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Rwandan cities required to build skyward

Kigali's modest skyline is set to grow with new high rises as land to accommodate growth becomes scarce. (Dereje/Shutterstock)

A land shortage in Rwanda has prompted authorities to order cities to build vertically. Francis Byaruhanga reports for the New Times that Kigali and other urban areas in the tiny landlocked East African nation are now required to practice “sustainable urban development.”

The Rwanda Housing Authority views multi-story residential blocks as the best way to accommodate urban population expansion without wasting precious land. A new national housing directive adopted in 2015 specifies that only high rises can be constructed in certain neighborhoods, the article says.

In Kigali, the capital, a lack of housing contributes to the growth of unplanned settlements, Byaruhanga writes. There’s an annual demand for about 30,000 housing units that goes unmet. The city would require nearly 350,000 more residential units by 2022 — in a range of categories — to satisfy growth. Among the advantages of vertical flats: They need less infrastructure to connect to public utilities compared to low-density areas with one-story structures.

New Times

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