First National Urban Planning Conference will Gather Urban Planners, Development Experts and Private Sector
JUBA, SUDAN – National, regional and local urban planners along with development experts will gather here to attend the first national urban planning conference, July 24-26, that will enable the current administration to manage urgent development projects during the region’s transition and for sustainable long-term growth.
More than 100 people are expected to gather at the “Southern Sudan Town Planning Conference,” an effort of the Strategic Participatory Town Planning (SPTP) project implemented by Creative Associates International, Inc. since 2005 and made possible by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The conference is the capstone to the SPTP project that during its implementation, mapped the 10 state capitals, giving the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) its first unified series of maps; trained 21 Sudanese in advanced GIS mapping applications, and held a series of workshops to strengthen the capacity of urban management staff and systems.
Organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Public Utilities (MHPLU), the Southern Sudan Planning conference will gather national, regional, local public administrators along with private stakeholders and town planning experts.
To assist the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) in its efforts to respond effectively to returning population and reintegration issues, Creative Associates International Inc. initiated a strategic town planning project, in partnership with the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development and funded by USAID, to help enhance capacity at the local governance level for town planning and municipal management. The project combined a three-tiered approach including: capacity building through the training of 21 Sudanese locals in Geographic Information Systems; a Town Planning and Land Administration Assessment for the new Southern Capital of Juba; and the provision of maps of each of the 10 state capitals using satellite imagery and data layers of urban attributes.
The training component of the project brought approximately 2 Southern Sudanese representatives from each of their respective homes in the 10 state capitals, to the RCMRD for an intensive, one-month training course. The participants included 16 men and 5 women in stride with the GoSS' objectives to engage women for gender development and equality. Most participants had not interacted with computers prior to the training experience, and were trained step-by-step from the basics of word processing and database development, to advanced mapping using GIS.
The mapping component of the project entailed the journeys of seventeen mappers and surveyors from the RCMRD to each of the state capitals to do ground-truthing and surveying work to ensure the accuracy of the GIS databases that would be used to generate a consistent series of maps for the Government of Southern Sudan. The maps highlight information about the towns, such as existing structures, key features, natural elements, land densities and transportation routes. These maps provide a unified foundation for the future of town planning in the south. The GoSS has been equipped with the GIS databases to be able to modify the maps to assist in the planning of towns and infrastructure, growth management, housing needs and managing resources in the town peripheries.
As the seat of the new Government of Southern Sudan, the southern town of Juba is undergoing massive transformation. Creative Associates produced the Juba Assessment Report in order to understand the existing mechanisms for town planning and municipal management within the new Capital. The report highlights the systems that are in place to manage land which will be in great demand with the influx of returnees as well as public servants associated with the location of the new government. The assessment provides preliminary recommendations on planning and protecting key focus areas within the town and along the Nile River Corridor.