Transforming the vision of Kigali: The economic case for investing in public parks

  • Major public green spaces define the vision and lifestyle of great cities. Several great African cities have their own major central parks but, as of 2020, Kigali does not. Investing in a system of public parks would transform the vision of the city.
  • Rwanda has a laudable set of policies and plans for public green spaces, but political will and funding are needed to implement them. A case thus needs to be made for investing in parks. In this brief we lay out arguments for their economic, health, and social benefits.
  • Parks are an essential public health resource that provide a wide range of restorative physical and mental health benefits which have real economic value in terms of extended life years and reduced health care costs. Parks also support families and inclusion when equipped with playgrounds and free internet.
  • Parks can increase residential and commercial property values and attract investment in attractive localities, as well as help market and brand Kigali abroad as a green, liveable city.
  • Parks are not a luxury; they provide a range of vital ecosystem services such as flood protection and contribute to mitigation and adaptation to climate change.