Urbanie & Urbanus

Issue 2023 Dec

Future Vision

Issue 9, P.93 - P.116

Mapping the Behaviour of Users in Self-Organising Urban Systems, their Form, Structure and Function - A Case of Lizulu Horticulture Market, Lilongwe, Malawi.


Open-air markets (OAMs) in Africa have a higher prevalence where they are said to be critical in Africa's consumer packaged goods industry, accounting for over 90% of revenue for most consumerpackaged goods manufacturers. Under the systems approach, Open-air markets (OAM) are subsystems of systems in a city or town's urban system having form, structure, and function and are classified as either organized or self-organized systems, with the majority being self-organized systems. In Malawi, self-organized markets, in particular Lizulu Horticulture market, are frequently at the centre of government-vendor confrontations. Government attempts to manage shifts and changes within and the development of self-organized markets have resulted in market abandonment. The aforementioned issues point to the problem that this study aims to address: there is a lack of contextual and behavioural study of consumers inside self-organized marketplaces, from an architectural and urban design perspective. This paper conducts a thorough investigation of selforganized systems, utilizing the Lizulu Horticulture Markets as a case study, in order to comprehend the form, structure and function of self-organised markets as a solution to the aforementioned problem. The in-depth study is undertaken by; 1) analysing and surveying the site using paper-based methods and digital methods using GIS geological analytical software; 2) studying and mapping of architectural structures on-site using paper-based methods and digital methods using architectural and urban planning mapping and analytical software ArchGIS, ArchiCAD, DepthmapX and; 3) observing and mapping the behaviour of users in the market using paper-based method and digital space mapping software DepthmapX. Findings reveal that Lizulu Horticulture market is clearly a self-organizing structure. When a system occurs naturally, it still develops its own structure, form, and functions. The findings further reveal multiple linkages between elements of form, structure and function, showing how these are connected and interconnected even in a self-organizing system. Without the interaction of elements in the form and structure of a self-organizing system, there are no functional interrelations.