Colonial Roots of Land Use and Physical Planning
This chapter focuses on the colonial origins of contemporary physical planning in Cameroon. It also focuses on the implications of colonial planning schemes and practices for on-going development efforts in Cameroon. The chapter begins by shedding some light on the distinguishing characteristics of Eurocentric land tenure systems and land use schemes vis-a-vis- the indigenous systems they supplanted in Cameroon. The actions of individual farmers and merchants aside, German colonial officials were interested in converting land throughout the territory into German Crown land. Systematic large-scale efforts to control the spatial growth and development of human settlements in Cameroon have their roots in German colonial development policy. In Cameroon and particularly in the area of housing and building technology, conscious steps were taken by colonial officials to promote European building materials, techniques and technology. Transportation infrastructure was considered necessary to address the colonial development need of exploiting the colonies for the good of the Metropolitan country.