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Visioning the agrocity – the significance of Outdoor Domestic Space to an ecodevelopment model of medium size cities, the case study of Dondo, Mozambique

Verissimo, CF; (2012) Visioning the agrocity – the significance of Outdoor Domestic Space to an ecodevelopment model of medium size cities, the case study of Dondo, Mozambique. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Family subsistence lifestyles, the use of domestic space and familiarity with nature’s ecological cycles has been updated in the medium-size cities of Mozambique, as a means of sustaining livelihoods, creating a comfortable microclimate and preserving vital kinship relationships inside the neighbourhoods surrounding the ‘cement city’. In order to resist the effects of marginalisation in the dualistic city, the external space that surrounds the house – which I call the ‘Outdoor Domestic Space’ – is strategically adapted to integrate both farming and businesses, shaping a green and ruralised pattern of urbanisation, called here the ‘Agrocity’. Rather than being marginal, due to its urban dominance and vitality, the Agrocity is actually the unacknowledged legitimate core of today’s Mozambican cityscape and the place where most cultural, ecological and economic relationships unfold. The Agrocity model that is proposed in this thesis looks at real life experiences and knowledge of people drawn from the case study – Dondo municipality, located in the Central region of Mozambique from the date of independence in 1975 onwards – rather than looking at imported utopian blueprints. Spatial and visual analysis of people’s practice in the field has demonstrated the emergence of a society with a new way of overcoming alienation from nature. The actual practice is explained through existing political ecology theories drawn from its tradition of ecodevelopment and ecosocialism, envisaging a society that is both equitable and in harmony with nature. Therefore, the thesis proposes a vision based on real spontaneous urbanisation, which materialises the ecosocialism paradigm into existence. However, a comprehensive vision of ecosocialism cannot yet be found in the case of Dondo, due to enduring exploitative relationships. Paradoxically, this coexists with a passive form of resistance which, given the current global ecological and political economy crisis, suggests that it may be fuelling the rise of a silent revolution.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Visioning the agrocity – the significance of Outdoor Domestic Space to an ecodevelopment model of medium size cities, the case study of Dondo, Mozambique
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1372585
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