r e F R A M E

reFRAME urbanism

Contact Info

ReFrame Urbanism Research Initiative

reframe.researchinitiative@gmail.com

Office Address

Kampala, Uganda

Connective Infrastructure

Co-creation of a Sustainable System

Inter-scale design for community integration

Co-creation of a Sustainable System

Connective Infrastructure is a ground-breaking project in Kampala, Uganda, that aims to bridge territorial, social, and economic divides within the Muyenga-Namuwongo neighbourhood. By creating a system of strategic interventions, the project seeks to connect communities by establishing social and public spaces called "points" and improved pedestrian and transport infrastructure known as "links." The involvement of local residents as co-creators and custodians of these spaces fosters social inclusion, ownership, and a sense of community. The project also revitalizes the neighbourhood’s aesthetics through vibrant designs, urban agriculture, and the transformation of undeveloped land into open public spaces. Additionally, the system's scalability allows it to be used in bigger sizes, fostering a circular economy and encouraging innovation. By embracing this holistic vision, we can create a more connected and inclusive Kampala City driven by the active participation of its residents and sustainable practices. 

Introduction:

As evidenced by the Muyenga-Namuwongo neighbourhood in Kampala, the country's capital and largest city, fragmentation on a geographical, social, and economic level is a problem. Through a system of prompt and cross-cutting interventions, the innovative initiative we've undertaken at reFrame seeks to close these gaps and promote social collaboration. By strategically distributing social and public areas, enhancing pedestrian and transport infrastructure, and promoting community engagement, the Connective Infrastructure project seeks to transform the neighbourhood into a vibrant and sustainable hub.

People: Co-creation of a Sustainable System:

This project is keen on the importance of people in creating and maintaining a secure and sustainable community. Residents become stakeholders by actively participating in creating and sustaining social spaces, promoting social inclusion and a sense of ownership. The concept gives locals the power to control their environment by fostering natural surveillance and encouraging cooperation between stakeholders and city authorities. Additionally, by reducing floods and making it easier to move around the informal settlements, improved drainage and transportation systems increase safety.

Place: Spatial Quality and Placemaking:

One of the project's core objectives is redefining the neighbourhood's identity by enhancing its spatial quality. Eye-catching designs, such as bold and colourful pedestrian bridges, a vibrant food market, and a distinctive train stop, create an inviting gateway to the neighbourhood and improve its aesthetics. Furthermore, the integration of urban agriculture, pedestrian walkways, jogging trails, and seating areas transform the once grey and cold spaces into green and social environments, offering a unique sense of place. Unutilized land is repurposed into open public spaces that accommodate informal economic activities, fostering community synergies and celebrating the neighbourhood’s cultural heritage.

Progress: A Multiscalar System and Circular Economy:

The project's innovative concept can be applied at the neighbourhood level and scaled up to the metropolitan, regional, and even global scales. The system's network of links and points can connect pedestrian walkways within communities or expand to include railway lines connecting institutions across different cities. This scalability extends to various dimensions, including spatial planning and the formulation of political and economic policies. Moreover, the project stimulates the creation of a circular economy by encouraging innovation and resource efficiency. For instance, the Kasanvu Art Gallery showcases recycled art created from waste collected in the area. Improved transport infrastructure facilitates trade and generates synergies across sectors, fostering economic growth.

Conclusion:

The transformation of Kampala's Muyenga-Namuwongo neighbourhood through the innovative project described in this article exemplifies a sustainable approach to bridging divisions, empowering communities, and redefining urban spaces. By prioritizing community engagement, spatial quality, and scalable systems, this endeavour enhances the neighbourhood and inspires potential applications at broader scales. As Kampala embraces this holistic vision, it paves the way for a more connected, inclusive, and resilient city, driven by the active participation of its people and the integration of sustainable practices.

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