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A Corridor for People
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
image: Alma Ami Mpungwe | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
urban planning
design development
10 August 2021
Ali Hassan Mwinyi (AHM) Road is the main link between the city centre and surrounding Kariakoo, Upanga, Oysterbay, Kinondoni and Morocco neighbourhoods. It is also the main trunk road that links the northern suburbs of Dar es Salaam to the centre. This is a catalyst project to define the brief of what users along this route need; by surveying and analysing to relay successful and informed ways to grow the city. The experience on this corridor can be improved into a climatically and culturally appropriate route.
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There are a number of new infrastructural developments happening in Dar es Salaam; 7 new flyovers, the Standard Gauge Railway network, extension of the BRT routes by DART, and the most spoken about, the new Tanzanite Bridge. The bridge will alleviate the traffic coming into and out of the city centre via Selander Bridge. Selander Bridge, measuring 85m, currently receives 42,000 vehicles daily. The late President John P. Magufuli admitted that the new bridge measuring 1.03km is projected to transport 120,000 vehicles daily. Tanzanite Bridge is widely celebrated by commuters and foreign investors as positive steps towards developing Dar es Salaam’s infrastructure network; however,  it does not address the social infrastructure of residents and users of the city.

Dar es Salaam is growing rapidly at 5.15% per annum, and is currently the fastest growing African City. The objective of this project is to create a platform for residents of Dar es Salaam which will cater for pedestrians and public transport users, and it is to publish current statistics and human activity surveys. The goal is to analyse street activity with the current condition and make informed recommendations for community engagement and implementation. The few public spaces that exist are poorly managed and new developments are designed without the consideration of the public realm. 30% of all road traffic incidents involving pedestrians result in death but the city is preparing for more vehicles.
Locality Map: Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road

image: Alma Ami | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
The broader high-level impact on the community is creating a healthier environment for city users and habitants, reducing the carbon footprint left by vehicles and making the city safer for children and pedestrians. 43.55% of Tanzania’s population is between 0-14 years and the life expectancy is a staggering 65 years of age, it is a young population. In 2017, there were 7 vehicles for every 1000 people in Tanzania and 797 in the United States (OWD). Tanzania is predominantly a walking country. 

This research and implementation strategy is important because city inhabitants need a better designed city that encourages healthy behaviour, creates a better quality of life and increases life expectancy. We want to work with communities, Local Government Authorities (LGAs), stakeholders and developers. We want to make our research and findings public and freely accessible to the broader community in both Kiswahili and English. We want our strategies to be contextually applied in other neighbourhoods; for example a regenerative proposal for the recently burnt and historic Kariakoo market building. We think our research could be very impactful in the planning of our city. 
Core team
We (Alma and Edward) are two Tanzanian architects who have both practiced and contributed to the built environment in London, Melbourne, Johannesburg, and Dar es Salaam. We now individually live in close proximity to AHM Road and use it daily to commute to and from work. We met at work in January this year.  Out of frustration of the built form alone not being impactful to our local communities, we collectively wanted a change. We want to be able to safely walk around our neighbourhoods “without the fear of being dragged by vehicles.”

Alma lives in a National Housing Corporation flat (NHC - similar to the setup of London council flats) in Upanga right along AHM Road, and meets monthly with the neighbours in her building to discuss general housekeeping. They have agreed to take part in the survey to provide relevant data for our research. Edward lives in a relatively new building one block behind the top just before where AHM Road becomes Old Bagamoyo Road in a neighbourhood called Morocco. Morocco Square on the opposite side of AHM Road is part of an NHC mixed use development with offices, accommodation, retail and parking. It’s new 1200 sqm ‘square’ is internally located for the future residents: a missed opportunity. 

We know the city well and keep up to date with infrastructural changes to the city. We use the city and we want the city to improve while we are rapidly urbanising. 
Image gallery
South Intersection of AHM Road with Ohio Street and Bibi Titi Mohammed Street

image: Moiz Husein | CC-BY-ND_black.png some rights reserved
Pavement condition, underunderutilisedutilised street life, traffic

image: Alma Ami | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
Barack Obama Drive intersection on AHM Road

image: Moiz Husein | CC-BY-ND_black.png some rights reserved
Traffic going into town from Selander Bridge

image: Moiz Husein | CC-BY-ND_black.png some rights reserved
Poorly maintained pedestrian section on Selander Bridge

image: Alma Ami Mpungwe | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
Technical drawings
North of Selander Bridge - AHM Road

image: Edward Mushi | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
North of Selander Bridge - AHM Road - Traffic Flows

image: Edward Mushi | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
South of Selander Bridge - AHM Road - Traffic Flows

image: Alma Ami | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
South of Selander Bridge - AHM Road - Traffic Flows

image: Alma Ami | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
Points of Improvement - crossings, pavement and vegetation

image: Alma Ami | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Where are we now
We’ve drawn up some maps to understand what is happening in the area and how it is being used. We have some aerial photographs describing the traffic flow during rush hour. We have spent a number of days walking up and down the 5km stretch to get a handle on the culture of the route.

We started a conversation with MHE. William Vangimembe Lukuvi, the current Minister of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development. He admitted that there is a new master plan to be published in the coming months but also said our best bet is working with LGAs, Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA) but more specifically Tanzania National Roads Authority (TanRoads) who are the largest stakeholders of Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road. 

We have  also reached out to an urban development specialist at the World Bank, who have done extensive research with students on the lack of public spaces in Dar es Salaam and who have funded a number of research projects with the Dar es Salaam Metropolitan Development Project; these are two organisations who we want to engage as co-funders. We also want to work with Publica and Gehl People who work on extensive public realm schemes for masterplans and new developments. There is extensive interest on the subject. We also have access to a generation who have seen the transition of Dar es Salaam and AHM Road with valuable information as there is no current protection for ‘listed’ buildings and monuments.
An indication of our team’s capacity:
60% expertise already found
10% materials / equipment already found
Finance: € 33,000
Our unique research method will set a great example for other Tanzanian cities and  African cities besides Dar es Salaam.

We have been exposed to great Western examples of intersections getting pedestrianised or making cities more people-focused but we want to create examples that suit our own city’s context. The funding will help us set up for a series of other projects and it will expose us to experts in the field who work predominantly in European cities but could guide our methodologies. It will help us improve the quality for the most important clients of the city: pedestrians.

  • Expertise
  • Printing
  • Subscriptions (digital maps, adobe, etc)
  • Website (domain, design)
  • Digital Map Access
  • Legal framework for Policy making
  • Materials
  • Company Registration
  • Office Space (6 months)
  • Surveying Staff
Skills: Planning & Management, Law & Politics, Financial advice
Planning and Management: 
Understanding how to divide tasks, setting deadlines and setting goals. A person/programme to guide us with single and multiple projects. 

Law and Politics:
Education in policy writing and policy making especially if we want new developments to contribute a percentage of their project for the public realm. 
Financial Advice: 
A costing guide for costing our proposals, and general research costing, long term advice on future projects. A full cost breakdown template for one project and a guide on how it could change for each project.
Stuff: Equipment & tools
We need surveying equipment to continue a more extensive research. With this material we will be able to create extensive reports. This material will be used for site recording and documenting life in the area of research. We are also conscious that the general public do not like to be recorded so camera’s and video cameras are not a priority.  

A4/A3 Clipboards
Measuring Tapes
Laser tape
Hats/ Hard Hats
Drone (and permission)
Camera (with security mount)
Video camera (with security mount)
Tally counters
Site Shoes / Walking shoes
Tracing paper
General Stationary: pens, pencils, Copic markers, ruler, eraser
White board


Access to computer software - Adobe
Access to digital maps so that the research can be accessible online and layers can be turned on and off.
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