Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Formal Urban Dynamics, Policy and Implications on Urban Planning: Perspectives on Kampala, Uganda

Written By

John J. Williams and Fred Bidandi

Submitted: 04 April 2018 Reviewed: 22 May 2018 Published: 28 November 2018

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.79051

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Spatial Analysis, Modelling and Planning

Edited by Jorge Rocha and José António Tenedório

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Formal urban dynamics is a holistic approach that contributes towards the delivery of relevant planning solutions for cities and towns. This chapter discusses Kampala’s shifting urban dynamics and their implications on planning. It argues that the current legal, political, technical, financial and administrative dynamics are problematic in nature and generally have dynamic effects on the city’s planning trajectory. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicates that Kampala’s population has grown from 1,189,142 in 2014 to 1,583,000 in 2017, growing at 1.74% per annum. Like other cities in Africa, Kampala presents enormous challenges to urban planners, city government, local leaders and city dwellers. Watson elucidates that rapid urbanisation experienced in Africa today and Kampala in particular requires radical planning approaches in order to address the much-needed services such as water, health, waste management and sanitation. This is an empirical study with a quantitative sample of 720 households proportionally distributed according Kampala’s five divisions. Qualitative data were analysed using narrative and thematic techniques, complemented by the descriptive method. The objective of this study is to investigate formal dynamics responsible for Kampala’s urbanisation from 1990 to 2013 and their policy implications on planning. The findings explain Kampala’s planning challenges, government modernisation agenda, legal framework, urban policy dynamics and government interventions.


  • formal-urban dynamics
  • policy
  • urban planning
  • Kampala
  • Uganda

1. Problem statement

Formal dynamics such as legal, political, technical, financial and administrative are critical to investment decisions, business/commercial and residential choices made by individuals and investors [1, 2]. These dynamics have received less attention in respect of their role in influencing urban changes according to needs of urban dwellers. They are necessary to understand because they explain the manner in which cities urbanise in terms of planning. Formal dynamics also determines how city planners and administrators react to urban changes resulting from formal dynamics [3]. This reaction subsequently determines how a city urbanises systematically in terms of attracting physical investments, housing and other related programmes. This is why it is necessary to investigate so as to understand its policy implications for Kampala’s urbanisation.

Apart from the existing scholarly work, Kampala’s urban policies and legal instruments are enacted with intent to ensure the city urbanises in a planned manner [4, 5, 6]. Why then are those used in Kampala failing to do so? This study seeks to answer this question by analysing formal dynamics in terms of the flaws that cause the urban policies and legal instruments applied to guide the city’s planning trajectory.


2. Introduction

Though conditions vary from one city to another, the increase in urban populations globally and Kampala in particular put a strain on services and resources, leaving many city dwellers on the periphery in terms of access to social-economic opportunities. Scholars attribute this to rural-to-urban circular migration and migration from small towns, all of which appear considerably the same across the globe as people assume that there is good life, better employment as well as social-economic opportunities in cities. The above assumptions provide sharp differences in the urbanisation process, particularly those who dwell in informal settlement where basic services such water, sanitation, health and roads, among others, are usually limited or difficult to come by. In this light, urban public policy lags behind urbanisation, which often means that basic services, such as sanitation, water, housing, public transport and land rights to name but four, are not delivered to many of the people living in informal settlements. People living in informal settlements have no say and are neither informed about the urban planning process. Effective urban planning in cities like Kampala therefore depends on institutions and governance. But without understanding urban policy dynamics and differences in urbanisation, the challenge ahead is the interface in service provision which has significantly contributed to unplanned urbanisation of the Kampala city [7, 8, 9].

This study discusses the nature of the dynamics experienced in Kampala, maintaining that an empirical basis is required to develop a policy that ensures that the city urbanises in an environmentally, spatially and socially satisfactory manner. Additionally, the core of the city traditionally accommodates many commercial and retail activities and surrounding residential suburbs which are encircled and connected by important national and metropolitan roads and it is geographically divided into the Central, Nakawa, Makindye, Lubaga and Kawempe divisions. The central business district is mostly designated for commerce and residence. All these five divisions are mixed between lower-middle class, working class and underclass [8].

Figure 1 indicates Kampala’s five divisions.

Figure 1.

Location of the study area. Source: Lwasa et al. [8].

Moreover, the chapter discusses Kampala’s formal dynamics as a multi-dimensional concept for urban growth between 1990 and 2013 [6].


3. Theoretical framework

For the purpose of this chapter, the modernisation theory has been utilised to underpin Kampala’s urbanisation. In so doing, the theory explains systematic transformation or progressive transition from pre-modern or traditional subsistence economies to modern industrialised economies [10]. This school of thought maintains that subsistence economies develop and urbanise as they adopt more modern industrial, technological, communication and cultural practices [11, 12]. Certainly, Tettey [13] observed that urbanisation varies in line with the developmental pace of a country, and for any country to urbanise, there is a need to foster development through the adoption of technology and industrialisation. A number of scholars endorse this connection by indicating that the phenomenon and process of urbanisation is an irreversible feature of modernisation and development [14, 15].

Nonetheless, modernisation theory permits responding to the dynamics that cause transformation, including urbanisation [16]. It is transformation that should be felt by the people or for whom it occurs [17]). This argument is used in this chapter to analyse and understand Kampala’s planning trajectory.


4. Formal urban dynamics contextualised

In the context of this chapter, formal urban dynamics refers to the production of urbanisation that comes through organised or planned processes, usually adopted to cover needs of urban dwellers. Formal dynamics investigated in this study include legal, political, technical, financial, administrative and policy dynamics. Literature indicates that legal dynamics are the actions undertaken according to by-laws, ordinances, acts, laws, regulations, standards and guidelines enacted to prevent, prohibit or promote urbanisation desired in terms of physical infrastructural development, settlements and service delivery [18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26].

Administrative dynamics refer to executive actions taken to ensure that urbanisation takes place as desired by city authorities [25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 38, 39]. Meanwhile, political dynamics refer to actions taken as a result of political decisions made either by government or by the opposition to maintain, promote or discourage urbanisation as a way of promoting political interests [32]. Turning to policy dynamics, [33] observes that the urbanisation of most African countries is explained by the apparent absence of deliberate urban policies. This absence leads to uncontrolled and unplanned settlements typified by growing slums juxtaposed with urban affluence [34, 35, 36, 37]. Using South Africa’s example, McGranahan [40] observes that formal dynamics in most cities are exclusionary in terms of spaces occupied by certain categories as we have witnessed in black communities.

The reviewed literature describes formal dynamics and their negative urban consequences, but it pays little or no attention to the policy solutions that should be adopted to deal with the consequences and ensure that the cities urbanise systematically.


5. Dynamics of urbanisation with specific reference to Kampala

Literature indicates that urban policies and budgetary allocations tend to result in changes in public investment, and these changes alter economic activities, spatial quality and environmental quality in cities and towns [36]. The changes can be positive or negative, depending on the promoted public investments and the political interests underlying the investments [36]. Annez and Buckley [42] note that governments could also pursue development in partnership with the private sector for planning for a conducive urban environment [43]. Moreover, Kampala’s urbanisation is assumed to be explained by formal dynamics, which are conceptualised as all forces and processes that are officially sanctioned to cause urban changes [18]. According to Alem [44], these dynamics are important to understand because they inform urban planners on how to improve service delivery in cities. Mabogunje [33] argues that urbanisation is explained by the apparent absence of deliberate urban policies. This absence leads to unplanned settlements typified by growing slums juxtaposed with urban affluence. Besides, according to [9, 45, 46, 47, 48], the legal dynamics creates a complicated and multiple land tenure systems which form one of the dynamics in explaining the city’s unplanned urbanisation. However, constitutional recognition and protection of private land (Milo land, crown land and permanent land) ownership rights in themselves lead, for example, to unplanned urbanisation, thus leading to urban policy implications considering the city’s population growth and expansion. However, literature does not provide clear policy solutions regarding legal dynamics. On an inclusive policy note, Somik [49], UN-Habitat [9] and Katembwe [50] advocate for a shift in technical planning for urbanisation in countries like Uganda to ensure systematic urbanisation.

Brown [51] and Lambright [36] observes that the planning of the National Urban Policy for Uganda (UNUP) does not pay attention to full participation of the different key stakeholders, including NGOs, CBOs, the academic community, the private sector and the different levels of government. This means that UNUP as a guiding document needs to be revisited since its implementation appears not to be pragmatic. Lambright expresses a similar view by observing that the deviation from policies leads to a complex situation given the dynamic trends of urbanisation [52, 53, 54, 55]. This study therefore provides a comprehensive understanding of formal dynamics in relation to Kampala’s urbanisation.


6. Research methodology

This is an empirical study with quantitative data comprising 720 households distributed per division as shown in Table 1. Quantitative data were collected using a survey method. This method was used to collect a comprehensive and consistent data from many respondents and in a relatively short period of time [57]. A self-administered, semi-structured questionnaire was used under this method. This instrument was used because Kampala’s literacy rate of 91% [58] suggested that most of the respondents could read and write. The instrument was designed and administered to the selected heads of households. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were used to collect qualitative data from a group of respondents simultaneously [59]. A total of 19 respondents were interviewed, 5 of whom participated in the focus group discussions.

DivisionsNumber of participant households

Table 1.

Proportional distribution of selected household heads by divisions in Kampala city.

Source of population size: Uganda Bureau of Statistics [56].


7. Analysis of the study findings

The selected city residents were asked to use a Likert scale of responses running from strongly disagree to disagree and not sure and agree to strongly agree to indicate whether the statements administered to them embedded formal dynamics that accounted for Kampala’s urbanisation. The responses were subjected to exploratory factor analysis following Field’s [60] observation by analysing the correlation between variables in a data set. The findings obtained from the analysis are summarised in Table 2.

7.1. Formal dynamics explaining Kampala’s urbanisation (1990–2013), as reported by city residents

The findings indicate that as cities urbanise they require strong administrative systems, which ensure attention that is paid to the needs of urban residents in a satisfactory manner. However, Sachs-Jeantet [27] argues that politics appears to be a hindering factor for city planners due to bickering and misunderstandings among political office bearers. Meanwhile, Adhikari [38] points out that though investment policies pursued by governments account for how cities urbanise, implementation is usually problematic. The findings also support the observations made by World Bank [25] and John [32] that the dynamics that account for urbanisation tend to be administrative, political and legal in nature. The findings also concur with Annez and Buckley [42] and Nattrass [41], both of whom argue that the investment policy pursued by government is one of the dynamics that explains the urbanisation of cities like Kampala.

These findings suggest that the formal dynamics that account for Kampala’s urbanisation are mostly administrative issues followed by politics, government investment promotion policy, and then by legal dynamics. However, the indicator that relates highest with the government investment promotion policy is one which involves permitting the establishment of foreign-based companies anywhere in Kampala city as a way of attracting foreign investors without considering the implications on the city’s planning process. The indicator that related highest with legal dynamics involves not tampering with city residents’ right of ownership of the land where they built their residences, including informal settlements, because of being constitutionally protected. Since these are the indicators that relate highest with each of the identified formal dynamics, they are further investigated to establish how city residents perceive the manner in which they occur.

Findings in Table 2 indicate that to city residents, the dynamics that strongly explained Kampala’s urbanisation during the period 1990–2013 include administrative dynamics manifested in the form of people finding it easy to establish business kiosks without approved plans. This suggests that there is administrative laxity in terms of enforcing the construction of kiosks based on approved plans. City residents further include official political dynamics that occur in the form of the incumbent government releasing much of the money required to finance Kampala’s budgets only when the city’s leaders are politically affiliated to the ruling party. The policy implications of these findings are discussed together with those depicted by the findings obtained from the key informants as presented below.

Findings reflected in Figure 2 indicate that the formal dynamics explaining Kampala’s urbanisation included administrative measures, government political intervention and modernisation agenda, the legal framework and urban policy. These findings are essentially consistent with the studies of Nattrass [41], Gervase [37] and Ndengwa [20]. Each of these studies indicates that at least one of the dynamics shown in Figure 1 explains how cities like Kampala urbanise.

Figure 2.

Frequency distribution of formal dynamics explaining Kampala’s urbanisation from 1990 to 2013, as reported by key informants (policy makers & implementers). Source: Bidandi [61].

The findings support the argument made by Omwenga [28] and Braun et al. [29] in which they argue that administrative dynamics involve directorial actions either to promote desired urbanisation or against urban changes deemed unnecessary, unplanned, disfiguring or leading to undesired spatial development, environmental degradation, socio-economic chaos or poor environmental health. Most of Kampala’s urban dynamics are a clear manifestation of unplanned urbanisation due to the administrative weaknesses working against their effectiveness. The weaknesses include deliberate indifference, lack of strategic focus, working politically rather than professionally, staff demoralisation and vulnerability to bribery and failure to pay attention to social justice when executing many of the official administrative measures.

As the study findings indicate, this weakness needs to be minimised by ensuring that, instead of redeveloping Kampala based on only an inward-looking strategy, the city is reorganised while kampala capital city authority (KCCA) is working with local governments in the neighbouring districts. This is well explained by You-Tien [62] when discussing governance and planning of mega-cities. You-Tien [62] vividly provides that some level of satisfaction needs to be reached by city residents especially when urban changes taking place in their locations help urban physical planners, policymakers and implementers to improve locations, thereby promoting urbanisation that meets residents’ expectations.

7.1.1. Government intervention

Findings from the interviews indicate that the nature of government intervention programmes, such as decentralisation and creation of more administrative units, contributes to Kampala’s haphazard urbanisation. The findings confirm the observation made by Sulkin and Larsen [63] that government can halt planned urbanisation in order to derive political capital. The finding also confirms King and Wybrow’s [64] observation that government intervention of this kind usually occurs after noticing that the urbanising actions taken administratively are politically costly. The review led to the findings summarised in Figure 3.

Figure 3.

Performance of government revenue collection and financial releases to KCCA as percentages of expectation. Source: Background to the budget and Kampala city budgets for the shown fiscal years.

The fiscal years in Figure 3 begin from 1996/1997 because, after staying in limbo since 1980, multiparty politics was rejuvenated in Uganda in 1996. The trend in Figure 3 indicates that from the 1996/1997 to the 2009/2010 fiscal year, the government of Uganda released between 49.7% and 60.7% of the budgets proposed to finance Kampala’s urbanisation activities. During this time, Kampala’s executive leadership was in the hands of the opposition [65]. During the period 2011/2012–2013/2014, the release performance rose and started oscillating between 88.6% and 90.7%. This period coincides with the time when the ruling party under the president’s office [66] directly controlled Kampala’s executive leadership. Evidently, the proportion of funds that government releases to facilitate the urbanisation of Kampala depends on whether the city’s executive leadership is under the ruling party or the opposition.

Since Uganda operates a cash budget [67], the performance and provision of services depend on the revenue mobilised or funds mobilised by Kampala city authorities. This argument, however, becomes untenable when released funds are compared to revenue collection. The trend in Figure 2 indicates that the performance of expected revenue collection generally increased throughout the period 1996/1997–2012/2013. It should, however, be noted that as a matter of policy government, intervention into the urbanisation of Kampala does not need to depend on the political interests of the ruling party but on national interests.

7.1.2. Government modernisation agenda

Thematic and descriptive analysis of the views given by key informants to substantiate the modernisation agenda pursued by the Ugandan government is one of the main dynamics explaining Kampala’s urbanisation that leads to the results shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4.

Frequency distribution of the views substantiating the government modernisation agenda as a dynamic of Kampala’s urbanisation. Source: Bidandi [61].

A scrutiny of the study findings reveals that Kampala’s urbanisation is being influenced by the modernisation agenda and as a result expanding the city’s industrial, communications, power and trade sectors.

These findings support [38] who indicates that modernisation boosts industrialisation. They also support the observations made by [37] that modernisation alters the already existing infrastructure, communication networks and supply of social services. For Kampala, findings in Figure 3 indicate that this alteration takes the form of improving physical infrastructure and attracting foreign investors’ expanding businesses. The expansion adds to what Harvey [68, 69] refers to as “built environment”. However, encouraging foreign investors to establish businesses in Kampala in environmentally undesirable locations implies contributing to environment degradation. Not only does degrading the environment spoil the natural beauty of a city, but it also contributes to adverse climatic change, which, according to [70], is a threat to life.

7.1.3. Legal framework

Table 3 indicates the legal framework dynamics key respondents identified that explains Kampala’s urbanisation. These respondents supporte d their view by citing a number of legal instruments that had been enacted to guide what to do and how to do it in order to regulate and control all the activities and services by which urbanisation is to take place in Kampala.

DynamicsIndicators of dynamicsDescription (N = 720)
Official administrative dynamicsIt has since 1990 been easy to put up a business kiosk in Kampala city without an approved plan154.77.098
Official political dynamicsThe incumbent government has since 1990 been releasing much more money to finance Kampala’s budgets only when the city’s leaders are politically affiliated to the ruling party154.56.113
Government investment promotion policy dynamicsEstablishing a foreign-based company anywhere in Kampala city has since 1990 been easy because of government policy of attracting foreign investors154.84.044
Legal dynamicsMy right of ownership of the land where I built my residence has never been tampered with throughout the period 1990–2013 because it is constitutionally protected153.563.918

Table 2.

City residents’ description of the main indicators of formal dynamics explaining Kampala’s urbanisation.

Source: Bidandi [61].

Legal instrumentPercentage of key informants identifying the instrument (N = 24)
Electricity Act, 199933.3
Market Act, Cap 9450.0
National Physical Planning Standards and Guidelines, 201162.5
Water Act 1997, Cap 15250.0
The Kampala Capital City (Taxi Management) Ordinance, 201350.0
The Uganda National Roads Authority Act, 200687.5
Local Government Act, 199787.5
Solid Waste Management Ordinance, 200595.8
National Environment Act, Cap 15379.2
The Condominium Property Act, 200150.0
The Physical Planning Act, 201079.2
Land Act, 199862.5
Kampala Capital City Act, 2010100.0
The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995100.0

Table 3.

Frequency distribution of legal instruments explaining Kampala’s urbanisation as revealed by key informants.

Source: Bidandi [61].

The frequency distribution in Table 3 indicates that all the key informants (100%) mentioned the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the 2010 Kampala Capital City Act as legal instruments that had been enacted to regulate and control the conducting of urban activities and services in Uganda, particularly in Kampala. Findings indicate that the legal framework that determines how Kampala is urbanising includes the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, as well as the different acts, regulations and ordinances passed at different times. The findings support the observations made by [18, 21, 22, 25, 26]. Each of these authors cites at least one of the legal instruments shown in Table 3 observing that they are the instruments that regulate and control the legal actions by which a city urbanises.

A review of the Kampala Capital City Act, 2010, reveals that it mandates KCCA to urbanise Kampala in a planned manner. However, the powers to enforce and monitor this urbanisation are not clearly demarcated among the top-most recognised officials who include the minister for the presidency, the executive director and the Lord mayor.

What this minister, mayor and director should respectively do with respect to the approval, supervision, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of Kampala city’s urban development policies is not clearly demarcated. This constrains the implementation of the Act, thereby rendering the realisation of its intended purpose (the proper urban development of the city) difficult. This is exacerbated by the fact that the Act takes the implementation and control of this function in an omnibus way, which separates who should implement and who should control, thus making it difficult to effectively address Kampala’s urban dynamics [4, 71]. One key informant substantiated the above situation as follows:

Proper urbanisation of Kampala City is difficult to achieve when Uganda’s constitution recognises and protects privately owned land anywhere in Uganda, even within the capital city. While it is in order to protect people’s rights in land, it works against planned development and urbanisation when ownership is not conditioned to land development. The Constitution of Uganda recognises Mailo (individually owned), customary, freehold and leasehold as the four systems of land tenure, but most of the land in Kampala is Mailo or customarily owned by Buganda Kingdom. Private land owners determine what to do with their land. They choose which activities to carry out on their land. Some people even put up buildings without approved plans, and the law of the land does not allow demolition of any building erected on privately owned land. Some of the Mailo land is owned ancestrally and current occupants are too poor to develop it. Even when KCCA makes efforts to compensate these owners on a negotiated basis, they set quite high prices. Some land is owned by the Buganda Cultural Institution, and the process of compensating this institution faces a lot of cultural resistance. In fact, most of the areas in Kampala City are informally developed or left undeveloped because of the constitutional protection of private ownership of land. officials in the Physical Planning Department on March (Interview held in February with KCCA officials in the Physical Planning Department on March 5, 2014).

The preceding findings indicate that the constitutional protection of private land ownership is one of the dynamics that explained the uneven and informal urbanisation of Kampala between 1990 and 2103. The findings therefore concur with the observations made by [9, 46, 47, 48] in which, for example, [46, 48] indicate that the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and all land acts recognise and protect private land ownership as opposed to land development. UN-Habitat [9] argues that these legal dynamics create complicated and multiple land tenure systems which form one of the dynamics explaining the city’s unplanned urbanisation. The multiplicity of the tenure systems is also highlighted by [47] as a major factor underlying urbanisation. However, these authors analyse these dynamics as a basis for developing a comprehensive strategy and action plan for only slum upgrading (UN-Habitat), dealing with informal settlements (Lwasa) and improving access to housing (Mukiibi).

7.1.4. Urban policy dynamics

The study findings indicate that urban policy is in the form of administrative, political, modernisation and legal and policy dynamics. The administrative dynamics occur mainly in the form of directorial measures that are undertaken to deal with activities that are deemed illegal or contribute to the urbanisation process. The effectiveness of these dynamics is, however, compromised by a number of dynamics which include Kampala city authority officials’ deliberate indifference to developments that are being established under the unofficial influence of high-ranking government officials. Other weaknesses included the fact that some Kampala city officials are working politically rather than professionally. There is also low staff motivation which has encouraged vulnerability to bribery and laxity that job makers exploited to erect business kiosks in Kampala without approved plans. Since these dynamics compromise the effectiveness of the official administrative dynamics that are meant to promote planned urbanisation, they need to be curtailed through adopting policy measures that can empower not only KCCA to operate independently of politicians but also its employees to become vigilant and invulnerable to bribery. This view was expressed by one respondent as follows:

The policy used to guide Kampala’s urbanisation exists in fragmented pieces. We have to refer to particular policies. For instance, when the issue is about approving physical constructions, we use the physical planning policy. When the issue is about land, we apply the land policy. When it is about water supply, we appeal to the water supply and sanitation policy; when it is about energy, the energy policy is called into force, and so on. We hear that the MLHUD is developing a comprehensive urban policy. This implies that at the moment, we do not have an integrated urban policy that can be applied to guide the urbanisation of Kampala city all is waste of resources. (Interview held with a KCCA official in the Executive Director’s office on January 14, 2014).

The findings earlier support Mabogunje’s [33] observation in which he points out that the urbanisation of most regional cities such as Kampala and Nairobi is explained by the apparent absence of deliberate urban policies. This absence leads to uncontrolled and unplanned settlements typified by growing slums juxtaposed with urban affluence.

To ensure that this policy is comprehensive, it is necessary to develop it based on the understanding of not only formal dynamics but also residents’ satisfaction with the services rendered in the city.


8. Discussion of the research results

Findings indicate that the formal dynamics explaining Kampala’s urbanisation between 1990 and 2013 include administrative dynamics, government political intervention dynamics, government modernisation agenda, the legal framework and urban policy dynamics. By revealing these forms of dynamics, the findings concur with those of [20, 37, 41]. Each of these scholars indicates that at least one of these dynamics explains how cities urbanise. For instance, [41] clarifies that cities develop as a result of social dynamics officially sanctioned in the form of observed culture, racism and social classes created by the official system of education, income distribution, property ownership and access to jobs.

The formal administrative dynamics in this study have both positive and negative features. There are those activities that are taken to ensure that Kampala urbanises in a planned manner. These include the cancellation of contracts of companies that manage the city’s public transport services and market places poorly, demolition and abolition of the informal economic activities and structures, decisive dismissal and replacement of corrupt KCCA officials and the closure of arcades constructed without following the approved plans. These dynamics are intended to restore planned urbanisation in Kampala. They have, however, achieved little success because of the negative features which include administrative weaknesses. These weaknesses comprise deliberate indifference, lack of strategic focus by senior KCCA officials working politically rather than professionally, that is, staff demoralisation and vulnerability to bribery and failure to pay attention to social justice when executing many of the official administrative measures. According to Turok [72], leaving unplanned developments untouched is itself a sign of failure to enforce strategic urbanisation. Besides, staff demoralisation and vulnerability to bribery are also linked since, according to Mills [73] and Cooper et al. [74], poor motivation increases susceptibility to accepting bribes.

Government political intervention has made a twofold contribution to Kampala’s urbanisation, that is, intervention to protect administrative actions that ensure Kampala is urbanised in a planned manner and developing an inclusive urban policy. It is, however, compromised by another form of government intervention, which involves halting administrative decisions that are intended to promote planned urbanisation but in a politically costly manner. The halting is tactical as it intends to derive political capital instead of serving to promote planned urbanisation in the national interest. It therefore confirms [63] who argue that the government can halt planned urbanisation in order to derive political capital. While the government’s intention is to derive political capital from these latter two forms of intervention, they limit the realisation of planned urbanisation. The intentions are thus not good for Kampala’s planned urbanisation, their political intentions notwithstanding. They need to be replaced by other interventions from which the government can derive political capital while promoting planned urbanisation.

The dynamics of the modernisation agenda explaining Kampala’s urbanisation involves attracting investors and allowing them to establish factories and business companies at any locations of the investors’ choice. These dynamics also involve reconstruction of taxi parks and roads and the replacing of old commercial buildings with new ones, including supermarkets, malls and arcades. The manner in which these dynamics occur supports [38], who indicates that modernisation boosts industrialisation. It also supports [37] who argues that modernisation alters the already existing infrastructure. Indeed, the attracted investors contribute to the expansion of Kampala’s built environment as [68, 69] prefer to call it. The way the expansion is taking place is, however, environmentally unfriendly because it involves constructing the developments by the infilling of swamps, destroying greenbelts and blocking natural drainage. Not only does this degrade Kampala’s natural beauty but it also contributes to adverse climatic change, which, according to [70], is a threat to life.

The legal framework dynamics occur in the form of different legal instruments that are enacted to guide Kampala’s urbanisation. These instruments include acts, by-laws, ordinances and regulations.


9. Conclusion

The formal dynamics which explain Kampala’s urbanisation during the period 1990–2013 include official administrative dynamics, government political intervention, a modernisation agenda implemented through a government investment promotion programme, a legal framework and urban policy dynamics. Many of these dynamics are associated with weaknesses that cause Kampala to urbanise in an unplanned manner. Consequently, the weaknesses need to be rectified. The effectiveness of formal dynamics is, however, compromised by administrative weaknesses, politics and land tenure system.


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Written By

John J. Williams and Fred Bidandi

Submitted: 04 April 2018 Reviewed: 22 May 2018 Published: 28 November 2018