The City of Kigali launched on September 4, 2020 a new and accommodative master plan that will allow city dwellers to know what and where to invest their resources.
The new City of Kigali master plan 2050 brings flexibility in building and also enhances social inclusion, among others.
It indicates nine key integral areas of land use which will define the city of Kigali in the next 30 years.
The nine areas include designated land for settlement (Housing), pedestrian pathways, environment and culture conservation, green growth; commercial, industrial, aviation and agricultural activities.
The plan also now specifies other areas meant for defense; infrastructure (water and electricity) and recycling activities.
Dr. Ernest Nsabimana, the City Vice Mayor in charge of Urbanization and Infrastructure said that the plan 2020-2050 replaces the previous one of 2013-2018 which many citizens considered to be pro- development but pushing away middle income earners to the far ends of the city suburbs.
The Kigali City Master Plan goes in line with the Rwanda’s new land use policy which seeks to ensure optimal land use in the city and the country at large.
“The previous plan was not accommodative to dwellers but this time it will give each an opportunity to live and work in the city,” Nsabimana stated.
The City Mayor, Pudence Rubingisa asked Kigali city residents to be pro-active in implementing the plan which he referred to as citizen- centered.
“For this to succeed, it will require concerted efforts of everyone including citizens, investors and government,” Rubingisa said.
The Minister of Infrastructure, Ambassador Claver Gatete said that the new master plan will put an end to the problem of affordable houses to city residents.
“We have a new Concept for 2050 with the new population projections now at 3.8million, household size at 3.8, gross density at 5198 p/sqkm, and employment projection at 1.8m jobs..
The new masterplan has Flexible Zoning Plan;
There have not been wholesale changes to the zoning structure of the City Master Plan but the regulations behind each zone have been revised. For example the number of commercial zones have shrunk from nine (9) to three (3). We have done this through merging 2 or more zones to make it easier for all users to apply the regulations with minimal complexities.
The residential zones have also shrunk from 7 zones to 5 zones.
We have also added overlay zones to allow for maximum flexibility in applying land use
However, there are areas where zones have changed completely. And this has been done to respond to either the new context, client requests and wishes, or the direction of the current and future market dynamics.
However, we would like to emphasize that far from the land use zones, much of our effort has been in having guidelines that respond to needs of the clients. So most land use zones have remained the same but the guidelines behind each zone have changed.
Focus on Mixed Use developments in the City center - CBD
Even though it is the most developed part of Kigali today, we have to continue refreshing our city center to keep it competitive and vibrant.
Our CBD is largely mono-use today, meaning to say it is dominated largely by office developments and retail business. It is busy during the weekdays, but in the nighttime and weekends, we do not really see a lot of activity in the city Centre. We have introduced a broader mix of uses so that the CBD is not only a place to work, but also a vibrant place to live and play.
Beyond the CBD, we will also want to encourage private developers and building owners to consider regenerating their existing buildings, especially if they are older.
Focus on Green Growth - Enhance our Green Endearing Home
As we develop, we will continue to enhance our greenery, biodiversity and heritage. From time to time, we hear concerns that Kigali is developing too rapidly, that we are losing greenery and historical spaces.
We understand and are very mindful of these concerns. Our planners work very hard to strike that fine balance. On one hand, we cannot afford to stand still. We have to continue to change and reinvent our city, because the competition is real, and we have to adapt and move forward in order to stay relevant. On the other hand, Kigali is not just a place of work – it is also our home, and we want to be a home that is beautiful and green, with familiar spaces that we can connect and identify with.
We are continuing to make a conscious and deliberate plan and effort to protect and enhance our green spaces. We have always been doing this; it has always been an integral part of planning in Kigali and it continues to be the case in this Updated Master Plan.
Advocates for protection of environmentally sensitive areas - Build capacity and resilience for the future
We have also a strategy to adapt to the realities of climate change, particularly rising global temperatures and rising sea levels. In the Master Plan, we have put in place various plans.
To mitigate flood risks, we are improving our drainage infrastructure and, where possible, integrating them with other developments to optimize land use. Example of Agatare Upgrading project (Under implementation with funding from World Bank). As the land is a limited resource that needs to be utilized in a sustainable manner, the infrastructure there, serve more than one purpose (as a means of connectivity & storm water management). These infrastructures include drainages, streets and footpaths, open spaces.
The key rationale behind the update of Kigali Master Plan 2013 is to improve the existing Masterplan and make it more inclusive.
The new master plan launched is accessible via this link: https://masterplan2020.kigalicity.gov.rw/
For More pictures: www.flickr.com/photos/city_of_kigali/albums