Project Concept

The research project “Boa_Ma_Nhã, Maputo!” (Politecnico di Milano in partnership with the Eduardo Mondlane University and AICS Italy) focuses on the Boane, Moamba, and Namaacha districts, located at the outskirts of Maputo (the capital of Mozambique) and crossed by the “Maputo Corridor” (Maputo, Johannesburg, Durban). More than 3,000,000 inhabitants live in this area, representing more than 13% of the Mozambican population and over 40% of the urban population of the country. According to the National Institute of Statistics of Mozambique (2010), this region contributes more than half of the GDP. The lack of information regarding existing inter-scalar patterns makes it an “unknown Metropolis”, fragmented in terms of administrative boundaries and governance and characterized by a high level of informality of flows and systems. The rural-urban balance is transforming due to migrations and progressive urbanization, land grabbing, deforestation, climate change, socio-economic and political instability, making peripheral districts of the fast-growing Maputo metropolitan system fragile territories in need to be framed in a synergic inter-scalar vision for a sustainable and integrated territorial development. The scarcity and inconsistency of the available statistical data, the lack of cartographies, and the lack of investigations of economic related transformations rise a challenge in terms of methodologies and tools to be developed in support of local actors to face this crucial task while coping with present urgent issues. The research project embraces this challenge by proposing a multidisciplinary approach to tackle the development of the growing peri-­urban environment of the City of Maputo in an integrated way, overcoming the traditional sectorial approach, and considering the interdependencies between issues such as migrations and demographical transition, food and water security, climate change and natural hazard, local economic patterns (formal and informal), land tenure and cultural diversity, mobility and infrastructure.

More specifically the project aims to:

1- Produce integrated territorial scenarios and recommendations for the sustainable development of the area under study, to be made available to local administrations.

2- Test an integrated and repeatable multidisciplinary methodological approach in line with the complexity of metropolitan challenges in similar contexts.

3- Check the methodological approach through a locally relevant pilot project integrating agriculture, education and women empowerment.

4- Investigate methodologies to check economic, environmental and social impact through quantitative assessments.

The project will contribute to the existing research project “Programa de Investigação Multissectorial Integrada (PIMI) Estudo para a Promoção do Desenvolvimento Territorial Integrado da Região de Boane, Moamba e Namaacha” ongoing at the FAPF / Mondlane University with support by Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione e lo Sviluppo_Maputo (AICS) in order to fill the knowledge gaps and co-­producing new knowledge.

Particular attention is devoted to the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, considering the potential evolution of the agriculture sector, backbone economy of the area, considering the whole food cycle and its multiple environmental, economic, social, cultural implications, with particular reference to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN-Habitat framework for urban-rural linkages.

“Boa_Ma_Nhã, Maputo!” is funded by the Polisocial Award 2018