Community helps design Rwanda’s First Green City at Urban Planning and Design Lab

Community members, partners, local and international experts and government stakeholders have gathered in Kigali for a week long Urban Planning and Design Lab to develop Rwanda’s first Green City Pilot. The Urban Lab was hosted by the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) and supported by German Development Cooperation through the KfW Development Bank. KfW is supporting Rwanda to undertake a feasibility study for the Green City Pilot. 
 
At the Urban Lab, the Green City Pilot team presented a detailed concept of the project including a comprehensive analysis of the existing situation and potential future scenarios per sector to collect participants’ inputs. Attendees represented a broad range of community stakeholders and their feedback and contributions will be used to ensure the first Green City to be built in the region meets their needs. 
 
Fatina Mukarubibi, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, opened the penultimate day of the Urban Lab by highlighting the objectives of the Green City Pilot. 
 
“The pilot aims to demonstrate the viability of green cities in Rwanda and elements that could be replicated in the development of Secondary Cities. Our goal is to build cities which are pillars of green and climate resilient urbanisation. Doing so requires us to build effective green urban centres with green, low carbon and climate resilient housing, infrastructure, public amenities, workplaces and industry - all underpinned by robust land use planning,” PS Mukarubibi said.
 
Markus Bär, Rwanda Country Director of the KFW Development Bank, also spoke:
 
“Rwanda has a long-standing track record of engaging communities in important decision-making processes and are very pleased to see this approach being so thoroughly applied on the Green City Pilot. KfW on behalf of the German government appreciates the partnership with FONERWA, which began in 2013, and the guidance of the Ministry of the Environment. Our commitment has been constantly growing and our partnership is about to further be strengthened,” he said.
 
At the Urban Lab, the Green City Pilot Project team shared the status and nature of the project through presentations on housing and urban uses, infrastructure and basic services, the urban economy and municipal finance, urban legislation and finance, and the cross cutting issues of gender, youth and climate change of the Green City Pilot. 
 
Participants were also invited to contribute to the project through roundtable discussions on infrastructure and the blue-green framework as well as potential future scenarios such as green, connected network of green major axis and green wedges to give a robust climate adaptive structure for the site of the project. They identified an urban planning approach that best suits the local conditions and the ambitions such as a framework for storm water drainage and green spaces for the Green City Pilot. In addition, they were introduced to the Green Climate Fund by Debbie Caldwell, a Proposal Development Coordinator, to understand more about the funding and investment options for the Green City. 
 
The Urban Lab concluded with presentations from roundtable discussions. One of the participants, Lazare Nzeyimana, stressed the importance of boosting the socio-economic transformation of Kinyinya Sector by making the new city green, sustainable and inclusive. 
 
About the Green City Pilot
 
The Green City Pilot aims to serve as a blueprint for Rwanda’s green urbanisation and introduce technologies and innovations that can be replicated across the country as Rwanda works to achieve its socio-economic transformation and environmental sustainability goals.
 
The objective of the project is the development of a model community in Kinyinya Hill to showcase sustainable urban development. The project is expected (i) to serve as a model for sustainable urban development linking affordable housing with climate change adaptation and mitigation measures and (ii) to set standards for sustainable urban development in Rwanda and in the wider region. 
 
The project target or expected outcomes are (i) adequate housing and urban development principles appropriated by the stakeholders in the Kinyinya Hill Project and (ii) capacity of government institutions and other stakeholders in Rwanda strengthened in appropriate housing and urban development principles. 
 
The overall expected project outputs are: (i) a Master Plan for site of the 620 hectare Kinyinya Hill drafted, (ii) four sub-area plans drafted, (iii) a development plan and detailed designs for a 18ha mixed housing development ready to be tendered and (iv) a proposal submitted to the Green Climate Fund.
 
Resources
 
Learn more about the Green City Pilot Urban Lab here.
View the photos of the event here.
Read Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Fatina Mukarubibi’s remarks here.