Public Spaces in Kampala, Uganda
The number of safe, accessible and enjoyable public spaces in Ugandan cities is steadily decreasing, while the public increasingly demands that governments create and maintain public spaces. However, without a clear strategic vision, many city governments lack the resources and capacity to develop public spaces to meet these demands.
HealthBridge, along with our local partner Advocates for Public Spaces (APS), conducted two studies to determine the availability and quality of parks and informal spaces for active recreation in Uganda's capital city, Kampala. The studies recommended a public dialogue on how to improve the infrastructure for active recreation and consequently the health and quality of life for the city residents.
As a result of these studies, APS is now working with local and national governments on improving the quality and quantity of public spaces. Ongoing activities include:
- Developing public spaces pilot projects;
- Working with the media to explain the importance of public spaces;
- Working with local groups and officials to create clear strategies for developing and maintaining public spaces.
In addition, APS is also conducting studies to better understand the quality of the pedestrian environment in Kampala, especially in the areas surrounding parks, and to better understand the quality of the local public markets in the city.
- Advocates for Public Space
- Increased stakeholders’ (public, decision makers, elected officials and media) understanding of the importance of parks and open spaces in protecting and improving the environment, health and improving the quality of life of city residents;
- Increased number of organizations working and advocating for the improvement of the availability and quality of open spaces for active recreation in the city;
- Increased number of policies that protect, preserve, develop and maintain open spaces;
- Increased number of quality open spaces;
- Increased understanding of the pedestrian environment;
- Increased understanding of the local public market environment.
The two studies found that informal open spaces are critical components of residents' access to recreational space in the city. Unfortunately, our findings point to a shortage of open spaces in Kampala Capital City.