Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 394

Full Length Research Paper

Planning conflicts at the border: Interrogating Umguza-Bulawayo peri-urban survival strategies by large and small plot-holder farmers in Zimbabwe

  Buhle Dube* and Innocent Chirisa        
Department of Rural and Planning, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe.

  •  Accepted: 27 February 2013
  •  Published: 30 June 2013



This paper explores and examines the different perceptions, attitudes and practices by the large and small plot-holder farmers in the Umguza-Bulawayo peri-urban. The study emanates from the fact that there is lack in the uniformitarian approach in increasing subdivisions of plots in the Umguza-Bulawayo boundary. Some plot-holders, who are commercial-biased, are ready to subdivide their pieces of land while others are resisting it. The resistors have their strong reasons for not letting go their land. The reasons include title and livelihoods. Such resistance is expected yet little remains understood in both literature and practice of clinging to land at the city-edge as the urban boundary shifts into rural space. The paper has been written on the basis of the land speculation theory which postulates that farmers will try as much as possible to keep the land they have always held until the speculative prices are offered to them yet the social and psychological attachments to pieces of properties and assets are often downplayed. It seeks to map the other arguments for or against this theory, in a bid to advocate for a midway approach to urban expansion processes that respect the rights of landholders. Landholders have planning rights. The paper makes use of data gathered via in-depth interviews with the landholders between June and November 2011.


Key words: Urban expansion, peri-urban, subdivision, livelihoods, planning conflicts.