Densification Efforts by Urban Local Authorities in Zimbabwe under the Impact of COVID-19


  • Willoughby Zimunya


urban sprawl, resilience, policy dilemma, densification, urban planning, health impact assessment, urban development


The article examines the implications of densifying cities in the
context of rapid urbanisation and COVID-19. One of the issues
concerning the spreading of COVID-19 is the role played by
population density. Increasing density has benefits that relate to
counteracting the detrimental effects of urban sprawl. However, the
emergence of COVID-19 poses challenges in implementing
densification due to tensions between its benefits and health impacts.
Therefore, the article considers the implications of COVID-19 on
densification efforts made by municipal authorities in Zimbabwe.
The research adopted the social interpretivism philosophy and the
qualitative research approach in investigating the problem. It used
the exploratory research design and the health urban planning and
sustainable city concepts to inform the study. Data collection was
through documentary review and key informant interviews. The data
were analysed through content and thematic analysis. The study
reveals that density is not the only factor that contributes to the
spread of COVID-19. It is concluded that densification cannot be
discarded because of the COVID-19 pandemic.