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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Home-Based Enterprises in Urban Spaces: An Obligation for Strategic Planning?

  • Author(s): Ezeadichie, Nkeiru
  • et al.

One major manifestation of rapid urbanization and underdevelopment is the re-emergence of informal sector activities. This trend includes the escalating growth of informal economic activities, among which are home-based enterprises (HBEs) in urban residential neighborhoods. This type of informal development, mostly undertaken by low-income urban residents, has defied government attempts to set standards or enforce compliance and is therefore a challenge for urban planners. There is a need to reconsider HBE activities in light of their positive contributions, which offset their negative effects on urban space. This paper draws urban planners’ attention to urban land use patterns and the alternative planning directions HBEs are prompting. It then calls for further research on how urban planners could plan and redesign the urban space with appropriate consideration of HBE operators. This paper has implications for national economies, especially in African and other developing countries.


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