Rwanda Green City Pilot Project

At a Glance

Start Date Q1 2017
Funding Source Core
Approved Budget 0
Status Complete
Thematic Area
  • Green Cities

Project Rationale

The Government of Rwanda (GoR), under its Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy EDPRS (II), has pioneered a vision of a Green City Concept. A 620-hectare site has been selected by the GoR in Kinyinya, Gasabo District, Kigali City. Two projects are currently developed on two parts of the site:

  • Phase 1 (“Cactus Green Park”): a housing development with multiple green aspects incorporated within it, acting as a pilot to lead the way for further scaling up of green building and green urban planning projects. 410 houses will be developed by Horizon on 13 ha
  • Phase 2: Green affordable houses will be developed by RSSB on 125 ha
  • Next phases will include commercial and office buildings attracting Innovative Green Businesses.

This development will capture the key ‘Pillars of Green Urbanism’ as defined by GGGI’s National Roadmap for Green City Development policy. It is a viable plan for a simply replicable pilot, that is implementable across the country, in the typical ‘hillcrest to wetland’ landscape of the land of a thousand hills. It contains all the key ingredients that are fundamental to the creation of an effective green urban center; ‘a city’ with green housing, infrastructure, mixed use, amenity, workplaces and industry.

The pilot will be used to draw lessons learnt to promote:

  • The paradigm-shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways
  • Country coordination and multi-stakeholder engagement
  • Replication and sustainability
  • Good governance standards.
  • It will catalyze the intervention of private sector investors as well as public sector partners by creating a sense of trust and therefore unlocking and allowing the scaling up of the Green Cities Strategies to the rest of the country

Building on 2015-2016 work

This project built on GGGI’s work in 2015-16 that resulted in the launch of the National Road Map for Green Cities Development in Rwanda (hereinafter referred to as the Roadmap) in May 2016. The Roadmap has been endorsed by the GoR and serves as an implementation tool for the EDPRS2 and GGCRS. In particular, the Roadmap provides key actions and practical planning guidance to policymakers by mapping out key actions and recommendations describing how green urbanization could enhance quality of health and basic services, including water, sanitation, energy, and housing, as well as address vulnerability through a participatory development approach. Implementing the Roadmap and the continuation of effective delivery of the program will necessitate further technical assistance to the GoR to translate plans to implementation of green urban development projects.

Planned Results

The Green City Pilot (GCP) will enable the Government of Rwanda to achieve the following Strategic Outcomes. The key metrics (such as the precise number of green jobs created, tons of CO2 avoided) will be evaluated as the project moves ahead.

  1. Increased access to sustainable services:
    • Increased access to sustainable waste management. The GCP will include composting, use of organic waste for fuel and solid waste recycling.
    • Increased access to improved sanitation. The GCP will have low carbon thin film aerobic waste water treatment and water re-use (with fresh water distribution of clean drinkable water from ground water below wetland).
    • Increased access to sustainable public transport. The project will strengthen the public transport network within and beyond site to surrounding amenity and employment hubs. It will provide amenities and services within walking distance. And it will make the site easily accessible to minimize the impact of cars and vehicles.
  2. GHG emissions reduction. The Green City Pilot will produce renewable energy, have energy efficiency buildings and it has a more efficient masterplan enabling lower GHG emissions from commuting
  3. Green jobs creations. By year 2020, light and heavy Industries supporting green city projects are projected to create approximately 80,000 and 320,000 jobs respectively.

Those positive strategic outcomes are planned to be replicated in Kigali and in Rwanda’s Secondary Cities as the project is scalable. It is the Phase 1 of a bigger Green City Concept (on 620 ha). The land surrounding the development has already been reserved by government for the second and further phases which include commercial and office buildings attracting Innovative Green Businesses. It can then be used as a model for developments in Secondary Cities.


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