Africa-Press – Rwanda. The City of Kigali has announced that it will invest Rwf600 million under the 2022/23 fiscal year in extending Imbuga City Walk, Kigali’s major car free zone and recreational space.
The allocation is part of the Rwf137.5 billion city’s budget that was approved by city council members on Thursday, June 30, 2022.
Formerly known as Car Free Zone, Imbuga City Walk was built as part of the city’s efforts to transform Kigali into a recreational space and environmentally friendly place for residents.
The car-free zone was introduced in 2015 to decongest the capital’s Central Business District.
“The Rwf600 million budget is going to help extend Imbuga City Walk up to University Teaching Hospital (CHUK),” said Didas Kayihura, The City council chairperson.
He said 40 percent of the Rwf137.5 billion budget was allocated to the development budget which especially looks at infrastructure.
“It will also consider ensuring roads and roundabouts cleanliness and greening,” he said.
Inside the current Imbuga City Walk
The first part of the current Imbuga City Walk named ‘High Street,’ is located in the area between Former Ecole Belge buildings and KCB Bank building.
The space is created as a sustainable space that integrates environmental, social and economic aspects.
The space provides a high level of pedestrian amenity and provides an appropriate setting for social interactions.
It contains several elements that include public art works, public toilets, and kiosks for street business, an information pavilion, seating, bins, and smart poles incorporating lighting, playgrounds.
Micro-entrepreneurs, at the place, provide a wide variety of services and amenities to people, at convenient locations – with negligible investment and infrastructural costs.
They keep streets busy, vibrant and safe and they provide a variety of cheaper food and retail options, infusing mixed- use and encouraging walk-trips as well as generating self-employment for a number of people.
Another part of the revamped car-free zone has been named ‘City Plazza.’
The space is located between KCB and BK buildings. It is a flexible zone, which contains all the permanent and temporary public domain elements.
“To create a great public space, the place has been conceived as an open space for pedestrians to stop, linger and spend time in the street and socialise.
“Accordingly, to the diversity of frontages and scale of adjacent buildings, the flex zone becomes a place for different activities, from playing, or temporary creative cultural and entertainment events, creating a variety of ambiences and characters,” Marie-Solange Muhirwa, the Chief of Urban Planning at the City of Kigali, recently explained.
This zone is also used for entertainment activities and exhibitions.
Among the features, also include a ‘City Lounge’ between Makuza Peace Plaza and ECOBANK building.
The City Lounge was created for diversity and flexibility use, and to establish a convivial and friendly relationship between objects and people, Muhirwa said, explaining that street furniture in today’s public places is considered an effective tool for activating public spaces.
City Lounge contains areas of meditation, pause areas, and seated areas for dining.
Imbuga City Walk has street benches and free Wi-Fi, green corridor landscaping, kids’ playground, among others.