Interrogating Land Value Capture in the African peri-urban Interface: towards a new political Economy?
Date and Start Time 30 June, 2017 at 16:00
This panel adopts land as a conflictual entry point onto the peri-urban research agenda in Africa. It sheds light on the political economy of land accumulation and value capture, in a context of urban sprawl, increasing land grabs, rampant speculation, new land uses and models of planning for cities
Much of the predicted growth of African cities occurs through processes of rapid expansion into the peri-urban interface. What does this mean for evolving urban-rural dynamics? This panel adopts land as an increasingly conflictual entry point onto this salient urban research agenda. It sheds light on the political economy of land accumulation and land value capture in the rural fringes of African cities, in a context of increasing land grabs, changing land uses, rampant speculation and the introduction of new, often imported, models of land management and planning.
Who are the actors of these refashioned land markets? Are they connected to more obviously 'urban' stakeholders? Do markets work in segmented or unifying ways? Are we witnessing the emergence of distinct or hybrid alliances trying to capture land values? Who are the winners, and conversely who is losing, in these processes of land selling and acquisition?
To what extent do these urban trends resemble or differ from agricultural land grabs? Relatedly, what are the mechanisms legitimising these renewed land activities? Do they lead to redistributive processes, through taxation, clientelism or any informal means? Are they particularly targeted at the financing of much-needed urban infrastructure in increasingly marketised environments?
The peri-urban interface is at the heart of intense conflicts of interest on land resources. This panel seeks to shed light on the socio-economic underpinnings of the making of the African 'urban'. It welcomes papers that adopt a comparative or single case-study research approach.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Urbanisation at Maputo city region urban-rural interface: land demarcation and middle-class advances
The paper explores the urbanisation process at place in the Maputo city region urban-rural interface, through land demarcation initiatives involving various agents, with focus on the significant occupation by a growing middle-class, in a context of increasing land value and commodification.
As in many African cities, the rapid growth of Maputo city region results in the urban transformation of the surrounding rural areas. As land becomes increasingly scarce in the Mozambican capital, urban land occupation grows in the neighbouring urban-rural interfaces of Matola city, as well as Marracuene and Boane districts, encouraged also by the recent improvement and construction of main road axes.
Besides multiple instances of (usually non-formal) land occupation performed by individuals, larger initiatives of land demarcation for residential purposes have increased in recent years, which entail some sort of urban planning. This changing land use (partly related to resettlements as well as other forms of land allocation) increasingly entails several types of land transactions led by the various agents involved. Although these initiatives target different social groups, a significant part has been occupied by middle / higher income groups.
In Mozambique land is state owned, but nevertheless is the focus of increasing value and commodification (Jenkins, 2004; Melo, 2015; Jorge, 2017), which tends to promote an uneven production of space (Harvey, 2001; Lefebvre, 1991 ). In this context, by analysing the various land occupation processes of these demarcation initiatives and investigating the agents and social groups involved and their different interests, this paper seeks to understand how these tendencies are shaping Maputo city region urban expansion and how a strengthened middle-class may be disrupting a long term process of urban land access involving the elite but also lower income groups (Jenkins, 2009).
Peri-urban redistribution of land in Uganda: social and socio-economic implications
Current changes in land ownership in the urban fringes of central Uganda, driven by urban expansion, have far reaching implications for the local landless. Drawing from recent ethnographic data, this paper sheds light on the socio-economic processes related to the redistribution of land in the area.
Land tenure in central Uganda is partly rooted in regulations made by the British colonial administration who divided land amongst the Baganda royals, as well as other notables, at the turn of the last century. Still today, ownership rights are divided among relatively few people, the large majority of the population occupying land based on lease-like arrangements, so-called Bibanjas.
The Ugandan capital Kampala is rapidly growing and expanding outside of its administrative boundaries. The increasing demand for affordable land can be felt especially in the peri-urban areas of the city, where rural land-uses are still dominating. Specially in Kampala's fringes, land owners sell off large parts of their land to real-estate firms, who in turn resell the land, subdivided into plots, to the upcoming Kampala middle class. In this process, local smallholders are driven off their agricultural land and are deprived of an important source of income. Theses developments are rapidly changing the land-use patterns in the area and are putting pressure on the poorer parts of the local population, who will have to adapt to these ownership changes by finding new ways of income.
Drawing from ethnographic data collected between 2014 and 2016, and a perspective from Political Ecology, I will shed light on the far-reaching social and socio-economic implications of the current changes in land ownership and use in the peri-urban zones of Kampala in central Uganda.
Unpacking the complex peri-urban land markets in post-apartheid cities - A case study of eThekwini and iLembe Municipalities
This paper explores peri-urban land transactions with the objective to understand transaction processes, factors influencing them and to identify key stakeholders and their interest in these land markets.
In South Africa, complex questions of land are often presented in the singular ("the land question"!) Yet, as many scholars have noted the contentious and sensitive processes of land acquisitions in post-apartheid cities in South Africa are driven by complex racial and socio-economic histories of differentiated access (Moyo 2007, Ntsebeza 2010). Ownership, acquisition and disposal of land is shaped by such histories. Exacerbating this complexity is the duality of land systems that currently exist in cities like eThekwini where customary and Western systems coexist (Mafeje 2003). While the eThekwini and iLembe Municipalitiesy areis a spaces of collision and interaction between these two land systems, class differentiation (Cousins 2013) is patently in the picture as well. There is a visible outward shift of predominantly black middle class residents into peri-urban areas. This is primarily because the peri-urban zones offer relatively easier and cheaper access to land comparative to formal land market in the inner city. Yet, this is not a simple matter of a mix of the triad of individual beliefs, preferences and opportunities that govern decision-making (Bowles et al., 2005 and Gintis, 2005). Processes of accessing, holding and disposing land in these peri-urban areas is embedded in socio-cultural norms and traditional practices. While this peri-urban land market appears to be customary and informal in nature it is nevertheless driven by a host of other factors. Using the theoretical lense of assemblage (Li 2007), this research explores the entanglements of things (land, title deeds) processes (transactions), actors (chiefs, councillors, landowners) and factors driving this surge in demand for land.
Massive titling process in the outskirts of Bamako: What's new in the peri-urban land grabbing in Mali?
Since the 2000s, the outskirts of Bamako have been heavily covered by private titles of ownership. Who benefits from these acquisitions and the lack of investment that follows? How do these transactions on land affect the relationship between commercial and bureaucratic elites in the urban Mali?
Since the 2000s, land ownership has been affected by an exponential registration of titles in the outskirts of Bamako, in the line with new rules of liberalized management under the Third Republic. In the District of Kati, surrounding the capital city, private property is taking over from the administrative allocation of provisional concessions that had historically oriented the housing market and agricultural development of Bamako. The uncontrolled number of titles also argues how speculative trends take advantage of a rampant political crisis in the country and nourishes it at the same time.
Who takes advantage of formal transactions far from the city centre? How do one understand that they are shifting to parcelling operations while the city's rural fringe is kept without territorial investment nor local planning?
The paper aims to identify the winners of this expanding land pressure. What is the use of this land capital accumulated in their hands, when raising many conflicts in the local communities? How does it change the Malian commercial elites' practices of investment and their relationship with the bureaucratic elites? How does it interfere with increasing needs of housing and professional visibility expressed by emerging middle classes? While individualized rights are usually accused of impairing social cohesion, in favour of a stratified class-society, how do they keep on being embedded in interpersonal relationship in the Malian society? To what extent does the race to private property still combine with commitments in relational network and clientelism?
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.