MURP Olson researches historical importance of place & public-private partnerships in Maputo's urban parks


Erin arrived in Maputo, Mozambique on June 1, 2015 to complete research supported by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on the experiences of park-goers in this populous and rapidly-growing capital city.  To date, she has completed 150 interviews with visitors to three different parks, and has met with ten different members of the Municipal council spanning eight different departments.  She has also gained contacts in the private sector of planning and architecture related to her project, successfully arranging a short-term internship with the local consulting firm Vedor (http://vedor.co.mz/).  

The picture shown here was taken on a particularly important day: July 31, 2008 was the day this park was officially inaugurated as Jardim Nangade, and also Erin's first day living in the central city of Maputo just one block away from the park.  Today, exactly 7 years later, Erin completed her last day of interviews in this very park and accepted her internship with Vedor Consultoria. 

The working title of Erin's paper is "Alguém lembrou de nós: A Socio-Historical Analysis of Three Parks in Maputo, Mozambique," and the abstract can be found below.

"This paper is presented in two chapters: First, the author offers a historical overview of the City of Maputo with a particular focus on its park spaces, weaving pre-colonial, colonial, socialist, and capitalist phases of the City’s political and economic environments into an overarching theoretical framework.  

 Second, she reports on the exploratory findings from user-based research performed in three of these parks (Jardim Feira de Artesanato, Jardim dos Madgermanes, and Jardim Nangade) from June 2015 to July 2015.  Next, this report highlights the Municipal Council’s primary approaches to park preservation and maintenance—notably, the popularity of public private partnerships (PPPs) as a means of outsourcing maintenance responsibility—and planning for inclusion of green space in growing bairros (neighborhoods) outside of the urban core.  The second chapter concludes with a return to the theoretical basis of the author’s argument and its significance to future park use and planning for park space."

Erin Olson - Maputo, Mozambique
Research on the historical importance of place and public-private partnerships in Maputo's urban parks
Intern at Vedor Consultoria
Former HHH Master of Urban and Regional Planning Student ('15 Grad)
U of MN Master of Public Health Student

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