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HomeOpinionThe Corridor Development in Addis Ababa City The Wows and Woes

The Corridor Development in Addis Ababa City The Wows and Woes

Image : PD

By : Abel Eshetu 

It is reported that the key aspects of corridor development in Addis Ababa city include Road Infrastructure, Pedestrian Facilities which entail developing sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and other infrastructure to improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians while considering the city’s growing population and urbanization. Told also to focus on introducing or expanding dedicated lanes for bicycles to promote eco-friendly commuting options and reduce reliance on motor vehicles. The city officials also said that the other focus is on Smart City Initiatives which aims at implementing technology-driven solutions for traffic management, public transport scheduling, and infrastructure maintenance. The beautifully constructed pedestrians with eye-catching streetlights are the wows of the development apart from its economic returns in many ways. While corridor development in Addis Ababa aims to improve infrastructure and urban connectivity, it can also have negative impacts, which are important to consider and address:

  1. Displacement and Resettlement: Large-scale infrastructure projects often require land acquisition, which can lead to the displacement of communities and businesses. Displaced residents may face challenges in finding new housing and maintaining their livelihoods. A gentleman who had a G+1 house near the Imperial Hotel got his house demolished within a week’s notice from a local government office. His house was worth 40 million birr but the city government compensated him with 200 sqm plot of land and 4 million birr only. A lot of people who lost their assets due to the corridor plan are undercompensated and their business is shattered. Shanty houses demolished around the Piazza area are worthy of relocation in hope of blazing development. That is acceptable. However, how many of the relocated families are compensated well is the persisting question to be answered by independent bodies. 
  2. Social and Economic Disparities: Corridor development benefits certain segments of the population more than others, potentially exacerbating social and economic inequalities. Access to improved infrastructure and services may not be equitable across different neighborhoods or income groups. To certain people along the improved line the development is a blessing while to many more is a curse. Poorer families have been created over a week time as they lost their livelihoods. Thousands of shops are closed or relocated to high rental cost areas or even lost cost areas where income is severely cut. 
  3. Community stress and frustration: buildings nearby a road may not continue liberated from the demolishing plan. A recent legislation affirmed that buildings must be 7 meters away from a road. Those constructed way before this directive have no way to escape. Families and businesses are not set free from frustration as well as uncertainties. For instance, the partition lane of a recently inaugurated Asphalt Road from Pushkin roundabout to Gotera is demolished which is evidence of lack of strategic plan for road development in the city. So many roadside developments are now demolished for the sake of the corridor development. Hence the corridor plan is a hasty plan which is costing the poor nation a huge amount of money. The city government can do anything anytime without consulting the master plan thus eroding the confidence of inhabitants of the city which in turn disturbs the socio-economic stability all over the city. 
  4. Cultural Heritage and Historic Preservation: Development projects can threaten cultural heritage sites or historic buildings, leading to loss of cultural identity and heritage for local communities. The city government has improved some of the historic buildings while quite a good number of others are sentenced to trash.  
  5. Temporary Traffic Congestion During Construction: While the development aims to alleviate congestion in the long term, the construction phase has led to temporary traffic disruptions, detours, and delays, impacting businesses and residents in the affected areas.

Addressing these negative impacts requires careful planning, community consultation, environmental assessments, and mitigation measures. It’s essential for city planners and policymakers to consider the social, economic, and environmental implications of corridor development to ensure sustainable and inclusive urban growth in Addis Ababa.

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com


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