Spatial Changes in Planning Status and Building Density in Dar es Salaam City, Tanzania

  •  Robert Kiunsi    
  •  Nicholaus Mwageni    


There is abundant information on the extent and changes in coverage of human settlements in Dar es Salaam City, Tanzania but information on changes in building density, building consolidation levels and unbuilt-up or undeveloped areas is limited. The main objective of this research was to establish the planning status and changes in the spatial coverage of settlements, unbuilt areas, number of buildings, building densities and building consolidation levels in Dar es Salaam City between 2007 and 2017. The study deployed a literature review, remote sensing imagery and field verification. The study revealed firstly, that there are three main categories of planning status, two of which are well documented, that is planned and unplanned settlements, and unbuilt areas which are not extensively documented. Between 2012 and 2017, the spatial extent of planned areas remained more or the same, unplanned areas increased and unbuilt-up areas decreased. The city had a total of 367,278 buildings in 2007 and 675,644 in 2017 with an annual growth rate of 8%. The average building density for Dar es Salaam City in 2017 was 4.2 and the highest building density in unplanned areas was 48 buildings/ha while in planned areas, was 22 buildings/ha. The study recommends that concerted efforts are needed to control urban sprawl.

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