, informal settlement in Dar es Salaam and on observations and interviews made during a field study March 2012 where experts at housing ministry, NGO experts and academicians, street leaders and community dwellers from settlements in Manseze, Bugurundi, and Mlalakua were consulted. Endnotes [1] Territoriality: space production as a collective effort of human and nonhuman acts. (Mattias Kärrholm 2007). The attempt by an individual or group to affect, influence, or control people, phenomena, and relationships, by delimiting and asserting control over a geographic area. (Robert D. Sack 1999)[2] Liminality pilgrimage that involves a pattern of movement in which pilgrims cross an invisible lime in space that separates the city – a hierarchically structured of the daily life, from the holy place – with sense of community and place identity (Victor Turner 1969,1974) [3] Seasonality in landscape terms, as a phenomenon occurring in space and time, as when the spring begins at the vernal equinox, but seasons can also provide a measure for defining time, as when the sprouting of trees indicates the coming of spring. (Kenneth R. Olwig 2005).Key references 1 Certeau, Md 1984,The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall, University of California Press, Berkeley.2 Corner, J1999, The Agency of Mapping: Speculation,Critique and Invention, Mappings. Denis Cosgrove, Ed. London, Reaktion Books: 213-252.3 Harley, JB 1988, Maps, knowledge, and power.The iconography of landscape, Stephen Daniels Denis Cosgrove, Ed. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 277-312. 4 Kärrholm, M 2005, Territorial Complexity, a Study of Territoriality, Materiality and Use at Three Squares in Lund, Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, nr 1/2005. 5 Olwig, KR 2005, Liminality, Seasonality and Landscape, Landscape Research 30(2): 259-271.Keywords Informal settlements, Design concepts, Dar es Salaam. (Less)
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Informal settlements, Dar es Salaam, Territoriality, liminality, Seasonality
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Planum The Journal of Urbanism
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26
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11 pages
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@article{99847347-8c3a-486d-93c8-c8b211fd92ab,
  abstract     = {The power of the informal settlements– The case of Dar es SalaamMaria Isabel RasmussenHousing Development & Management – HDMLund University, Swedenmaria.rasmussen@hdm.lth.seAbstractThis paper discusses the importance of the maps in urban planning and the consequences for the cities planned within a  non existence of maps context, when the power decision is derived to the dwellers.  Although map is a constructed, limited and manipulated reality; a unique system of signs including political, and a spatial form of knowledge. The power of the maps resides in their facticity; the analytical measure of factual objectivity and the credibility that it brings to collective discourse. However, today's techniques have developed a digital world where more complex cartography is possible, and multi-disciplinary actions, social sciences for instance, make efforts to "represent the world" closer to the complex reality it demands. Representation of realities, such as maps, needs to improve to give opportunity and capacity to reformulate what already exist, and allowing more efficiency in planning, in spatial and in social solution. Placing informality in maps will be a way to recognize the weaker dwellers of developing cities, but this process needs to be fair and legitimate because there are several qualities in this settlements that are not possible to represent by traditional techniques; qualities of which the "formal world", could gain benefits. There is a knowledge among urban professional planners, architects and technicians working in the production of sustainable and effective modern cities, in optimizing urban land use, and in making possible social cohesion and creating harmonious formal cities. But there is a limited knowledge and lack of understanding of the informal cities, the cities built by the effort of the citizens themselves and outside the law, these cities that often are understood as chaos. When understanding logic and virtues behind slum formation and everyday life, we will be able to carry out more sustainable neighbourhood interventions. Professionals working in urban planning need to develop tools to bridge the gap between formal and informal cities.The informal settlements in Dar es Salaam hosts 75% of the residents. This city has been developed without maps. Three design concepts, territoriality, liminality and seasonality, extracted from Dar es Salaam informal city case, that could contribute in discussions on the role of urban planning and design tools for the urbanized process of the "global South", are presented in the paper. Understanding and using concepts as territoriality [1] could be seen as a tool to fight segregation, considering social inclusion. Liminality [2] , can contribute in the design of more secure neighbourhoods when community and the existing sense of community are understood and recognized. Seasonality [3] focusing on diversity could help professionals to understand and focus on urban and cultural harmony. This paper used informal settlements in Dar es Salaam city, as case study. The context for the discussion is based on relevant literature, theoretical concepts, informal settlement in Dar es Salaam and on observations and interviews made during a field study March 2012 where experts at housing ministry, NGO experts and academicians, street leaders and community dwellers from settlements in Manseze, Bugurundi, and Mlalakua were consulted. Endnotes [1] Territoriality: space production as a collective effort of human and nonhuman acts. (Mattias Kärrholm 2007). The attempt by an individual or group to affect, influence, or control people, phenomena, and relationships, by delimiting and asserting control over a geographic area. (Robert D. Sack 1999)[2] Liminality pilgrimage that involves a pattern of movement in which pilgrims cross an invisible lime in space that separates the city – a hierarchically structured of the daily life, from the holy place – with sense of community and place identity (Victor Turner 1969,1974) [3] Seasonality in landscape terms, as a phenomenon occurring in space and time, as when the spring begins at the vernal equinox, but seasons can also provide a measure for defining time, as when the sprouting of trees indicates the coming of spring. (Kenneth R. Olwig 2005).Key references 1 Certeau, Md 1984,The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall, University of California Press, Berkeley.2 Corner, J1999, The Agency of Mapping: Speculation,Critique and Invention, Mappings. Denis Cosgrove, Ed. London, Reaktion Books: 213-252.3 Harley, JB 1988, Maps, knowledge, and power.The iconography of landscape, Stephen Daniels Denis Cosgrove, Ed. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 277-312. 4 Kärrholm, M 2005, Territorial Complexity, a Study of Territoriality, Materiality and Use at Three Squares in Lund, Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, nr 1/2005. 5 Olwig, KR 2005, Liminality, Seasonality and Landscape, Landscape Research 30(2): 259-271.Keywords Informal settlements, Design concepts, Dar es Salaam.},
  author       = {Rasmussen, Maria},
  issn         = {1723-0993},
  keyword      = {Informal settlements,Dar es Salaam,Territoriality,liminality,Seasonality},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {11},
  series       = {Planum The Journal of Urbanism },
  title        = {The power of the informal settlements – The case of Dar es Salaam},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2013},
}