The ‘new’ Addis Ababa: shantytown or global city? An assessment of large-scale inner-city renewal, redevelopment and displacement for the construction of a ‘new’ Addis Ababa

Kloosterboer, Marjan Hilde (2019) The ‘new’ Addis Ababa: shantytown or global city? An assessment of large-scale inner-city renewal, redevelopment and displacement for the construction of a ‘new’ Addis Ababa. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The aim of this thesis is to assess large-scale, inner-city renewal, redevelopment, and displacement in Addis Ababa for the construction of a ‘new’ Addis Ababa, while referring to the wider historical, contextual, and the global setting in which this process takes place. This research followed an inductive, qualitative research strategy and used an embedded single-case study research design. Primary data was collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews, for which thematic-based interview guides were developed; the data was then analysed thematically.
The main argument of this thesis is that in Addis Ababa urban renewal and redevelopment have grown in volume and scale transforming into a new form of urban development. The construction of a ‘new’ Addis Ababa as a City-within-a-City on top of the exiting urban fabric is a type of New City development that seeks to re-make and re-model the city alongside Global and World City (GaWC) standards. This research found that the construction of the ‘new’ Addis Ababa is a form of new-built gentrification, which is producing social-economic spatial segregation through a form of social-spatial restructuring at a municipal scale, which can lead to distributional differences and spatial inequality. This research also found, while the construction of the ‘new’ Addis Ababa is still underway (and may always remain partial and incomplete), it is questionable if this urban transformation will ultimately lead to an improved position in global urban hierarchies.
The city’s transformation has already had significant exclusionary effects on households displaced for the sake of inner-city renewal and redevelopment. Households without lawful land or tenancy rights are not compensated for their losses when they are displaced. This is a neglect of their basic rights to housing. Even though the transformation of Addis Ababa aims to prevent and reduce illegal settlements, it is instead forcing a specific group of low-income urban dwellers, whose demand is not addressed by the housing market, to migrate and reappear elsewhere in the city as illegal settlers. Households that do receive compensation may on the other hand not be able to afford the relocation associated costs, which puts them at risk for impoverishment. These households are relocated to peri-urban zones through an ex-situ strategy in a dispersed manner, which dismantles their social and economic neighbourhood based inter- and intra-community networks and leads to social and economic losses. The restoration of these social and economic networks post-relocation is hindered by a spatial and lifestyle change imposed on households, which furthermore prohibits them from returning to their old ways of life and hinders their ability to ‘bounce-back’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Addis Ababa, urban renewal, redevelopment, Ethiopia, new city, displacement.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Supervisor's Name: Kamete, Dr. Amini and Gibb, Prof. Ken
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Mrs Marjan H Kloosterboer
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-74327
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2019 12:28
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 13:53
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.74327

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