The development of cities in Rwanda is very recent, and the urbanisation rate currently stands at around 19%. Almost half of it is concentrated in Kigali, the capital city, with about 1.1 million inhabitants. Despite its low urbanisation rate, the annual growth rate of the urban population of 4.5% far exceeds the worldwide average of 1.8%.
The main focus of ASUD programme in Rwanda was on the development of a National Urbanisation Policy (NUP) and Planned City Extension (PCE). To acheive it a planning studio was established. Working together with the programme team allowed the development of city extensions for the Rubavu and Nyagatere – an intermediary cities with strategic importance to the region and country develpment.
The project improved the existing master plans for the urban area in Rubavu and Nyangatere and offered a Planned City Extension based on UN-Habitat’s principles for Sustainable Urban Development. Its target group were city leaders and key experts from Ministries and Authorities.
The outcome of the project involves 5 principles for sustainable neighbourhood planning
- Adequate space for streets and an efficient street network.
- High density -at least 15,000 people per km²
- Mixed land-use.
- Social mix.
- Limited land-use specialization.
Thomas Stellmach, the founder of TSPA, had a chance to be a part of this unique UN-Habitat initiative. He, as an expert consultant in UN-Habitat, was supervising development of normative and policy papers throughout building capacity of local administrations and organizing different workshops.