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City-wide masterplan announced for Ugandan capital

Monday 28 Nov 2011

Crackdown in Kampala

City-wide masterplan announced for Ugandan capital by WAN Editorial
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06/12/11 bhunu, windhoek
There is need for this overdue intervention as is takes a huge toll on the urban infrastructure. Uganda can take the model adopted by Zimbabwe during its clean up operation which saw several squatter settlements and illegal houses and structures demolished. For the proper planning of the amenities, this is inevitable and should be a routine exercise for which Uganda will not regret.
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30/11/11 graham modlen, london
i hope kampala does not get to look like vancouver, singapore or dubai. but a locally defined idea of what an african city could be. 2 lectures last year at the LSE into so-called african urbanism didn't yield much other than perhaps imported ideas building types, sizes and materials may not hack it. also that regional influences are important. not ex-colonial ones. belgian, english, french whatever. beware the quick build and shoddy results temptation. is it not an opportunity to respond to the local climate, populous, cultural, infrastructure and economic needs and requirements? that's pretty obvious. i worked with some great individuals on a competition 2 years ago for a competition of nairobi's shot at a new metro-masterplan. the first in 40 years! local professionals. so now kampala, not the 70's idea, not the 90's swanky idea of a city. get children to draw. get non-planners to plan. get local. get visionary.
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29/11/11 Anthony Hyland, Durham, England
A timely report on a city desperately needing a strategic and visionary Master Plan for its future development and infrastructural management, as it recovers from the ravages of the Idi Amin regime and its aftermath. Built on seven hills, each supporting significant evidence of the city's historic development, including a major World Heritage site, and one of the most poignantly evocative major religious buildings in Africa (Namirembe Cathedral), the MasterPlan must ensure the environmental enhancement of these landmarks
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City-wide masterplan looks to redefine Kampala after mass of illegal developments 

Uganda’s capital city has been in the news this week as pressure mounts over the inactivity of a proposed planning authority. The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) was formed in March 2011 with the objective to oversee the operations of the city and it was proposed that the neighbouring districts of Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi would be enveloped into the Kampala Metropolitan Area.

Over the last few days, journalists and urban specialists have been speaking out about their concerns for the future of Kampala, drawing attention to the many residential settlements that have sprung up on the outskirts of the city, lining the roads with illegal (and largely unsanitary) dwellings. Shortly after these reports were published, the KCCA released an ambitious masterplan to come into practice in late 2012 in order to turn the city around.

KCCA Director for Physical Planning, George Agaba told All Africa Global Media: “Kampala physical masterplan will be ready by the end of next year. It tries to ensure zoning of the city. It demarcates commercial, residential and industrial areas within the city.”

The long-term plan is reported to address transport issues such as the widening of bus terminals and construction of flyovers, the strengthening of drainage channels, refinement of the citywide transportation system, zero tolerance on illegal building development, and implementation of supporting infrastructure including waste collection, widening of roads, reducing youth unemployment, and education on eco-alternatives for a greener city.

For urban expert, teacher and associate consultant at the Uganda Management Institute, Dr. Kiggundu Amin Tamale, the issues faced by Kampala can be traced back to its size and status within the country. In an enlightening article he muses: “Most of the management challenges facing Kampala are due in part to its unique status as the only city in Uganda as well as the lack of imaginative and dedicated managers… Kampala continues to function like a small trading centre in a village. Visionless cities are difficult to manage because their functions are too local and domestically located.”

Plans to stretch the capital’s boundaries to include additional districts are yet to be put into place and the promised Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority (MPPA) has not yet been appointed. As a result, planning constraints are lax and residential communities have begun to build up along the main roads into the city without approval from a legal body.

All Africa Global Media recently quoted statistics provided by Agaba, which suggest that more than 3,000 illegal buildings have been recorded within the city limits, many of which have already been pulled to the ground.

It is hoped that this freshly-concocted masterplan will offer new hope for the rapidly burgeoning city, whose population topped 1,659,600 in 2011. Mass overcrowding and lack of an authoritative presence on planning decisions has resulted in sprawling communities of low-quality residences which stretch outwards from the city centre. If fully implemented, this masterplan may just be the life raft this city so sorely needs.

Sian Disson
News Editor

WAN Editorial

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