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University of Oxford (1983)

Aspects of urban change in Windhoek, Namibia, during the transition to independence

Simon David

Titre : Aspects of urban change in Windhoek, Namibia, during the transition to independence

Auteur : Simon David

Université de soutenance : University of Oxford

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1983

Résumé
This study focuses on contemporary urban change in the capital city of Namibia during the decolonization period. While primarily geographical, analysis is broadly based within the social sciences, employing techniques ranging from archival search and newspaper content analysis to participant observation, sample surveys, and computer analysis. The central aims are to determine, analyze and evaluate changes contingent on the political developments implied by decolonization. These are approached through the existing literature on Third World and colonial urbanization, urban form and post-colonial development. By virtue of size, structure and functions, the colonial capital city is an appropriate subject for analysis of politico-economic, social and spatial changes, since many of the characteristic structural tensions manifest themselves most clearly here. The transition period is distinguished as having commenced with the installation of an Administrator-General in Windhoek in September 1977. Original methodologies are derived for identifying appropriate research foci, which are then pursued in turn. Major topics covered include the position of Windhoek as local authority within the reorganized government structure ; mobility after desegregation of residential areas ; the housing situation, including attempts to adapt policy to new circumstances and remove apartheid symbols like the contract workers’ hostel ; the urban economy - including trade patterns, employment conditions, unemployment and the ’informal’ sector ; and access to education, health and public amenities. A final chapter synthesizes the various issues, evaluates their overall significance and offers prospects into independence. In most spheres there has been mainly cosmetic or incremental, rather than significant structural or attitudinal, change. Existing political structures are inimical to this end, although a number of legislative measures do have potential for important longer term change. Experiences elsewhere suggest that the new post-colonial order may not be as radically different, at least in the city, as anticipated.

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Page publiée le 21 janvier 2018