New master plan for Bulawayo

Zimbabwe’s second city, Bulawayo, is in the process of drawing up a new 15-year master plan to replace one that expires next year, which fell far short of its targets, thanks to an economic and political meltdown that afflicted the country. With 2015 beckoning, the local authority remains hopeful the new plan will drive growth […]

First aid training for Uganda’s boda drivers

On a dusty, potholed road in Gulu, northern Uganda, which he shares with bicycles, mini bus taxis and other vehicles, as well as pedestrians and, quite often, chickens and cows, Vincent Oloya is learning how to be a Good Samaritan. “I like being a bodaboda (motorbike taxi) driver but I prefer driving a car,” said […]

Nuisance or necessity? street vending in Malawi

City mayors in Malawi say they intend to put a stop to street vending in the country’s major town centres. According to Malawi’s laws, street vending in urban areas that have designated markets in line with council by-laws is illegal. Malawi’s decentralization policy empowers councilors to deal with street vending. After a 10 year absence, […]

Canals to stave off flood risks in Yaounde

When it rains the effects of poor drainage and waste disposal is evident in every part of Yaounde. Rainwater overflows from the narrow gutters that are partially blocked by garbage, mainly plastic bottles, flooding the roads with dirt and disrupting traffic. Recently, heavy rains in Yaounde caused flooding in parts of the city: the quarters […]

Art and disability awareness intersect in Kampala

Ugandan Fred Batale is sitting in his car at Kampala’s LaBa! Street Art Festival, held in June. But it’s not just any vehicle he’s getting ready to drive. It’s a vibrantly painted automobile built using a tricycle as a base, with a canary yellow bonnet and a roof, back and windows constructed from polythene paper, […]

Corruption in Malawi’s planning sector threatens urban development

Malawi is urbanising at a rapid rate. By 2020 it is expected to have the world’s highest annual urbanisation rate of 6.3 %, according to UN-Habitat statistics. Unethical behaviour by politicians, technocrats and physical planners in the country threatens cohesive urban development and poses challenges to the future of Malawi’s urban spaces. “The country has […]

Analysis: Bulawayo at 120 — economic decline overshadows a proud history

As the vintage steam train rolled into Bulawayo — Zimbabwe’s second largest city — to mark the city’s 120th anniversary last month, bitter sweet memories were inevitable. The train carried a banner that screamed “Forward Bulawayo.” In the past this could have been a war cry charting a vision, but now it is a little […]

Urban disasters: a challenge to planning in Malawi

Urbanisation has outstripped government’s capacity to provide services and guide urban growth in Malawi, a physical planning expert, Mphatso Kadaluka has said. “Inadequate and deteriorating infrastructure has exposed urban inhabitants to myriad types of disasters that leaves them vulnerable to inexplicable impacts,” said Kadaluka, a northern region Acting Commissioner for Physical Planning in the Ministry […]

Malawi’s physical planners urged to pull up socks

The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Housing has asked physical planners in Malawi to take advantage of government’s policy, legal and institutional frameworks in order to advance the planning profession. Physical planning in the country is challenged by substandard development, said the secretary Ivy Luhanga, speaking during a Malawi Institute of Physical […]

Cape Town community desperate as homes are demolished

(Republished from Hundreds of people were left homeless at Nomzamo settlement in Strand on Tuesday. Shacks were smashed down while their owners watched. Sonwabile Sango came home from work on Monday to find his shack demolished and his possessions gone. “I came from work late yesterday afternoon and I just saw police and people […]