Govt in ambitious $30 billion urban renewal, new cities project

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By Leopold Munhende

THE government has embarked on an ambitious $30 billion which will see the rehabilitation and development of some of Zimbabwe’s oldest residential suburbs to world class status by 2030.

The plans include a New City project in Mt. Hampden, just outside Harare as well as urban renewal projects in Bulawayo and Mutare.

High density suburbs such as Mbare in the capital, Makokoba in Bulawayo and Mutare’s Sakubva have been earmarked for rehabilitation as part of the project

This will see the re-development of old two-storey council flats into high-rise residential apartments, beginning January 2019.

Local government ministry director of architecture services Hilary Mukaratirwa revealed the plans at a media briefing in Harare Wednesday.

The ministry shared artistic impressions of the new city to be located some 18 kilometres, north-west of Harare and its urban renewal plans for the three suburbs.

Mukaratirwa also said construction of a new upmarket city to be funded by private players in Midlands province, just outside Zvishavane, is set to start early next year.

“Around the new Parliament building we have planned the new city which will be connected to the city of Harare and all other provincial capitals like Bindura, Chinhoyi, Norton,” said Mukaratirwa.

“So, we are currently working on the feasibility studies, transportation system and everything that goes with a new city.”

He continued; “The new city is going to be premised on very few simple things.

“Firstly, not to repeat the mistakes we have made before and it is going to be a smart city.

“We are in the consultative processes I do not think we are going to see one-acre plots because land is finite…we are going to go up, we are going to densify.

“There is nothing too ambitious, if you are not ambitious you cannot develop.”

“The new city project is open to investors, international and local but the master plan is going to be done by us, Zimbabweans.

“So, land will be auctioned because right now we do not know the value, but we want to add the value by servicing the whole area.”

The ministries of finance and state security as well as State House are expected to move to the new capital which is expected to house about a million residents within the next five years.

In Harare, Matapi, Shawasha, Tagarika flats will be demolished after the construction of new flats by government while Mukuvisi rRver which passes through Mbare will be dredged as part of government’s attempt to green spaces in the dirty suburb in a project local government minister July Moyo said will cost hundreds of millions.