Urbanization and urban land use efficiency in Ethiopia: Remote sensing and institutional-based analysis

N.H Koroso

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Developing countries are experiencing rapid urbanization, leading to massive growth and expansion of cities. Rapid urbanization has implications for the built environment and peri-urban areas. In built-up areas, it affects the supply of urban land and housing and urban infrastructure. It also affects agricultural land and biodiversity in peri-urban areas. Uncontrolled rapid urbanization undermines efforts to ensure sustainable urbanization. One way of achieving sustainable urbanization is by promoting compact urbanization. An important part of achieving compact urbanization is ensuring the efficient use of urban land.
In order to know whether a city/country is on the path of sustainable urbanization, it is imperative to understand how urban land is used and the factors that influence it. The aim of this study was to investigate the status of urban land use in Ethiopia. In doing so, we examined the role that urban land policy has played in ensuring or undermining sustainable urban land use in the country. We also examined the role of the overall institutional environment in a country in determining the outcomes of urban land policy.
This study is based on quantitative and qualitative data, mainly remote sensing and secondary data. The efficiency of the urban land use of 17 cities was examined mainly through the analysis of remote sensing data (Landsat 7/8 and Google Earth Pro). Spatiotemporal changes in land use of the cities were calculated using ArcGIS. Furthermore, the suitability and effectiveness of the institutional environment in the country were assessed based on the conceptual framework (Institutional Analysis and Development-IAD) developed by Ostrom and Ho’s institutional credibility thesis.
In Ethiopia, the findings revealed that urban land use efficiency (ULUE) is low. Land hoarding, urban sprawl and land underutilization are widespread. Land policy gaps, primarily in its forms and functions, played an important role in undermining urban land use efficiency in the country. Moreover, there is a positive correlation between the effectiveness of land institutions and the quality of complementary institutions, specifically legal and political institutions. City-level institutional quality effects on ULUE and understanding the correlation between the degree of ULUE and urban state-land ownership should be further explored.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
  • Zevenbergen, Jaap , Supervisor
  • Lengoiboni, Monica, Co-Supervisor
Award date8 Sept 2022
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5432-9
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2022


  • Urbanization
  • Urban land use efficiency
  • Institutional credibility
  • Remote sensing
  • GIS
  • Ethiopia
  • Oromia
  • Land policy
  • Urban sprawl
  • Informal settlement
  • Land hoarding
  • Spatial planning
  • Peri-urban
  • Land use/cover change
  • Land administration
  • Urban governance
  • Land governance

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