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A geographical study of the pattern, processes and consequences of urban growth in Sierra Leone in the twentieth century

Harvey, Milton (1966) A geographical study of the pattern, processes and consequences of urban growth in Sierra Leone in the twentieth century. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Urbanization in Sierra Leone is recent. It is a consequence of the colonial era which "brought the slave trade, the production of cash crops geared towards the temperate market, the construction of the railway, modern administration and mining. These have resulted both in changing the traditional settlement pattern of nucleated villages with dispersed hamlets, and in producing ethnic heterogeneity in towns. New settlements, which developed at characteristic places (such as heads of navigation, at confluences, at break of slopes), were founded either by warriors (Kailahun, and Bo), or hunters (Kabala, Matru), or social nonconformists (Magburaka, Yonibana).The resultant urban pattern has been characterized by mutability; the decay of towns, for example, at heads of navigation was compensated by the growth of centres like Bo, Mano, and Segbwema along the rail. Mining, notably diamond mining, led to the mercurial growth of existing towns and the development of small mining settlements without any central place functions. As towns grew, "because of rural-urban migration, there gradually emerged ecological patterns within them. Commerce concentrated in particular sections, recreation in others, and certain functions like education, medicine, and administration occupied relatively quieter peripheral locations where future expansion is feasible. Industries are generally absent from townscapes, and urban house types range from the most modern reinforced concrete buildings to the circular mud hut, although the latter is gradually disappearing. The bulk of the urban population is still engaged in primary activities. Urbanization in Sierra Leone has resulted in many problems, including the absence. In most towns, of social amenities like water supply, electricity and restaurants as well as Inadequate housing facilities for the urbanites, and the Increase in social vices, crimes and delinquency.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1966
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 10:25

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