This study analyses the internal structure of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to support better understanding of the physical changes, neighbourhood formation, population growth and distribution, and segregation in the city over time.

It explores the impact of these on health and education, and uses qualitative approaches to examine the balance of social, economic and environmental sustainability of neighbourhoods.

Key findings:
  • Dar es Salaam is the second fastest growing city in the world and the fifth largest city in Africa. Over the past 20 years, the city has experienced substantial increases in both built-up areas and population size.
  • The city is becoming densely populated. While the population is deconcentrating in and around the commercial business district (CBD), peripheral wards are seeing high population growth linked to both migration and a population shift from the CBD and its vicinity.
  • This population shift is being driven by improved transport infrastructure such as ring roads, the Bus Rapid Transit project, bridge construction and resettlement schemes from hazardous areas of the city.
  • Although the government is not involved to a high degree in acquiring land or planning and real estate development, it supports and monitors private firms that provide land survey services and regularisation of informal settlements.
  • However, government investments in infrastructure and the workforce are not keeping pace with the rates of population growth and urban expansion in Dar es Salaam. From the perspective of residents, this represents a critical gap that threatens neighbourhood sustainability.