Daladala Buses Deregulated – Analysing Urbanisation’s Situations of Opportunity Via Tanzanian Example

Daladala Buses Deregulated – Analysing Urbanisation’s Situations of Opportunity Via Tanzanian Example

C. Weingaertner Ö. Svane B. Brikell 

Department of Urban Planning and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Sweden

31 March 2008
| Citation



In the development and growth of cities, certain stages or segments in time are considered more important than the others. Analysts have identified these points in time as ‘formative moments’, ‘policy windows’ or ‘situations of opportunity’, and argue that they present policy makers and stakeholders with a unique opportunity to implement change. Thus, in an ongoing project, Managing the Metabolism of Urbanisation (MAMMUT), we need methods for identifying and analysing this kind of situations in historical processes as well as in backcasting from future scenarios. When did these situations open up and what did they consist of? Was the process intentional, accidental or even the effect of an evolutionary process? Furthermore, which was, in terms of the MAMMUT project, the ‘field of options’ available to the stakeholders? (in historical situations, we can identify counterfactual alternatives though they were not elaborate or even considered at that time). From political scientist Rothstein we get the means for identifying formative moments in institutional processes of decision-making. Elinor Ostrom supplies theory that should facilitate the analysis of situations of opportunity. In order to test the feasibility of these methods in the project, we related them to findings from an empirical pilot study on the city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In the pilot study, the situation of opportunity is the deregulation and privatisation of the Daladala local bus transport system from the 1970s. The pilot study indicates that this turnover indeed was a formative moment or a situation of opportunity, albeit a missed one. Furthermore, these methods could also be used for analysis, at least of the institutional aspect of the situation. The social and urban structural aspects as well as the assessment of the outcome in terms of environmental impacts call for a wider set of methodologies.


Dar es Salaam, field of options, formative moment, methods development, public transport, situation of opportunity, sustainable urbanisation


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