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Urban expansion in Zanzibar City, Tanzania: Analyzing quantity, spatial patterns and effects of alternative planning approaches

Kukkonen, Markus O., Muhammad, Muhammad J., Käyhkö, Niina, Luoto, Miska
Land use policy 2018 v.71 pp. 554-565
land use, models, prediction, social problems, urban areas, urban planning, urbanization, Zanzibar
Rapid urbanization and urban area expansion of sub-Saharan Africa are megatrends of the 21st century. Addressing environmental and social problems related to these megatrends requires faster and more efficient urban planning that is based on measured information of the expansion patterns. Urban growth prediction models (UGPMs) provide tools for generating such information by predicting future urban expansion patterns and allowing testing of alternative planning scenarios. We created an UGPM for Zanzibar City in Tanzania by measuring urban expansion in 2004–2009 and 2009–2013, linking the expansion to explanatory variables with a generalized additive model, measuring the accuracy of the created model, and projecting urban growth until 2030 with the business-as-usual and various alternative planning scenarios. Based on the results, the urban area of Zanzibar City expanded by 40% from 2004 to 2013. Spatial patterns of expansion were largely driven by the already existing building pattern and land-use constraints. The created model predicted future urban expansion moderately well and had an area under the curve value of 0.855 and a true skill statistic result of 0.568. Based on the business-as-usual scenario, the city will expand 89% from 2013 until 2030 and will continue to sprawl to new regions at the outskirts of the current built-up area. Establishing new urban centers had the highest impact on directing urban expansion from the tested alternative planning scenarios. However, the impact of all scenarios was low and therefore also other planning solutions such as vertical development, urban growth boundaries, and gradual improvement of the informal areas should be considered in Zanzibar.