Colonial Spatial Development Policies, Economic Instability, and Urban Public Transportation in Cameroon

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This article addresses the implications of colonial spatial development policies and deteriorating economic conditions for urban public transportation in Cameroon. The colonial transport system was meant to facilitate the movement of essential raw materials from the hinterland to the metropolitan countries via sea; while the urban system sought to promote residential segregation along racial or class lines as well as rigidly compartmentalise land use activities. Both systems, which have been inherited by the country's indigenous authorities, have contributed significantly to problems ranging from accentuating the cost of maintaining existing, and developing new, transportation infrastructure, to creating difficulties for intermodal coordination as a means of improving economic productivity and efficiency. It is argued that the problems have been compounded by negative trends in the country's economy, as well as by measures adopted to reverse these trends. Steps capable of improving the performance of the country's urban public transportation system despite the said problems are suggested.

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Cities, v. 14, issue 3, p. 133-143