Providing Eastern DRC with a new urban planning policy, Beni, North Kivu

The Integrated Research Institute of the Christian Bilingual University of Congo (IRI-UCBC), in partnership with UN-HABITAT, organized a workshop to officially launch the project and build the capacities of key actors on the concepts of sustainable urban planning in Beni, from September 2nd-3rd 2021, as part of the Project entitled “Facilitating sustainable urban development in the secondary cities of Eastern DRC through the formulation of provincial urban policies and an urban development strategy for the pilot city of Beni ”, under the patronage of the Mayor of the city of Beni, and with the financial support of BOOYOUNG GROUP and AACID.

Why this project?

Rapid urbanization is a challenge, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa because urban growth rates are higher than the capacities of the competent urban planning authorities to cope with them through adequate management strategies. Sub-Saharan Africa is urbanizing late but rapidly and the DRC is no exception to this trend.

Current Mayor of Beni town presenting the project launching speech

The secondary cities of DRC, more precisely in the East, are experiencing the greatest growth, but have less capacity to plan and manage urban development than the large so-called primary cities. However, secondary cities play a crucial role in the functioning of the global network of cities. According to the World Bank, secondary cities will play an important role as catalysts and secondary hubs to facilitate the production, transport, transformation and localized transfer of goods, people, trade, information and services between cities, subnational, metropolitan, national and regional communities and the global systems of cities. This is why the Urban development project must be carried out.

About the project

This project contributes to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda through the development of local urban policies. With Beni’s urban development strategy as an identified development priority, the project aims to improve the formulation and implementation of urban policies at the local level through tools for strengthening urban-rural links. This will enable stakeholders to respond to the challenges identified under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.

Presentation of the road map for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda through the development of local urban policies by UNHATITAT EXPERTS

The launch of this project happened in Beni, the pilot city of the project, by the city mayor through a capacity building workshop for municipal institutions and other relevant stakeholders. The capacity building sessions were organized with the aim of sharing knowledge and good practices from around the world around 3 main themes including: sustainable and robust urban planning; practical urban planning (tools and methods) and the basics of Geographic Information System (GIS) as an urban planning tool; under the facilitation of a pool of experts from ASF-Architects Without Borders, IRI-UCBC and two consultants from UN-HABITAT.

Nearly 50 participants from urban public services in Beni, the Congolese National Police, national and international NGOs, STAREC, women’s associations and civil society in Beni took part in this workshop.

The three themes presented gave rise to very constructive discussions and very fruitful exchanges; the testimonies were legion.

It is imperative to recall that this workshop was organized within the framework of the project entitled “Facilitating sustainable urban development in the secondary cities of Eastern DRC through the formulation of provincial urban policies and an urban development strategy for the pilot city of Beni”, with the support of UN-Habitat.

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