FCBStudios to head up an international team of consultants to develop a new pattern of settlement to build homes, communities and livelihoods to accommodate the sustainable expansion of urban Kigali.

Following the RIBA design competition, FCBStudios have been appointed to develop Green City Kigali – a new sustainable settlement for low and middle-income residents.

The first of its kind in Africa, the sustainable and affordable development will integrate green building and design, efficient and renewable energy, recycling and inclusive living as well as homegrown solutions and local construction materials. As a result, residents in Kinyinya will enjoy the social and economic benefits of urbanisation while limiting their ecological footprints. The 600 hectare city extension is expected to serve as a model for sustainable urban development that can be replicated across Rwanda and the wider region. The project is being developed by the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) with financial support from the German Development Cooperation through KfW Development Bank and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). 

Green City Kigali is an important milestone on the road to creating more sustainable green cities in the region and worldwide. African cities become the new home to over 40,000 people every day, many of whom find themselves without adequate housing and basic infrastructure. Sustainable urban development means contributing to a more equitable, environmentally just world.

The project will be grounded in three integrated and indivisible pillars: sustainable urban development for social inclusion and reducing poverty; sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity and opportunities for all; and environmentally sustainable and resilient urban development. The Green City Kigali will integrate these three dimensions of sustainable development by combining a green and climate change resilient urban model and infrastructures with affordable housing solutions.

Teddy Mugabo Mpinganzima, CEO of FONERWA said “As Rwanda is strongly committed to promoting sustainable green cities, the Green City Kigali project is a great milestone and a true example to prove that it’s possible to build a sustainable urban development by also considering the environmental aspect. The project is looking forward to linking sustainable urbanization and affordability elements. It will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst for change not only in Rwanda, but also in the region.”

FCBStudios’ masterplanning study starts with the development of a prototype neighbourhood community, to house around 10,000 people occupying the western slope of Kinyinya Hill.  It will be based around a 400-500 meter walking distance to a neighbourhood centre located at the heart of the community. An arterial horizontal road passes through the neighbourhood, making connections to neighbouring communities and providing a focus for commercial development.

A key challenge in the brief is to develop an approach to the vulnerable sloping topography which is typically underutilised in Rwanda in both urban and rural contexts. Urban integrated, Green space will make the most of the hillside site, giving space for food production and breathing space within the city.  We have proposed an urban plan that is born from a deep understanding of Rwandese social structures and living patterns. This will create an urban framework which nurtures community and locality – life and activities that are cherished – whilst promoting opportunities for new activities and livelihoods.

Peter Clegg, senior partner at FCBStudios said ‘This is a truly extraordinary opportunity to address one of the major global environmental challenges we face in the next 50 years – the projected mass urbanisation and population growth across the African continent.  The bringing together of innovative, sustainable viable, affordable, and culturally relevant solutions has been at the heart of our approach as it has to be realistically replicable. We are excited to bring together a team of experts to address these challenges, as well as bringing forward our long-term commitment to East Africa with our research and charity work through the Feilden Foundation’.  

FCBStudios are collaborating with regional architects Light Earth DesignsA Studio Space and Studio FH Architects and with multidisciplinary Rwanda-based consultants FBW, and Turner and Townsend as cost consultants. Our international team includes Grant AssociatesAKTII and Atelier Ten.

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