What Makes a Citizen? Reflection on the Zimbabwean Urban Space
Keywords:citizenship, participation, sustainability, resilience, local government
The article focuses on determinants of urban citizenship concerningthe rights, duties and responsibilities of citizens in urban areas. This is against the background that a connection between citizens and their participation in urban affairs is critical towards urban resilience. Urban areas are spaces where rights and duties of citizenship can be enacted and exercised. Seemingly missing in the literature is the variability in the rights and duties of urban citizens in different contexts and their importance in shaping the urban space, their contributions and adverse actions that tarnish the image and development of the urban space? Experiences in Zimbabwe show that citizenship is shaped mainly by the politics, institutions and laws of that area. It is recommended that the consideration of the rights of citizens in urban areas be done to allow full participation in the development of urban areas. Citizenship ought to be defined without any political influence to enable the participation of urban dwellers in shaping and transforming the urban space more sustainably without fear of exercising one‟s right or informally acting in a manner that destroys the outlook of urban areas and their public and private spaces.