Urban expansion, land management and development in Tripoli, Libya

SHABA, Faysal (2019). Urban expansion, land management and development in Tripoli, Libya. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00350
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    Abstract

    Libya is considered to have one of the highest rates of urbanisation in the world; especially, when compared to other regions in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Tripoli witnessed rapid population growth and increasing economic development, this led to a concentration of the population in and around the city. Tripoli has witnessed an extreme expansion of its urban area which now contains a population more than 2 million. At the same time, Tripoli is a region which encompasses an area of high agricultural fertility. The objective of this study was to investigate how agricultural land in the Tripoli region could be protected from land use change brought about by rapid urban expansion. This research adopted a mixed methods approach to collect primary and secondary data. Information was gathered from stakeholders, farmers and official sources and triangulated to understand the processes behind rapid urban expansion and the loss of agricultural land. Research included field observations in Tripoli, interviews with government official, and questionnaires for farmers. Research revealed that government policies have played a significant role in creating and exacerbating the problem of urban expansion by encouraging migration to Tripoli. Furthermore, present legislation has been shown to be an ineffective deterrent. Laws are continually broken by various individuals; therefore, current legislation fails to protect agricultural land as it is not enforced properly. This research has, however, identified the existence of effective schemes, such as the National Physical Perspective Plan – Libya(NPPP) and National Spatial Policy (NSP). These schemes would promote balanced sustainable development across Libya, providing better facilities and opportunities in other regions and therefore combat mass migration to larger cities. They have not, however, been implemented due to the difficulty in persuading relevant authorities to do so. This study demonstrates the need for an efficient land use planning in Libya. It provides information to support research and planning efforts related to land development and conservation, ensuring the protection of agricultural land in the face of rapid urban expansion. This is of particular importance to Libya as the percentage of fertile agricultural land is small, around 2% of the country's total area. The study emphasised the importance of protecting this small but significant land space for future use. The findings of this study will therefore provide a significant guide for future urban planning and will be of use to urban planners and decision makers determining policies and plans to control urban expansion. This study is essential to understanding the changes witnessed in Libya's agricultural landscape and the need to protect it to ensure its future. Its findings will be used to provide information on effective land management, environmental conservation, and sustainable development, which will be of interest to policy planners and government officials in Libya. Preliminary findings demonstrate that government policies have played a significant role in creating/exacerbating the problem of rural-urban migration to Tripoli. Research has highlighted that national land use policies require revision to achieve future sustainability. Revising policy would enable the country to re-balance the construction of infrastructure and services, accounting for other areas. While there are schemes to promote this (to implement balanced sustainable development 2006-2030), it has been difficult to persuade authorities to implement them. Finally, research has shown that despite strict legislation existing to protect agricultural land, it is not enforced and therefore, laws are often broken by individuals. This research suggests that confronting these issues would reverse a trend of focusing on short term economic benefits (housing) at long term cost (loss of agricultural land).

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Additional Information: Director of studies: Ian D. Rotherham / Thesis supervisor: Dr. Catherine Hammond.
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00350
    Depositing User: Colin Knott
    Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2021 15:53
    Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 11:00
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28483

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