With increased urbanization and demand for more formal housing, Uganda has started venturing into satellite cities especially around the capital city, Kampala.
Satellite cities have just started coming up in Uganda, with the help on real estate portals which provide potential areas that we would have satellite cities and the advantage of the cities.
Urbanisation leads to the growth of the informal housing sector (slums) and in order to escape the malaise of urbanisation, some residents move away from the city (counter-urbanisation).
Satellite cities offer a viable way for countries to meet the demands of urbanised cities. They allow a city to grow in ways that sustain long-term viability of their urban areas.
These cities or towns have been defined as: “dependent on the parent-city to a certain extent for population and major service”.
Satellite cities can be defined as large planned, integrated, purpose-built developments nearby larger cities that are designed to curb urban sprawl to the suburb and supplement ‘mother city’ expansion.
They are typically well-organised urban spaces that are self-contained and separate from the mother city, and gated to some degree. They contain living spaces such as villas, condominiums and their accompanying infrastructure, consumption spaces such as shopping malls, office space, and private hospitals, schools and other facilities, as well as recreational spaces.
Satellite cities are targeted towards the emerging new middle-class in African cities and expatriates.
In Kampala, however, independence is the main concern for satellite cities such as the upcoming Star city in Matugga as these locations strive for self-sustainability.
In Uganda, Kankugulu satellite city has been planned along the Kampala-Entebbe highway outside of Kampala. It is managed by real estate developers, Akright Projects. It contains 2,500 dwellings and is expected to be home to nearly 144,000 people. The city has a stadium, a business centre, shopping malls, schools, golf courses, hospitals and hotels.
Many of the satellite cities are ‘green projects’ and environmental factors are being considered by developers. Many of the projects use natural resources and incorporate the national landscape. Uganda Human Settlements Network has visited the site with a keen interest in ensuring that the environmental concerns are adhered to.
Lamudi Uganda is one of the real estate portals that is putting together some information on the most prominent satellite towns and what to expect. Some of the locations include Naalya, Najerra and Lubowa which are some of the most prominent satellites around Kampala.
Lamudi has given a platform through listing properties to develop these satellite cities. Lubowa is one of the fatest growing suburbs of Kampala being home to the higher income developments and neighbourhoods and Naalya and Najerra covering the middle to lower income developments.
Shakib Nsubuga, Country Manager of Lamudi Uganda, says their affiliation with upcoming real estate developments, has helped the company engage with the new trends. “Satellites have been of interest to Lamudi of late particularly because of our recent affiliation with the Matugga Star city development.”
He says the company’s affiliation with upcoming real estate developments is just one of the ways it is trying to engage with the new trends in real estate and the commercial communities.
Consultancy Africa Intelligence highlights benefits satellite cities can bring to a growing urbanisation problem by offering a planned solution to development.
It is estimated that Africa will be home to the second largest urban population in the world by 2050. Urban cities in East Africa, in particular, are expected to burgeon over the next few years. Five of the top 20 fast-growing cities are in East Africa. This includes Kampala, Uganda (expected to grow by 99.5%); followed by Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (85.2%); Kigali, Rwanda (79.9%); Mombasa, Kenya (79%); and Nairobi, Kenya (77.3%).
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s World in Figures 2010, 3 of the top 20 cities with the world’s highest rate of urbanisation were the East African capital cities of Kigali, Kampala, and Dar es Salaam. Kenya is currently the country with the highest urbanisation rates in East Africa.