Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Report
Title Sustainable urban development in Gaborone, Botswana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
URL https://www.research-collection.ethz.ch/bitstream/handle/20.500.11850/87746/eth-26727-01.pdf
The project „Designing, Implementing and Measuring Sustainable Urban Development“
(DIMSUD) intends to contribute to new solutions for sustainable urban development through a
collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and participatory approach combining research, urban design,
and capacity building. The strategies developed will help improve the conditions in the three case
study cities (Gaborone, Johannesburg and Santiago de Chile).
This report, based on student’s thesis and extensive field survey, comes in the form of synthesis
for the case study of Gaborone. It follows a research framework worked out for all three case
study cities, which will allow in a next step to compare the findings and to transfer knowledge
between the partner universities and the planning authorities of the three cities.
The phenomenon of rapid urbanization that occurs in most of the developing countries is the
starting point for this research. Rural-urban migration leads to severe social, economical and
environmental challenges for future urban development. Gaborone is the fastest growing city of
Africa. Although the capital of Botswana only counts for 186,007 inhabitants (CSO, 2001), it is a
primate city that faces the same kind of problems than the so-called “mega-cities”.
A general overview of the national and local context introduces to the specific geographical,
demographical, and socio-economical context of Gaborone. It also documents public finance and
the system of economic planning, and reveals the deficiencies of the current development and
physical planning systems in Botswana and Gaborone.
To cope with the challenges, goals and opportunities are then formulated. There are already
planning approaches, instruments, mechanisms and tools in place, which are assessed and
analyzed. Recommendations for their improvements and for new strategies and analytical tools
are made. The most important aim of this report is an introduction of indicator’s based
monitoring and controlling system for the preparation and implementation of development plans,
The information produced during research also highlighted the need for the revision of the
hierarchy of existing planning instruments, an improved collaboration between the national and
local levels, and between Gaborone City and the surrounding peri-urban settlements mostly
developed on tribal land.
Other appropriate measures are the use of GIS and scenario technique. Better public participation
in the planning process is a must.
However, the recommended improvements have their limits. They do not automatically lead to
sustainable urban development in Gaborone but are a necessary step in that direction. It will
depend on the flexibility and on the will of Botswana and Gaborone’s political institutions, if the
proposals in this report will be implemented.

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