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Nampula City Development Strategy Framework

Nampula is Mozambique’s second largest urban centre and considered the ‘capital’ of northern region. It is also one of the economically most dynamic cities of the country due to its location in the centre of Nampula Province – the most populous and prosperous of Mozambique – in the heartland of highly productive agricultural areas, at the cross roads between the East-West Nacala Development Corridor linking land-locked Malawi and Zambia to the port of Nacala, and the North-South corridor linking Tanzania with the rest of Mozambique. Due to these facts Nampula has been growing rapidly from 53,970 inhabitants in 1970, to 158,099 in 1980 and 306,074 in 1997; it is now estimated that the population of the is around 600,000 inhabitants, showing an annual growth of over 5%, which puts a tremendous pressure on urban land, infrastructure and municipal services. At the same time the surrounding District of Nampula is the fastest growing in Nampula Province. This explosive urban growth has been and continues to be mainly unplanned, so that more than 80% of the population live in high density squatter settlements with appalling housing, environmental and living conditions and generally deprived of the most basic infrastructure and services, and is potentially preventing successful investment projects if no proper territorial planning strategy is thought through.

Since 2008 the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has been supporting the municipality and district of Nampula, together the Faculty of Architecture and Physical Planning (FAPF) at the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) and with the financial support of Cities Alliance, in preparing a city-wide slum upgrading plan (CWSUP) and a city development strategy (CDS) which covers the surrounding Nampula District to cater for the urban growth in the medium to long term, hence preventing the formation of new slums in the peri-urban areas and providing more favourable conditions for investment.

On November 12th, Thomas Stellmach of TSPA will lead a workshop with stakeholders from communities, the private sector and the local government of Nampula to validate the priority projects of the City Development Strategy Framework. The report is set to be released in early 2017.

Kampala Region, 2013 (Thomas Stellmach)

MetroHUB workshop for Kampala & Entebbe in Berlin

In partnership with the government of Uganda, giz, UN-Habitat, and Pedro Ortiz, Thomas of TSPA will facilitate a workshop in Berlin to promote a compact, socially inclusive, integrated and connected system of cities in the Greater Kampala metropolitan region.

The MetroHUB workshop approach will combine capacity development in planning, governance and finance aspects and with “hands-on” team work on acupuncture projects. The main elements of the capacity development workshop in Berlin are a series of seminars and lectures, presentations on planning, governance and finance, exploration of and discussion on case studies and good practices, field visits, and the definition of acupuncture projects in Uganda.

Context (concept note):

Uganda is experiencing rapid urbanization which has serious implications in terms of demand for land, housing, water, health, education, jobs and urban services. While the country urbanization is still low at 15 % and young compared to her East African counterpart such as Kenya and Tanzania, the country has a high rate of urban growth estimated at 5.1% per annum. The country’s capital, Kampala remain the dominant city with a population of 1.5 million, but a clear growth of secondary towns remain evident with 50% of the urban population living in 22 designated municipalities and 174 town councils. It’s projected that the year 2035, 30% of the country’s population will be living in urban areas.

Over the past two decades, remarkable economic growth at an average rate 7 per cent in 1990s and early 2000s, coupled with political stability have led to increased urbanization and agglomeration of people and higher order economic activities. Within this context and unless urban areas are managed properly they will grow into large unplanned settlements. Currently, the country cities and urban areas are already experiencing urban planning and development challenges including congestion, development of slums and informal settlements, urban sprawl, environmental degradation, high levels of unemployment, urban poverty and crime, a clear indication that the urbanization process in the country needs to be better managed.

The urbanization challenges experienced in Uganda force the country to now proactively manage urbanization within its town councils, cities and in the secondary towns to ensure a better urban future for its residents. There is need to move fast as it is always easier to establish competitive cities by building solid foundations when the rate of urbanization is still relatively low. To do this, capacities of both central and urban local governments to manage the country’s urbanization process and partnerships to effectively manage urban growth need to be enhanced.

Planning Africa 2016 in Joburg

The 7th Planning Africa Conference – “Planning Africa 2016 : Making Sense of the Future – Disruption and Reinvention”  took place in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province on 3-6 July 2016, organised by the South African Planning Institute (SAPI). Thomas presented the paper “UN-Habitat’s Rapid Planning Studio: A Case Study of Integrated Planning for City Extensions in Africa” (download paper) together with Gianluca Crispi on a mission financed by UN-Habitat.

The Planning Africa 2016 conference focuses on the role of planning in shaping the future. It is a platform for (re)thinking, discussing and envisaging the outcomes planners desire for the future. The paper and presentation promote and discuss UN-Habitats three-pronged approach and integrated strategy for capacity building to foster sustainable urban development.

There is a general consensus among Among South African planners regarding objectives and principles of planning, yet a widespread frustration as the urban reality including recent developments is far from the consensus on good practice. The discrepancy between the professional discourse and the reality of the context is remarkable.

The paper elaborates the causes of the above-mentioned implementation gap and proposes a potential avenue to address the gap: the Rapid Planing Studio.