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07 December 2019
Doctoral thesis (Dissertations and theses)
Consommation de la ressource foncière, périurbanisation résidentielle et efficacité urbaine à Kinshasa
Messina Ndzomo, Jean Pierre


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Keywords :
urban dynamics; spatial analysis; peri-urbanization; land resources; land use and land cover; housing; gated communities; spatial effeciency; planning; Kinshasa; DRC
Abstract :
[en] The phenomenon of peri-urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa is very worrying. Indeed, the rapid peri-urbanization of cities in this region is accompanied by excessive consumption of natural resources, including land resources. Yet, although massive, the phenomenon of peri-urbanization is very little known on the scientific level and too little taken into account by decision-makers. Thus, our research is based on a dual technical and political hypothesis, with the main objective to contributie to the improvement of knowledge on the residential peri-urbanization process underway in sub-Saharan Africa. Through the case of Kinshasa, we seek here to stimulate a better consideration of this phenomenon in urban planning processes. Methodologically, our work has been based on existing literature, on quantitative approaches based on remote sensing as well as on field investigations. The work achieved thus benefits from a combination of varied methodological approaches. The operationalization of this approach is based on an evaluation grid of urban efficiency. Our fieldworks have been devoted to the themes of ordinary housing and planned housing. By ordinary habitat, we intend a largely informal habitat where collective services are malfunctioning due to the fact that basic infrastructures are generally lacking. By contrast to ordinary housing, planned housing are developed on serviced plots, thanks to connections to the infrastructure networks. In order to study ordinary housing, we have organized household surveys in three types of location : the central area of the city, its suburbs and its peri-urban area. Our work has yielded several results that show that urban efficiency in Kinshasa is seriously affected by the combination of peri-urbanization and weak state involvement in the process of urban growth. This is justified, for example, by a lack of infrastructure and very difficult mobility conditions leading to particularly high time-budgets (for example, an average of 2h30 of daily travel for heads of households living in the peri-urban area) The literature on peri-urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa emphasizes that it generally comes as a result of residential migration of poor people. Our surveys have verified this idea. Indeed, the peri-urban area of Kinshasa is particularly disadvantaged and, compared to the central zone and to the suburbs, income levels are lower, households are larger and access to water is particularly problematic. In addition, among poor peri-urban households, we met a large number of families with a woman at their head. What we see here is a relegation process: to gain access to the opportunities offered by the city, the poorest populations have no choice but to settle in further-flung outskirts, generally in precarious conditions. In term of spatial efficiency and land use, the development of residential urbanization suffers from two major problems. The first is the waste of the land resource in peri-urban areas. The second problem is the overexploitation of this resource in both, the central zone and the suburbs, a phenomenon fueled by the division of certain parcels. Concerning the domestic space, these entities are characterized by housing standards of 6 and 11 m², which clearly corresponds to situations of overdensity. Faced with such a situation, an evolution to support is that of the construction in height, which would make it possible to lodge more inhabitants while limiting the problems of promiscuities inside the housings. In addition to the analyses on ordinary habitat, we have also studied planned habitat. In Kinshasa, planned habitats are usually developed in the form of gated communities. Our work has highlighted that the development of the Kinshasa’s gated communities does not only occur through market mechanisms, but also in relation to hierarchical and cooperative mechanisms. In fact, more than financial profits, their developers are primarily motivated by the willingness to find palliatives to the inabilities of public authorities in the planning and development of basic infrastructures. Indeed, we find here developments where a preferential right is exercised. This right is applied by organizations (doctors' unions, university professors' associations, parastatals enterprise, etc.) aiming to improve the housing conditions of their target audience rather than to make a financial profit. Thanks to our analysis of the gated communities in Kinshasa, we also put forward an important phenomenon of induced urbanization. This phenomenon can be explained by the possibility for the neighbors to benefit from the infrastructures set up by the gated communities. Our work also made it possible to clarify the issue of the spatial and demographic growth of Kinshasa. For the year 2015, its population is estimated to 11.5 million inhabitants and our analysis of satellite images shows that these millions of people are concentrated in an agglomeration of 830 km², which represents a gross density of 140 inhabitants per hectare. According to the most likely scenario, we are moving towards a city populated by 21 million inhabitants by 2035, a city that could morphologically stretch over 1500 km². In addition to its demographic and spatial rise, Kinshasa is also characterized by a rise in land prices. Our analyses show that, over the period 2000-2015, the different parts of the city experienced an annual land inflation of 10 %. In 2015, land prices reached levels of 300 dollars/m² in the central area, 200 dollars/m² in the suburbs and 80 dollars/m² in the peri-urban area. Although these prices may seem high compared to the local purchasing power, they likely reflect a situation of economic growth. Through the spectrum of land prices, Kinshasa thus appears as a city where the externalities caused by the concentration of millions of people are to be associated with a development of wealth. Of course, for Kinshasians looking for a building land, such price levels can be problematic. On the other hand, with a view of effective urban planning, they are encouraging. Indeed, they represent sufficient amounts to provide funding proper servicing infrastructures. In view of this fact, it is up to the public authorities to implement the appropriate policies - in particular the key principles of the “making room” paradigm - in order to capture land values in a planning logic that will allow a decent life to the 21 million Kinshasians awaited by 2035.
Research center :
Plateforme Afrique centrale de l'Univesité de Liège
Disciplines :
Human geography & demography
Earth sciences & physical geography
Author, co-author :
Messina Ndzomo, Jean Pierre ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Doct. sc. (géog. - paysage)
Language :
Title :
Consommation de la ressource foncière, périurbanisation résidentielle et efficacité urbaine à Kinshasa
Alternative titles :
[en] Consumption of land resources, residential peri-urbanization and urban efficiency in Kinshasa
Defense date :
25 November 2019
Number of pages :
Institution :
ULiège - Université de Liège
Degree :
Doctorat en Sciences
Promotor :
Halleux, Jean-Marie  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Sphères
Mate Mweru, Jean-Pierre
President :
Bogaert, Jan  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Biodiversité et Paysage
Secretary :
Occhiuto, Rita  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département d'Architecture
Jury member :
Schmitz, Serge  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Sphères
Lelo Nzuzi, Fancis
Mpuru, René
Name of the research project :
Les territoires périurbains en Afrique centrale


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