Significance of green public space in cities to human and environmental health:Citywide survey on green and public space conducted in Nyagatare and Rubavu

The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA)and Rwanda Housing Authority , conducted citywide survey in Nyagatare during the week of 20th August 2018, and in Rubavu during the week of 10th September. Nyagatare and Ruvabu District are among the fastest urbanized secondary cities ,therefore they were identified  for this exercise to assess the needs of its citizens for green and public spaces. The citywide survey initiative is subsequent to a series of stakeholder consultations facilitated by GGGI Rwanda in preparations for the Nyagatare & Rubavu District Development Strategies 2018-2024 where green and public spaces are prioritized strategic interventions in support of accelerating sustainable urbanization in Rwanda.

Initial survey results indicate that citizens of Nyagatare and Rubavu are in favor of safe, inclusive and accessible, green public spaces and would prefer having such spaces with child friendly playground equipment and for leisure purposes. The citizens are willing to walk and ride bicycles to maintain the cleanliness and functionality of these green spaces, thus, contributing to their overall sustainability. In Rubavu citizens responded by indicated they would like green spaces  designed and located close to the country border  DR Congo, they are also keen to see more developed watefronts.

Surveyors in Nyagatare

The survey is supported by the District of Nyagatare , District of Rubavu with the participation of Rwanda Women’s Network, which serves to broaden the inputs from an inclusive perspective into the planning process for Green and Public spaces. This provides the opportunity for GGGI ; Ministry of Infrastructure and Rwanda Housing Authority to recognize and incorporate citizens goals and priorities ahead of the design phase.

Surveyors with the public in Rubavu

By the end of 2018 , GGGI in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure ; Rwanda Housing Authority and the related District authorities will be hosting a participatory green and public space design workshop and will  introduce its new initiative in Nyagatare  as “Nyagatare City Walk” to create awareness as well as exploring the “urban forest” of Nyagatare.