Land Tenure Systems in Kisumu City;The formal- Informal Dichtomy
Journal article, 2017

Abstract: In the process of urbanization, the peri-urban areas are often the front line of urban transformation and transition and therefore potential zones of conflicts over land tenure arrangements. This study sought to explore land tenure arrangements, administration and governance in the peri-urban zones of Kisumu city. The objective was to provide empirical evidence on the conflicts and emerging governance issues in Kisumu city. In this working paper, we recognize three main drivers as being particularly important for facilitating equitable land use and therefore good outcomes from urbanization in Kisumu; Sound land use planning, smoothly functioning land and housing markets and capable and responsive land market. The results, based on the insights gained through conversational interviews as well as desk-top reviews show that public land tenure, leaseholds, freeholds and community land tenure systems are the most widespread in the study area. Holding land under leasehold and freehold tenure appears to be more widespread within peri-urban fringe. Whereas elaborate town planning criteria should ideally direct resource allocation, the challenge for Kisumu like other developing towns and cities is that it has been developing against a backdrop of poor urban planning practice.

land tenure, tenure security, land use, informality


Maria Nyström

Chalmers, Architecture, Building Design

George G. Wagah

Maseno University

Mathenge Mwehe

Maseno University

Obange N

Maseno University

Teyie P

Maseno University

International Journal of Sciences

2410-4477 (ISSN)

Vol. 6 32-42

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Subject Categories


Landscape Architecture

Human Geography



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