- City profile: Paramaribo
- Cities : The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Paramaribo, the largest and only significant urban area in Suriname, is a typical primate city. The majority of the countries’ population resides here and the majority of political, social and economic functions is clustered in the urban zone. In the course of the 20th century, the city changed dramatically. Its population grew enormously and the city expanded through conversion of agricultural lands. In addition, economic and political developments produced alternate functional divisions within the city. These developments have taken place in other Caribbean cities as well. However, where Caribbean cities, e.g. Kingston or Port-of-Spain, are known for high levels of ethnic and socio-economic segregation and inequality, Paramaribo is a city of more or less ethnically and socio-economically mixed neighbourhoods. This profile focuses on patterns of settlement in Paramaribo after 1950 and explains these from developments in the local economy and land market. It concludes that the economic crisis together with the structure of the land- and housing market have slowed down processes of moving and resettlement, encouraged the development of socio-economically mixed neighbourhoods and sustained the absence of no-go areas in the city. It concludes by posing the question whether this may change in the future and more clustering can be expected.
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