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Schwerdtfeger, Friedrich Wilhelm (1975) Comparative Study of Conventional Urban Houses in Three Regions in Africa. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This study is concerned with traditional houses in three selected cities of West and North Africa. The author has been studying the organization of domestic groups and the way in which these groups acquire, build, maintain and finance their houses. Special attention has been devoted to study the relationship between the composition of domestic groups and the lay-out and size of the houses they occupy. The material on which this research is based was collected in Zaria, Ibadan and at Marrakech between December 1967 and the end of February 1969. Altogether 215 houses or compounds with 676 households containing 3,248 persons were studied. The questionnaire used in this enquiry produced a wide range of information on the structure and changes of co-residential kinship groups, household patterns, availability and allocation of living space, on income distributions and expenditures, land tenure as well as on the construction, improvement and maintenance of traditional urban houses and the way in which these building activities were financed. Much of these data and other relevant material are presented below in the form of tables, graphs and diagrams together with a descriptive commentary for each of the three communities studied. This research has produced some interesting analysis on the relationship between traditional forms of housing and the organization of the domestic groups. It has also shown how these groups have built, financed and maintained their houses largely without official help. However, this study does not seek to supply ready solutions for the urban housing problems in Africa, but rather to produce information which architects and townplanners may find of some practical use when searching for better housing particularly for the indigenous population of Zaria, Ibadan and Marrakech or towns of similar background.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:17

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