Understanding Landuse In Tandale

Tandale Landuse September 2011

Towards the end of the mapping phase landuse was demarcated, the results are above. This isn’t representative of the official (the city council) view of landuse this represents landuse as it was observed on the ground. If people wish to download the shapefile it is here. As this is Open Street Map you can also just download data and use it freely under the terms of the OSM licence.

When presenting the project to the community/being questioned why a bunch of people are wandering around a slum with GPS’ the questions were always along the same lines. “Are you mapping land boundaries to prove property ownership? … No? … Why are you here then?”. This then led us to explain and pitch the project to them. However it illustrates people’s concerns; quite a lot of housing in the slum is informal, with precedents of slum improvements destroying homes in the name of progress, regardless of its merits and pitfalls. However this is a story for another time.

From this why map landuse if not for property demarcation? We have access to official population data, this combined with our landuse data we can then understand the provision of services across Tandale. Within the residential areas we have the building blocks to understand not just where the toilets are, but the potential average of each person using that toilet in that area. The same methodological approach can apply to water access points, shops and butchers; any point of interest basically.

Understanding the reality of the ground situation, a ground truth if you will is important. While data is collected the reliability and time since collection are questionable in developed societies where the demographic shifts over decades like the UK. Dar Es Salaam is the 3rd fastest growing city in Africa and 10th fastest in the world. The majority of people contributing to this influx are moving from rural areas to the city. The economics of this mean they gravitate to slums like Tandale. Land can be reclaimed and houses built as rapidly as they fall, simply because people need a place to live.

The increasing population puts enough of a strain on the existing infrastructure, this situation will not resolve itself organically. For example the market of Tandale acts as a staging area for majority of fresh fruit, vegetables, grain and rice. The supply chain starts outside Dar Es Salaam, in areas like Bagamoyo and Morogoro and shipped to the one market. The roads are a mixture of paved and unpaved which on occasion grind to a standstill. Using the data collected we can now start to ask questions like ‘How do we keep the supply chain going?’, ‘How many people in residential areas have access to toilets?’. It’s not quite “open data now” but it’s close and getting closer.

Written and submitted from Broadway Cinéma, Nottingham, UK (52.9540,1.1437)

Author: Mark Iliffe

Traveller, Programmer, Geospatialist and Motorcyclist

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