07 April, 2011

The New Kigali Future City

Kigali Future City
Rwanda is planning BIG. As much as I hate urban jungles of concrete, slab and glasses - I have to salute and congratulate the Rwandan leadership for having uplifted their people from one of the greatest tragedies ever, to where/what Rwanda is now. And now, the country's leadership is having grand plans for its main city: Kigali.
New Kigali Future City
 The visionary Rwandan leadership wants to recreate Kigali and make it a center for investments and business. Rwanda is small and seemingly poor; but so was Singapore when its leaders embarked on a grandiose plan to make their city-state what it is today. Rwanda/Kigali is very well placed geographically - right in the center of Africa - to achieve what Singapore has. All great cities, all great projects for that matter, were founded through the vision of a few people or leaders or just one leader. To recreate Kigali into a dynamic, modern business hub and center, Kigali will need the infrastructure; the buildings for businesses, accommodation, cultural and social centers; well trained/educated personnel and modern institutions; and above all - a dedicated, committed leadership, which it has and should continue having for the project to fully succeed.
This plan brings forward the most cutting-edge ideas for city and infrastructure planning; and it is based on the three prongs of sustainability: ecology, equity and economy. Sustainable management of land, water, and biodiversity guided the development of the plan insofar as these elements are essential factors for integrated urban design. The Master Plan takes into account the preservation of hillsides, forests and wetlands so that they may be available for future generations to love and appreciate. It uses the natural cycles to provide efficient infrastructure for water, drainage, water purification, biogas generation from waste, and recycling, etc. Kigali City Official Site
Kigali Future City
Office workers talking over Skype. Fibre-optic cable snaking hundreds of miles underground and to the top of a 4,500-metre volcano. Paperless cabinet meetings with every minister using a laptop. This may sound like an advanced western country rather than a tiny, poor African state. Yet this is Rwanda, now in the midst of an extraordinary development plan to leap into the 21st century. The Guardian
Whenever a new structure, especially such a large one as what is planned for Kigali, is built - extensive studies are made and all options are weighed. The new city, is to be built on hills, south of the present city. The decision to build on/by the hills, and not near wetlands (which have been polluted and now need to be protected) or forests, was very wisely decided by Rwanda's goverment so that the Master Plan takes into account the preservation of hillsides, forests and wetlands so that they may be available for future generations to love and appreciate. The projected city, will take shape gradually and will be implemented in fifty years.

Today, even without the ultra-modern planned city, Kigali is one of the cleanest, safest and fastest growing cities in Africa. And to cap it all and make it even better, the city is one of the most efficient and least corrupt in the Continent. The Rwandan and the city's authority are giving lots of incentives to attract investments and fulfill their dream. The new plan, envisions Rwanda as a country with one of the most sustainable, high-tech, wired country in Africa; with Kigali as its center and showcase. Can Rwanda achieve that dream of their planned city and society? Considering what the Rwandan leadership and people have achieved since that darkest of time: 1994, yes they CAN.

+ Kigali Today
+ Video: The New Kigali
+ Quick Facts: Provided by Rwandan Government
+ Future Kigali City Architects: OZ Architecture
+ Video: Kigali's bold vision for 2020
+ Images: Google

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