In Search of Urban Recreational Ecosystem Services in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

EfD Discussion Paper
1 January 2018

In sub-Saharan Africa, urban recreational ecosystem services are browning and disappearing despite the global recognition of their importance. We study the availability, preference, and determinants of visitations to urban recreational ecosystem services in Dar es Salaam. The results show that, amongst the functioning and publicly owned recreational ecosystem services, there are botanical gardens and other open green spaces with greenery (e.g., trees, grass, or gardens) and sometimes with basic facilities such as benches. We find that the main challenge is limited budget for upkeep, maintenance, and protection of recreational ecosystem services. As a solution, the government is turning to private-public partnerships and community participation. On the private ownership side, there are large urban parks with green features and more facilities (e.g., playgrounds, swimming pools, or restaurants). The main factors that determine visitation to urban recreational ecosystem services include district of residence, distance, education, and income. Residents of Kinondoni and Ilala have higher visitation than those in the Temeke district. We find that although there are few public urban recreational ecosystem services, residents of Dar es Salaam support the government’s plans to invest in their development, mainly because private urban parks are not affordable, while the public green spaces lack recreational facilities.

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Publication | 20 April 2018