First draft of new city plan unveiled

NYARUGENGE - The first drafts of the long awaited detailed physical city plan were made public at Nyarugenge district hall yesterday afternoon.
(L-R): Jeanne D’arc Gakuba, Kigali Mayor Aisa Kirabo and Nyarugenge Mayor Oregen Rutayisire at the Launch of Kigali Master PLan. (Photo / G. Barya).
(L-R): Jeanne D’arc Gakuba, Kigali Mayor Aisa Kirabo and Nyarugenge Mayor Oregen Rutayisire at the Launch of Kigali Master PLan. (Photo / G. Barya).

NYARUGENGE - The first drafts of the long awaited detailed physical city plan were made public at Nyarugenge district hall yesterday afternoon.

Kigali City Council in conjunction with SNE Surbana, a Singaporean urban planning company, presented illustrative plans.

“Today we want to present to you what we have achieved so far in the process of putting together the detailed physical plan of the city,” said Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, the Kigali City Mayor, who stressed that it was still a consultative phase.

“We are still in consultations and are gathering views until these become record documents later in February,” said Kacyira during the function.

She added that in January, corrections will be made and a final draft possibly approved. The whole Nyarugenge district’s detailed physical plans are then scheduled to be finalised by November next year.

As earlier reported, two US and Singaporean companies, OZ Architect, and SNE Surbana respectively, are working on the project and the Americans are yet to present their work.

SNE Surbana is working on the Central Business District (CBD) which is sub-divided into two - CBD1 (Muhima) and CBD2 (Nyarugenge) and are also developing a residential and commercial hub in Kinyinya, Gasabo district.

Djoko Prihanto, a Singaporean urban planner presented their three draft options – Mixed Use Spine, Green Fingers and Compact City.

“These can’t be realized in two or five or ten year but in about ten to fifteen years in future,” he noted, before delving into details.

As he explained, with aid of graphic illustrations, the key element of option one is a central spine of mixed use developments running through various precincts and opening into a chain of promenades, plazas and eye-catching recreational spaces.

Green Fingers, adopts an environment sensitive and eco-friendly approach. The main features are a series of north-south running green corridors that connect to the wetlands. Located at about 600 meters apart, the green fingers also ensure easy pedestrian movement.

Compact City is “readily implementable”. It draws its viability from its location at the city’s gateway from the airport as well as its position in the centre of the old city – Kacyiru and Kimihurura hills.

The plans cater for, among other things, sewage plans, both power and water supply, and anticipated high volume traffic in the future.

What now remains to be done, as Prihanto and others explained, is the development of the preferred option, deciding on its implementation, and establishing the necessary infrastructure and management framework.

In August, OZ and SNE teams conducted a two-week field visit and were to return this month and present their draft work for examination and discussion by stakeholders including Kigali City authorities, the Private Sector and the Central Government.

The experts are helping local experts in tying up the present Kigali Master Plan, which is currently considered a ‘conceptual plan’ that merely focuses on broad land use guidelines.

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