A Geospatial Approach to Sustainable Urban Planning: Lessons for Morogoro Municipal Council, Tanzania


Sustainable urban planning is essential in mediating the natural and built environments globally, yet, there is little progress as regards its attainment in developing countries. Rapid and unplanned urbanization continue to threaten the sustainability of many cities in Africa. By selecting Morogoro Municipal Council (MMC) in Tanzania as an example, this study applied well-known remote sensing techniques to understand the dynamics of urban growth and the implications for sustainable urban planning. The study analyzes spatio-temporal characteristics for eighteen years (2000–2018) based on urban land density using gradient and grid-based analysis to further examine land use and urban land density nexus. The results indicate declining urban land densities with distance to the city center, indicating a less compact and fragmented development at the urban fringes; and northward development with limited development to the south of MCC. The knowledge and understanding of the patterns of spatio-temporal conditions, land use planning, and management interventions in MMC are necessary for addressing the inadequacies associated with rapid urbanization within the study area. On this basis, we propose a shift from the modernist to the communicative planning strategy that strongly integrates the urban social, economic, and environmental imperatives, while being adaptable to evolving realities. This plan should also aim to curtail urban sprawl and create a viable city system and economically prosperous city structure for MMC.



land-use planning, urban growth, urban land density, sustainable urban planning, Morogoro, Tanzania