Lusaka: A Policy Narrative

This paper examines the urban development of Lusaka from its precolonial past to the present day


Lusaka is urbanizing fast. Between 1990 and 2010, its population more than doubled, growing from 757,000 million to 1.7 million inhabitants. As its population has increased, so has its spatial footprint. Satellite imagery reveals that much of the city’s recent growth has taken place in the southwestern parts of the city, near the city’s industrial areas and major transport routes.

In this policy narrative, the authors examine the urban development of Lusaka from its precolonial past to the present day. Their analysis covers both the spatial development of the city as well as its economic development. Special emphasis is given to the historical development of the city’s structure of governance, land and housing markets, and transportation networks. To carry out this analysis, they use a wide range of sources including satellite data, historical maps, and geo-referenced economic data.

This paper is a part of a Global Research Program on Spatial Development of Cities, funded by the Multi Donor Trust Fund on Sustainable Urbanization of the World Bank and supported by the UK Department for International Development.


Patricia Jones, Katia del Frari, Lino Ferreira, Miljan Sladoje, (2016) Lusaka: A Policy Narrative. World Bank, Washington, DC

Lusaka: A Policy Narrative

Published 1 March 2016