October 25, Nyagatare – The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) partnered with the Government of Rwanda and stakeholders working on sustainable urban development to bring forward discussion on pressing urbanization issues. To share knowledge and updates on the current progress on green cities, the GGGI Rwanda team led an “Urban Walk” in Nyagatare, one of Rwanda’s six secondary cities.
The word “Walkability” is considered as a measure of how friendly an area is to walking. Walkability has health, environmental, and economic benefits. Walkability is also an important concept in sustainable urban design.”
The very first “Urban Walk” with its main theme “Urban Forests” routed participants through green areas of Nyagatare, explaining how forestry can support the urbanization by providing environmental services such as air and water purification, wind and noise filtering, micro-climate stabilization, managing storm water, storing carbon (i.e. removing atmospheric carbon dioxide), promoting and preserving urban biodiversity. Forests in cities contribute in many other ways to the quality of city life: they are attractive sources of shelter and shade, their aesthetic qualities increase property values, and therefore tax revenues as well. With considerable planning and adequate designs, urban forests could turn into green public spaces hosting recreational and leisure activities.
Nyagatare District Executive Secretary Mr. Alexis Mugabo joined citizens of Nyagatare and visitors participating in the “Urban Walk” and shared with them plans of the District to further expand and enhance green areas of Nyagatare.
In addition, urban forests have an important role in educating an increasingly urban population about nature and species conservation. Nyagatare’s “Urban Walk” has a defined scope that directly relates with other ongoing projects and programs that GGGI is supporting in Nyagatare, such as master plan revision and assessment of green and public spaces.