Rwanda: Habitat Fetes Kigali, Four Others As Model Cities for the World
A decade-long effort by Rwanda to turn its capital Kigali into a modern metropolis with efficient garbage collection, non-use of plastics and a low crime rate, has finally paid off in the United Nations honouring the city for its innovativeness.
Kigali now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with four other Chinese, Russian and Mexican cities, which were also given the same award.
The award, presented by UN-Habitat during this year’s World Habitat Day, recognised Kigali for innovations in building a model, modern city characterised by zero tolerance for plastics, improved garbage collection and a substantial reduction in crime.
Also honoured were the Chinese cities of Shaoxing and Zhangjiagang, the Tatarstan city of Bugulma, in the Russian Federation, and Ciudad Juarez, a major Mexican city on the United States border.
The highest award conferred by the United Nations system in the field of habitation — the Habitat Scroll of Honour Special Citation — went to the Chinese city of Nanjing.
Kigali’s journey to realising its “restoration-to-lost glory” dream started in 1998 with the targeting of garbage collection, and the banning of plastic bags. The streets and pavements were beautified, and public transport was upgraded.