Past Event

Governing Land on the Fringes of African Cities

June 3, 2019
8:30 AM - 1:00 PM

The event is organized in collaboration with UN- Habitat's Global Tool Network and CGC Nairobi.  The seminar will be a half-day workshop, bringing together researchers and experts from different disciplinary backgrounds reflecting on the impact of urbanization on peri-urban land markets and land use transformations.

Over the next three decades Sub-Sahara African countries will experience an unprecedented growth of urban population, triggering a sharp increase of the demand for land in urban and peri-urban areas. Today, around 40% of Africa’s population live in urban areas and an increase to 55% is projected by 2050. Peri-urban areas will be heavily affected by urban growth as they are situated at the front line of transformation and transition of land tenure, administration, and governance. They represent areas with rapidly changing land uses (e.g. from agriculture or pastoralism to residential and commercial land uses), which is further fueled by frequent land transactions and land subdivisions. In fact, peri-urban areas are dynamic economic zones where land rights are getting commodified by entering the more or less formal land market. Their proximity to urban centers and the general trend of land value appreciation attract various types of land buyers: urban dwellers seeking affordable residential land, weekend-farmers acquiring farmland, but also investors (industries, infrastructural projects, green housing, etc.) and speculators.

Research about peri-urban land markets is characterized by pluri-disciplinary approaches, but there are few coordinated research initiatives/programs. The aim of this seminar is therefore to organize a structured "brainstorming" by inviting 5-6 experts and researchers dealing with land transactions, land use transformations and land governance in peri-urban areas (in Kenya) in order to identify transversal research questions and potential areas for further collaboration.