Understanding the existing property rights regime in Uganda, in which the development right was ‘nationalized’ for the purpose of implementing physical development plans and sustainable management of land in the country, was important to contribute to the topical issue under study that is; the influence of property rights regimes on spatial forms. Although the development right was nationalized in Uganda, in fact to prevent a so-called tragedy of the anti-commons, through the enactment of the Physical Planning Law in 2010, unsustainable urban development in Kampala continues. The aforementioned urban policy reform aimed to reverse the negative effects of fragmented, individualized property rights (introduced by law since 2008) on sustainable use of land and urban development. Policy and newspaper reports noted that Kampala continues to grow in a manner that doesn’t reflect the provisions of its mixed use master plan, as seen from the existence of single use developments that dominate the city’s centre space. Questions were being asked as to why the city authority was not able to utilize its explicit right to issue development permission to effect the master plan goals of mixed use developments; which formed the motivation for the study. Specifically the study aimed to; i) identifying the relevant criteria that would be used to assess the property rights institution in which the development right had been nationalized; ii) identifying the obligations and rights that are accrued to the proprietors managing and using the resource iii) finding out how these obligations and rights manifest themselves in practice and; iv) finding out how the process of granting and seeking the development rights has influenced the spatial structure of Kampala since 2010, after the enactment of the Physical Planning Act. A congruence case study was chosen as the appropriate research approach, with Kampala Capital City Authority selected as the unit of analysis. Secondary data sources and qualitative primary data collection formed the main data collection methods. For analysis of field data collected, ATLAS ti and a fuzzy set ideal type analysis tools were used. 4 cases of development proposals, submitted to the city authority for the purpose of acquiring the development right, were closely followed and studied to help build the case by unravelling the events, strategies, practices and choices made by the different appropriators involved in the development permission process. The aim was to gain an in-depth understanding and insight that would ultimately provide explanations to the phenomenon of spatial segregation, inspite of the city authority’s explicit right to issue development permission and a mixed use master plan and the; in the local context. The results show that the necessary conditions required for the efficient allocation of the existing property rights in Kampala were absent which led to ambiguity in the allocation of rights and obligations amongst appropriators. This was manifested in the fact that appropriators were found to have misunderstood, misinterpreted or violated the rules of the game because of the ambiguity in the rights and obligations allocated to them. Consequently, conflict and inefficiencies were typical of the plan approval system, processes and procedures. The analysis of private property architectural designs and development proposals submitted and approved by the city authority, showed a greater number of approved plans were of single land use category and a lesser number were of mixed use development, moreover at low densities. In conclusion, the nationalization of development rights so far has not been successful in preventing single use developments. The results of my research show that, although the legal, formal framework provided for the institution of the necessary planning conditions to prevent unsustainable urban development were in place, the city of Kampala has not been sufficiently able yet to promote sustainable mixed-use urban developments.

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Krabben, E. van der (Erwin)
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Okaisu, A.A. (Achom Ann). (2016, September). Implementing mixed use developments. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/42005