Sustainable, Informed and Participatory Land Management and Land Use Planning in Rapidly Growing Cities

Sub Saharan Africa Virtual Dialogue Event


On the 11th, 12th & 14th of May 2021, Connective Cities held a dialogue event to address the topics of integrating nature-based solutions in land use planning, land information systems and participatory & inclusive land use planning. The event attracted the participation of 38 participants from municipalities, local government associations, national governments, research institutions and civil society organizations. The countries represented include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Netherlands, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

The statistics as highlighted by Oumar Sylla (UN-Habitat) reminded us that the population in the cities is on the rise and this irreversible urbanization trend we are now faced with the challenge of channeling its effects especially in the area of land governance. Mr. Hilmar von Lojewski (DST) then emphasizes that we need to reduce land uses for building purposes to the utmost necessary amount.

This called for understanding of the impact of the rapidly growing cities to the wellbeing of its residents and acquaintance to the different ways in which cities can integrate Nature-based Solutions in their planning & implementation of city plans including green roofs and walls, permeable pavements and green spaces just to mention a few. This was delivered by Heidi Tuhkanen (SEI) and Emmanuel Letebele (eThekwini) showcased how the cities can integrate climate change in spatial development.

This dialogue event thus provided a platform for the cities to learn and exchange. 10 good practices were shared from both the cities in SSA and Germany, 4 collegial consultations held, and 7 project ideas conceptualized.


The event comprised of input in form of thought-provoking key note speeches and good practices from the cities. It also provided an opportunity for the participants to consult with their peers through collegial learning methodology on challenges they experience in line with the topics of discussion. Out of these, the cities formulated project ideas they would like to pursue in order to solve some of the challenges.

  • Integrating Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in land use planning; how have cities planned for, implemented and protected the green infrastructure amidst the ever-increasing development that is characterized by the grey infrastructure?
  • Land information systems; sharing on tools and mechanisms applied by municipalities to ensure that a robust information system contributes to sustainable urban development
  • Participatory and inclusive land use planning; participatory approaches and methodologies applied to ensure active participation of the different sectors in the city including gender aspects, people living with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. Cities should be designed with and for people.


Working Group A: Integrating Nature-based Solutions in land use planning

Imbuga City Walk – Car Free Zone
Kigali, Rwanda

Formulation of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for Livingstone District in Zambia
Livingstone City Council, Zambia

Update of the land use plan in Karlsruhe
Nachbarschaftsverband Karlsruhe, Germany

Integrating nature-based solutions through Durban Metropolitan Open Space System (D’MOSS) in land use planning
eThekwini Municipality –Durban, South Africa

Working Group B: Land information systems

Data based planning and online sharing – The Nodal Review Policy
Johannesburg, South Africa

Development of a Geographic Information System (GIS) aided Land Management System for Livingstone City Council
Livingstone, Zambia

Strategic use of GIS in land use planning
Munich, Germany

Working Group C: Participatory & inclusive land use planning

Revitalization of vacant and dilapidated buildings
Chemnitz Housing Agency, Germany

The preparation of the R603 (Adams) settlement plan and draft scheme
eThekwini Municipality- Durban, South Africa

A participatory land use plan among neighbouring municipalities
Nachbarschaftsverband Karlsruhe, Germany


The key note speeches and good practices provoked conversations around integration of socio-economic and livelihood aspects in projects, the design of protection frameworks for urban green spaces and the political dimension of urban projects. The participants also acknowledged the importance of using data to inform policy at national level and prioritizing public investment based on findings. City planners need to consider employing inter-municipal talks as the cities expand and have ripple effects in neighboring cities or municipalities, use of informal and formal participation methodologies in the planning of the urban spaces and ensuring an integrated approach to land use planning.

4 problem owners from eThekwini, Livingstone and Nairobi had an opportunity to consult their peers on challenges they experience in the areas of implementation of city plans at neighborhood levels, integrating of socio-economic activities in an existing biodiversity ecosystem, integrating of departmental plans into the whole city database and alternative planning tools and techniques to be used in traditional land adjudication context. As a result of the exchange the cities have identified counterparts with whom they would like to collaborate further in future as there are many opportunities for mutual learning.

Subsequently, 7 project ideas were conceptualized for the cities of Addis Ababa, Bafoussam II, eThekwini, Livingstone, Kigali and Nairobi. These ideas are in the areas of vulnerability assessment, integrating city databases, integrating socio-economic activities in the urban green spaces, designing streets for kids and connecting people to the urban spaces.

Connective Cities will offer customized support to the projects in line with the services we offer.


Sustainable, Informed and Participatory Land Management and Land Use Planning in Rapidly Growing Cities

2021 - Detailed documentation of Connective Cities Sub-Saharan Africa Virtual Dialogue Event from 11 to 14 May 2021


Categories: Connective Cities Good Urban Governance Democracy and public participation Smart Cities / Digitalisation Integrated urban development Public space Participation and urban planning The social city Cities and climate change Urban Gardening Local economic development Green Urban Economy
Regions: Africa Ethiopia Burkina Faso Ghana Cameroon Kenya Rwanda Zambia Senegal South Africa Uganda Europe the Netherlands

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