UCL Urban Laboratory


Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam market constructed by a Chinese company (UCL DPU Flickr)

In Dar es Salaam, as with Accra and Lilongwe, extensive traditional land ownership formats (despite efforts to regularise land title) together with the restricted and expensive nature of formal housing finance significantly limits both low-income and middle-income housing development. National political agreements with China post-2005 saw significant expansion of Chinese investment, involving central, regional and municipal state-owned enterprises as well as private sector firms, but planned large-scale developments have been hostage to political change. As with the other two cities, these cases will therefore provide insights on the national state role in the temporalities, financing and form of urban development.

Case Studies


Kigamboni, private sector housing -  Kigamboni New City, a large-scale development seeking to sidestep the challenges of renewal in densely occupied central areas is currently stalled, but a new Dar es Salaam Masterplan identifies the persistence of ambitions for this area. Many (97,000) stand to be displaced. The transnational dimension of the project includes the role of a Korea SOE in master planning and construction, and Chinese and Middle Eastern design and construction firms involved in the bridge development, as well as potential housing development by Tanzanian National Social Security Fund (NSSF), state pension fund manager. This case will open up the intertwining of sovereign and private circuits.


World Bank-led Metropolitan Development Project - Dar es Salaam Metropolitan Development Project. This project responds to both immediate service provision needs and longer-term institution building, based on a concessional loan from the International Development Assistance facility of the World Bank. This case is ideal for assessing transcalar governance involving multilateral agencies, donor governments, national and local actors, and transnational practitioners.


Chinese investment in ports, industrial development, Jiangsu - Chinese role in harbour and related industrial developments. The discovery of large-scale oil and gas reserves in the Great Lakes Region has prompted Chinese and other sovereign investments in rail and port infrastructures. This case will explore interconnections between extensive infrastructural investments in Port capacity in central Dar es Salaam and the promotion of Chinese industrial investment.