Mozambique – A school, a Community centre and a football pitch: three models of urban regeneration

On Wednesday June 7th, in Maputo, three important urban redevelopment projects were inaugurated in the Chamanculo C quarter. The first regarded the rehabilitation and enlargement of the Unidade 13 primary school: these activities were carried out by the AVSI Foundation, in collaboration with the Cesvitem and Khandlelo NGOs and the Maputo Municipal Council, with financing from the Italian Development Cooperation Agency.

The other two projects regard two important public facilities in the same quarter: the “Cape Cape” football pitch and the Chamanculo C. Community Centre. These two rehabilitation projects, also financed by Italian Cooperation, have been implemented by the Spanish NGO Architetti Senza Frontiere.

At the inaugural event – featuring the enthusiastic participation of the local community – Mozambique’s Vice-Minister of Education and Human Development, Armindo Ngunga, was present, plus the Italian Ambassador in Mozambique, Marco Conticelli, the President of the Maputo Municipal Council David Simango and the head of the AICS Maputo field station, Fabio Melloni.

The urban redevelopment initiatives target regeneration projects for public and community spaces that have been indicated as priorities by residents, in line with the urban planning strategy developed as part of this initiative. In contests such as the Chamanculo C area, there are very few public spaces available to residents, and they’re usually neglected and degraded. These neighbourhoods can become dangerous at night, also in terms of night-time attacks, the results of frequent absences of public lighting systems. For this reason, the act of promoting the urban redevelopment of these areas does more than just address important infrastructural and hygienic needs: it also generates processes of citizen responsibility and activity with residents and administrators.

The urban redevelopment and public space rehabilitation programme for the historic quarter of Chamanculo C was launched by AICS in 2011, in collaboration with the Maputo Municipal Council, plus the main cooperation partners in the sector - the World Bank and the Cities Alliance - and NGOs. The infrastructural and development projects implemented have always adopted methods involving widespread local integration and participation, which have proved to be indispensable also in terms of sustainability.

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