The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Complex land markets in urban transitions in Somaliland and Uganda - DPU grant proposal success

24 July 2017

DPU's co-led EARF proposal to research “Complex Land Markets in urban transitions in Somaliland and Uganda” has been successful, with a total budget of £998,000 over two years.

Colin news

Congratulations to the DPU team led by Colin Marx, Michael Walls, Cassidy Johnson and Vanesa Castan-Broto who have successfully been awarded £186,000 of a £998,000 total budget to undertake a DFID funded research project titled ‘Spatial inequality in times of urban transition: Complex land markets in Uganda and Somaliland’.

The DPU team will be working with project partners Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies of Erasmus University (Rotterdam), who are the leaders of a consortium including DPU and IPE Tripleline. The team will also be working with local partners in Uganda (Urban ActionLab) and Somaliland (Agribusiness Solutions Hub).

The project responds to a call to examine the rapid population growth, spatial expansion, along with increasing economic and social inequalities that East African cities are experiencing. We see urban transitions as being accompanied by a complexity of social and economic transitions (formal and informal), population growth and migration. Within this context, the project focuses on urban socio-spatial development and how economic, institutional and socio-cultural aspects are interrelated within the context of African urbanisation.

The project proposes to develop a sound framework with which to analyse and explain urbanisation processes based on key spatial features of the city as a system, namely: access to urban land, distribution of spatial assets, and the urban morphology as a result of formal and informal land transactions. It will assess the factors and actors that influence these processes, in order to explain ‘how’ urban transitions are managed, steered and/or self-organized. 

The project focuses on Complex Land Markets – as interdependent aspects of the political and economic system of any city – to support the design of integrated interventions and promote inclusive growth, poverty reduction and access to livelihoods in East African cities.