International Development Planning Review

Regional spatial planning as a tool for addressing land injustices and mitigating land clashes: the case of Kenya

International Development Planning Review (2011), 33, (2), 147–168.

Abstract

Following the contested presidential elections of December 2007, Kenya faced post-election violence which resulted in land clashes and ethnic exclusion and took a regional dimension. One of the main issues underlying this and past episodes of violence is the unresolved historical land injustices and the failure of planning to address them. This article explores the potential that regional spatial planning has in reducing land clashes between the local and settler communities, by systematically integrating land injustice concerns into the planning process and by facilitating the identification of suitable land for settling the landless. Within this context, Kenya's existing planning system is presented and discussed through a SWOT analysis. The article suggests that if regional spatial planning is to incorporate the consideration of land injustices and mitigate the negative effects, then particular attention must be paid to removing the weaknesses of Kenya's existing planning system, such as the confusion surrounding the role of the regions, and to defending it against potential threats, such as undue political interference.

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Author details

Onyango, Vincent

Gazzola, Paola