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Efficient use of land and energy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

– Urban planning and climate adaptation

Sponsored by U-Forsk

Popular science description

Due to climate change, global air temperatures are expected to rise between 1.1 to 6.4°C over the next century. This is a problem especially in regions with a warm climate and the consequences include increased occurrence of heat stress and other heat-related diseases. Furthermore, performance of both mental and physical tasks di­min­ishes at uncomfortably high tempera­tures. Within cities, the urban poor are espe­cially vulnerable to heat waves due to sub-standard housing, high population densities and lack of green areas.

In many African countries, urban planning regulations were copied from the West and imposed by foreign powers during the colonial period. These regulations, which among other things contain rules like maximum building heights and minimum spaces between buildings, are often poorly adapted to the local culture and climate.

The aim of this project is to propose urban planning principles which lead to efficient use of energy and land in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It is believed that an urban planning that takes climate aspects in consideration can prevent or minimize negative consequences of urbanization and climate change. Higher and better distributed building densities can both create shade and allow for ventilation. Moreover, a climate sensitive urban planning and design can enhance the possibilities to use solar energy in urban areas.

The research includes analysis of the current urban regulations in Dar es Salaam, interviews with urban planners and other professionals in Tanzania, microclimatic measurements and computer simulations of the microclimate and solar energy potential. Based on the analysis, improvements of the urban regulations will be suggested and a model to estimate the solar energy potential on roofs will be applied to Dar es Salaam.

It is believed that this project will contribute to increased knowledge about efficient use of land and energy among professionals in Tanzania. The expected future higher building densities in Dar es Salaam will be beneficial especially for the urban poor since infrastructure will be cheaper, the microclimate will be improved and urban transports will be faster and cheaper.

Although the focus of the project is on Dar es Salaam, it is believed that the results will be highly relevant for other cities in Tanzania and the region. Local actors in Dar es Salaam and other cities in Tanzania will be involved through meetings, seminars and workshops through the whole project.

The research in this study is multidisciplinary in character including the fields of urban planning, urban design, architecture and climatology. The project is a cooperation between Housing Development & Management (HDM) at Lund University, the Urban Climate Group at the University of Gothenburg and the School of Urban and Regional Planning at ARDHI University, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.