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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3123; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093123

Sustainable Urbanization on Occupied Land? The Politics of Infrastructure Development and Resettlement in Beira City, Mozambique

1
Department of Human Geography and Planning, University of Utrecht, 3584CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
African Studies Centre, 2300RB Leiden, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract

With this article we contribute to debates on urban land governance and sustainable urban development in Africa by providing an empirical analysis of forced displacement and resettlement associated with infrastructure development in Beira city, Mozambique. In recent years Beira has become the recipient of numerous investment flows targeting the built environment by a range of international investors. By analyzing the micropolitical engagements associated with three different infrastructure projects, based on extensive qualitative interviews, observations, and document analysis, we demonstrate how each intervention has been associated with highly informal and divergent processes of forced displacement and resettlement. We argue that these land related impacts have been annexed from debates on sustainable infrastructure development, and that they exhibit some fundamental differences from established resettlement research. We conclude by arguing that forced displacement and resettlement should be understood as a deliberate and systematic feature of urban infrastructure development, through which new social-spatial arrangements are created. This ultimately points to the emergence of a novel mode of fragmented urbanism within the context of urban development in Africa which poses new challenges to urban sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: infrastructure development; resettlement; African urbanism; sustainable urbanization; urban land governance; forced displacement infrastructure development; resettlement; African urbanism; sustainable urbanization; urban land governance; forced displacement
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Shannon, M.; Otsuki, K.; Zoomers, A.; Kaag, M. Sustainable Urbanization on Occupied Land? The Politics of Infrastructure Development and Resettlement in Beira City, Mozambique. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3123.

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