Settlement structure has been a core element of Tanzania’s development policy. Specifically, villagization, a mandate that all rural inhabitants live in formally constituted nodalized villages, was a key to modernization, development, and “nation-building” strategies. Together with administrative decentralization, Regional Development Programs (RIDEPs), national industrial location planning in a settlement and service center hierarchy, villagization was to be a major tool in postcolonial institutional, economic, and spatial restructuring within the Ujamaa framework. The aim was to modernize the traditional sector, replace colonial structures that fostered social and spatial inequity, and build a unified, integrated society and territory able to meet its own development needs. Implementation prompted controversy. Villagization was denounced as forced resettlement and blamed for agricultural disruption that contributed to a national economic crisis. On the other hand, it was credited with increasing literacy and life expectancy, reducing infant and child mortality, and improving the provision of productive inputs and services.