The City of Kigali is working on strategies to develop more parks and public green open spaces for its residents and is set to install more public benches in 100 selected places. The benches will be installed on street edges according to Solange Muhirwa, the Chief of Urban Planning at City of Kigali. The selected spaces include Gisozi, Gakiriro, Musezero, Gisozi Carriere, Kinamba Garden, Kanyinya, Karama 2 and Karama 1. Other spaces are Ku Ryanyuma in Nyamirambo, Miduha trading centre, Rugarama, Kwa Mutwe, Biryogo, and Gatare. Engen Kanogo, Rubangura House, Main Roundabout and Muhima Yamaha, Kagugu among other spaces identified to set up these benches. The development is part of the city’s efforts to transform Kigali into a recreational and environmentally friendly city, officials said. So far public benches have been installed in 33 Kigali’s famous recreational facilities including Imbuga City Walk in the central business district (formerly car-free zone) and Rwandex public gardens. Muhirwa said that under the same project, the city is considering building a small masterpiece in the heart of the city but in an area yet to be decided. She added that as a way of making the project more inclusive, they plan to engage the public both physically and on social media to determine where these amenities can be set up. Their plan, she added, is to make a positive difference to people’s experience of Kigali’s public realm. She added that each bench has the capacity to accommodate at least four adults. Each space will have at least two benches minimum, depending on the available space. “This should encourage users to enjoy open spaces that surround them,” she said adding that “we understand that people have basic and secondary needs in these spaces: The first need is to sit, the second is the socialisation.” She elaborated that public benches will make Kigali’s streets more comfortable for all citizens, especially foot-travelers and transit riders. “The benches are for the general public and are not restricted to tenants of any particular building or patrons of any particular business,” Muhirwa noted. The seating spots were selected to provide a variety of viewpoints such as calm areas, greenery, landmarks, and for accommodating different activities such as reading, relaxing, conversing among others. “General street safety including traffic-related issues among others, are important considerations in choosing the space to set up these benches,” she said. According to Muhirwa the additional amenities such as bike racks and others can be considered as a part of the design, as long as they do not interfere or compromise the ‘seating function’ and ‘street-safety’ aspects of the bench. “Once installed, the benches will remain outdoors, exposed to severe weather conditions and public interactions,” she said adding that the fabrication, installation and the materials of the bench are selected in consideration of these aspects.