Kigali city to Turn Car Free Zone into Vibrant Service Hub

A section of Kigali city car free zone

For the last three years, car free zone area in Kigali has been a dull place with no activities but the city authority has a new plan for this zone.

“From mid next year, we will have established different service facilities in the car free zone,” said Bruno Rangira, the spokesperson of City of Kigali.

Introduced in 2015, the Kigali Car Free Zone is a part of the downtown road from Centenary House to Ecole Belge.

“We will have walkaways, bicycle lanes, benches, cafes, public restrooms, shelter for those that want a place to relax and also pavilion,” Eng. Fred Mugisha, Director of Urban Planning and Construction One Stop Center in City of Kigali told KT Press.

“We want to turn Kigali into a pedestrian-friendly city.”

He told KT Press that several consultations are being made and by the end of October 2017, there will be a final study and design of its development.

“We are conducting stakeholders input in the design of the zone,” He said.

The study and design, are being developed by Surban/SMEC- the Singaporean based company which designed the updated Kigali City Master Plan.

After finalizing the plan, Mugisha said that discussions with investors who established their businesses in the area will continue to advise them on how they can generate money from this new project.

The city planners are currently conducting a study and design to develop the car free zone

Uwitonze Claire who works at Ma Colombe shop told KT Press that she is not sure if those activities will become a reality because she has heard about them for so long.

“I am not excited until I see activities placed here. We started to hear about them since 2015 when this place was turned into a car free zone,” she said.

“I would be happy to see them because they will increase the number of customers to our shops. We are not receiving new customers anymore.”

According to Belise Akariza, the chief tourism officer in Rwanda Development Board (RDB), this is a good start for Kigali.

“It will not only increase local tourists but also internationals who will be coming here for leisure. Every developed city has such a place, this is the right time for Kigali to have one as well,” she said.




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