DAR ES SALAAM, November 17, 2014— More than 50 mayors, urban planners and technical experts from 25 cities around the world will gather in Dar es Salaam to “think outside their boundary” and share experiences on managing rapid urban expansion through metropolitan planning.
The event, called the Global Lab on Metropolitan Strategic Planning, or MetroLab, will take place from November 17th to 20th co-organized by the World Bank and the city of Dar es Salaam. This is the first Lab in Africa since the initiative was launched in April 2013, supported by the Korean Research Institute for Human Settlements, Seoul Municipal Government, Cities Alliance and Ford Foundation.
“Dar es Salaam is one of the fastest growing cities in the world” said Philippe Dongier, World Bank Tanzania Country Director. “As a city grows rapidly, it becomes essential to ensure a strong local tax base for municipal governments, to adjust governance arrangements to enable city-wide metropolitan planning and management, to implement zoning policies that facilitate growth of industries as well as good and safe living conditions and heritage conservation. It also becomes critical to enable competitiveness of enterprises to generate the large number of productive jobs that are needed by the booming urban labor force - including by focusing on skills, access to finance, and infrastructure."
Didas Massaburi, mayor of Dar es Salaam City Council, played a leading role in defining the MetroLab mission, explaining that for urban planning to be effective, cities had to think of the people and the communities that live in surrounding districts, who will be impacted by the economy, social activities, and environment of the entire region.
“MetroLab is unique in the way cities at all stages of development are taking the lead to learn from each other. We hope this initiative will help cities find solutions, as they pursue inclusive and sustainable urban growth,” said Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, World Bank Senior Director for the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice.
With Dar es Salaam as a “laboratory for learning.” participants will visit the city’s BRT system as a catalyst for metropolitan development. They will also discuss metropolitan perspectives of transport, land use and urban sprawl; managing metropolitan services including solid waste, water, and sewerage; housing; metropolitan finance; and other issues.
Lessons learned from the experiences of cities around the world at MetroLab will inform the Bank's work with the Tanzanian government on a new urbanization review diagnostic, to help Tanzanian cities become more competitive and create jobs.
Participating cities in MetroLab include: Accra, Addis Ababa, Arusha, Colombo, Dar es Salaam, Ilala, Ilemala, Kaduwela, Kigali, Kisumu, Kinondoni, Mbeya, Moratuwa, Mumbai, Mwanza, Nairobi, New York, Paris, Karachi, Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Tanga, Temeke, Zanzibar