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Urban Planner Asks KCCA to Zone City

Saddam Kaggwa, a lecturer of Urban Planning at Makerere University has advised Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA to adopt the urban zoning policy so as to address the problem of congestion.

According to World Bank, Zoning is a planning control tool for regulating the built environment and creating functional real estate markets. It does so by dividing land that comprises the statutory area of a local authority into sections, permitting particular land uses on specific sites to shape the layout of towns and cities and enable various types of development.

Kaggw told URN in an interview that zoning will permit proper planning of the city as particular areas will be secured for specific activities. For instance, there could be a residential zone, recreational zone, market zone, education zone and commercial structure zone for offices among others. 

He says that such demarcations limit the amount of vehicles that come into the same geographical area to access different services at the same time. 

He adds that government can also adopt the concept of mixed use developments that is properly organized.  This is a type of urban development strategy for living spaces (housing) that blends residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or entertainment uses, where those functions are physically and functionally integrated, and that provides pedestrian connections. 

The development permits employees on a certain structure to be able to stay on the same building or in close neighborhood such that they do not need vehicles to go to work. Kaggwa says this is achievable through a proper zonal policy. The law and policy would guide government and the people on how to implement the zoning plan. 

In Sweden for instance, zoning policies mandate municipalities to approve a detailed development plan for most housing projects before issuing a construction permit.

As part of the plan to reduce congestion, Kaggwa says there should be restriction on the number of vehicles coming into the city and establishment of vehicle free zones. Kampala is estimated to have a day population of 2.5 million people and a night population of about 1.5 million. This means that one million people are making a return journey to Kampala on a daily basis. 

Kaggwa says that KCCA should start charging vehicles accessing Kampala through certain routes to discourage those who cannot afford.  He also advises KCCA to raise parking fees around the city. In 2017, KCCA increased parking fees on gazetted roads from Shillings 400 per hour to Shillings 1000 for the first two hours and 800 Shillings for every 30 minutes spent.

Kaggwa says that an organized city without congestion has potential to increase the productivity of Ugandans.  He decried of the amount of time that people spend in traffic jam, saying that it reduces their productive time. 

He adds that poor traffic flow to and from work is exhausting and could affect performance at work. Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) estimates that at least 24,000 man-hours are lost every day by commuters due to traffic jams. 

A man-hour is the amount of work performed by the average worker in one hour.