Since the latter century, urbanization with unprecedented urban growth exacerbates problems in environment, human settlements, infrastructures, and socio--economy in cities in Democratic republic of Congo. It is observed an increasing ceaseless chaos, deficits in housing, basic services, and water and electricity supply environmental degradation, informal sector, infrastructures deterioration, insalubrities, loss open spaces, overcrowding, poverty, squatters and slums settlements, social tensions, traffic congestion, unemployment and underemployment, unplanned sprawl, and wastes.
Today, with an estimation at more than 10 million of people in the Kinshasa's city (United Nations, 2007), the country is very limited in capacity to stimulate economic growth, mobilize resources and provide the most basic services. Likewise, the latest decade conflict armed and the constant insecurity in the east of the country accelerate the rapid urban growth with a massive immigration of ten thousands people. The country is ill equipped to meet urban challenges of its growing populations in urban areas, as most Sub Saharan countries African. The situation reflects the socio--economic system in decline. Nelson Mandela, South Africa's former President, has noted that Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where urbanization is associated with negative economic growth (cited in Harsch 2001: 1). It was already revealed at 72 % the urban population living under slum conditions in Sub Saharan Africa (UNFPA, The State of World's Population Report, 2007).
Presently, a greater number of urban populations live in squatter and slum settlements without electricity, hygiene, safe water, and also exposed at any kinds of risks in Kinshasa. The informal settlements swell on agricultural, forest, railways and rivers areas, or in high-risk zones such as steep, hill slopes, deep gullies and flood-prone. This leaves trail catastrophes of electrocution, erosions, floodwaters, landslides, and loss public spaces. The weak government structures compound a chronic anarchism and disorder in land use management, reduces urban governance to almost nothing. Obviously, the urban crisis situations reach its paroxysm. These involve losing quality of communications, education, employment, environment, health, and energy supply; the loss of open spaces, the loss of urban habitat conservation to historic preservation. Kinshasa's city is far from to achieve sustainable development.
For most of analysts, sustainable urbanization's challenge is a prime concern in Democratic Republic of Congo. Sustainable urbanization seeks to pursue growth and human development in harmony with protection of environment quality. It seems to be a genuine effort to reconsider urban planning in its multidisciplinary nature based on an integrating vision of urban issues, for land resources management with due regard for the ecology, and economic progress with social equity.
How sustainable urbanization can be used to improve the quality of life? What are the strategic and operational choices and priorities that would enable for Democratic republic of Congo to gain the best in the process of urbanization? How sustainable urbanization planning can support positively urban growth and sprawl? What are the advantages and opportunities in Democratic Republic of Congo if this requirement is met?
The paper examines the context in which urban growth takes place in Kinshasa. It identifies the common urban problems facing most large cities in Democratic Republic of Congo. It further adopts and adapts international approaches to success sustainable urbanization, with a particular focus on Kinshasa's city. The paper explores the impact of reform policy and the urban renewal as a part of urban planning creates opportunities to give city a new image with due regard to balance economy and ecology. This is a crucial engine that guides urbanization towards sustainable growth .Importantly; emphasis will be placed on what is working and why it is working.
2. Urbanization in the world
2.1 Urban World
Certainly, Urbanization represents the movement of people from rural areas to urban areas with population growth equating to urban migration (United Nations). Historically; urbanization began with the Industrial Revolution. This was accompanied by the creation of jobs in cities and the reduction of people's proportion needed in farmlands. The first industrial revolution in Britain was accompanied by the growth of rapid urbanization (Williamson, pgs.241-242). As technology progress and farming give way to factories, rural life likewise give way to city life.
World urban growth was fastest in the mid 20th Century, slowing gradually as more and more parts of the world have made the shift from being predominantly rural to predominantly urban. Before 1800, cities not exceeded one million of populations. As far back as 1900, the number and size of large cities has risen progressively as well as the proportion of urban population can reach or surpass one million of inhabitants within cities. Available figures illustrate the unprecedented world's urban growth from 220 million (13%) in 1900 to 732 million in 1950, to 3.2 billion in 2005, (49%); the global proportion of urban population almost fourfold since 1950(1). It is estimated that the world's urban population recently surpassed 50% of the total population in 2008, that is to say the majority of people worldwide live in cities, for the first time in history (2).
The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, already approved this fact by saying; the world entered an urban millennium. Urbanization increases the concentration of population in cities with an impressive wave of urban growth that makes cities becoming larger. Developed countries were already far more urban than less developed countries with a higher rate of urban growth estimated at 75% in 2000. Apparently, their degree of urbanization generally reflects their economies stability and wealth although it varies across the regions, In 1950, their ratio of urban growth already reached 53%, unlike in the less developed regions, the prospects argue that the ratio of 50 % will be reached around 2019 (World Urbanization Prospects: The 2007 Revision).
Nowadays, the critical urban growth occurs in developing countries. There are more cities with more than one million people in Africa and Asia (especially in China and India).Between 2000 and 2030, urban population in Asia will double to 2.6 billion people; in Latin America and the Caribbean countries will rise to 609 million from 394 million while in Africa will almost threefold from 294 million to 742 million (UN Habitats 2003 report). By 2050, about 6 billion of the world's then 9 billion people will live in cities, with the greatest concentrations in cities so called developing nations (Bos et al. 1994; United Nations 1993).
The exceptional growth of many urban agglomerations in many developing countries is the result of a threefold structural change process: the transition away from agricultural employment, high overall population growth, and increasing urbanization rates (Grubler, 1994). In many third world cities natural population growth is the major contributor to urbanization, rural-urban migration is still an important factor (de Haan 1997).With this trend of growth, the number and size of large cities cannot stand still.
2.2 Migrations of People
Migrations of people are the process of people's movements from one location to another place. City symbolizes a place with large, dense, and heterogeneous, or varied populations for creativity, innovation, and global economy. A key determinant of migration is the income differential between rural and urban regions (Gilbert and Gugler 1992).Obviously, cities ensure access to economy, education, energy, good health system, jobs, transport, housing and shelters, and higher security and living standards. In opposition to, rural areas often face to the poor market, infrastructure and the lack of supporting institutions for agriculture (credits for farmers).
This supports rural people to desert the farmlands and heading that are dominating and deteriorating quantity and quality of agricultural lands. These are the factors that push people out of rural areas to seek for a better urban life. So basically it comes down to people wanting …