Density, connectivity and liveability: Linking the Kigali Master Plan to economic development

Policy brief Cities

  • The 2013 Kigali Master Plan has contributed to Kigali becoming one of the most liveable and green cities on the continent. However, it has been criticised for being disconnected from economic planning, by being overly rigid, unevenly regulated and unaffordable for households and businesses to implement.
  • Whilst the Kigali 2018 Master Plan Review is on course to do much to address these problems, this policy brief recommends a continued focus on appropriate zoning and renewed concentration on arrangements for implementation and financing. Three areas are particularly important:
    • First, for urban planning to help deliver higher per capita incomes and poverty reduction, it should be flexible enough to facilitate appropriate urban densities according to the needs of the market, and should respond to market conditions and public and private sector consultation.
    • Second, the Master Plan should enable connectivity between households and firms by zoning for sufficient infrastructure including roads and public transport, and the resourcing and financial model should be carefully considered, especially for the proposed Bus Rapid Transit which will be a central element in Kigali’s transport system.
    • Third, the Master Plan should work with other policies to promote liveability and prevent overcrowding by allowing for low income formal housing, and by encouraging incremental building. Existing zoning for public green space, hitherto largely ignored, should be implemented.