Advocating for Green Cities and Green Buildings during the “Urban Walk” in Kigali

Participants study the route they will embark for the Urban Walk

As a parallel event to the Third National Urban Forum, GGGI in partnership with the City of Kigali and the University of Rwanda, led an “Urban Walk” in Kigali on 8th February 2019.

In 2018, GGGI launched “Urban Walk” initiative in Rwanda to bring awareness on the importance of green cities and green buildings to the general public. 

Amid the “Urban Walk” in City of Kigali, became more acquainted with public space initiative in the city, and how the new modified Master Plan joins open spaces in the urban center. Mr. Fred Mugisha, Director of Urban Planning and Construction One Stop Center, City of Kigali, shared details on how the city plans to re-design and re-develop its car-free zone, initially introduced in 2015.

Mr Fred Mugisha , gives participants background context on the city of Kigali and car free zone

Mr. Dheeraj Arrabothu, Green Buildings Officer of GGGI described to participants green building features in the existing buildings and buildings under construction in Kigali Central Business District (CBD). One such building incorporates the continuous development of Head Office of a Commercial Bank. The project features a perforated brick facade on the western elevation to cut-down heat ingress, reduce glare, provide adequate daylight and ventilation to building occupants. The arrangement of bricks creates an interesting facade and provides an alternative green solution by using climate-sensitive designs and locally manufactured bricks. GGGI supported the development of Rwanda Green Building Minimum Compliance System for Rwanda Housing Authority.

The “Urban Walk” ended after two hours at the newly inaugurated Architecture block of the University of Rwanda where Dr. Manlio Michielleto, Dean of the School of Architecture and Built Environment guided participants through the building highlighting its green building aspects. The contractual workers maximized use of local construction materials such as volcanic stone for the building construction. The building features a large and comfortable ramp that leads to the second floor and avoids the use of elevator. There is no heating and air-conditioning equipment but an efficient natural ventilation system. The concrete walls are insulated, sealed and plastered from the outside with the aim of controlling the solar heat gain. Building also has rainwater harvesting and storage units.

Towards the end of the Urban Walk, Mr. Daniel Ogbonnaya, GGGI’s Program Lead focused on the significance of innovative activities that help raise awareness and bring issues to light on the significance of green cities and green buildings to residents.