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Rwanda urged to design people-centric ‘green cities’

Kigali, Rwanda (Dereje/

As Rwanda’s cities expand rapidly, the national government has adopted plans to create six secondary “green cities.” The New Times reports that leading advocates of sustainable urban design in Rwanda want these energy-efficient cities to emphasize citizen needs alongside modern design and technology.

The future of Rwanda’s cities was debated at the recent Global Green Growth Week held on Jeju Island, South Korea. Tim Hall, an architect with Cambridge, England-based Light Earth Designs, was among the speakers to frame the issue in human terms. “Rwanda’s new green neighborhoods need to be about people — where people can walk and move easily and kids can play,” he said. He urged the private sector to invest in production of locally sourced, sustainable building material.

Emma Francoise Isumbingabo, Rwanda’s ambassador to South Korea, echoed those views, according to the New Times, Rwanda’s largest English daily. “It’s about prioritizing the needs of our people as well as the planet,” she said. The ambassador urged urban planners to make citizens central to future projects. The national government is poised to pilot green city concepts as its urban areas experience 4.5 percent annual population growth, the article says. That’s twice the global average. 

New Times

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