Urban Development Program

Afghanistan’s political stability and development prospects fundamentally depend upon establishing security and cultivating the economic potential of the country’s urban settlements. At present, Afghanistan’s rapidly expanding urban areas are suffering from high degrees of insecurity, deficient infrastructure and poor governance. The goals of the government’s urban development strategy are to create a network of dynamic, safe, and livable urban centers; turn urban centers into economic growth hubs, cultural centers, and social inclusions centers; decentralize urban planning and establish participatory urban governance mechanisms.

Achieved (1/6): 16.8 Achieved (1/6): 16.8 %Partially achievedand on-going (3/6):49.5 %Partially achievedand on-going (3/6):49.5 %In process (1/6): 16.8 %In process (1/6): 16.8 %No Information(1/6): 16.8 %No Information(1/6): 16.8 %Partially achieved and on-going (3/6)Percentage: 49.5

– Improve the legal and regulatory framework, implement devolution of power, and strengthen the rule of law in cities

 PROGRESS: – In process.
  • The Urban Development National Priority Program (NPP) has been finalized and approved by the High Urban Council. The Urban NPP is fully operationalized and currently under implementation by the line ministries. The action plan and costing was prepared by the Ministry of Urban Developing and Housing. Urban Sector The Urban NPP was developed in alignment with SDG Goal 11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Led by the Ministry of Urban Development Housing (MUDH), as secretariat of the Urban Development Council, the design, development, consultations, and outreach, to ensure consistency and equitable representation of all interest groups in the Urban NPP was undertaken by MUDH, the Deputy Ministry of Municipalities (DMM), Independent Directorate of Local governance( IDLG), the Afghanistan Independent Land Authority (ARAZI), Capital Region Independent Development Authority (CRIDA) and Kabul Municipality (KM). National and sub-national government agencies were consulted throughout the design and development process and at important milestones to solicit specific feedback on policy components.
  • The new Urban Development and Housing Law was approved and published in Official Gazette No. 1278, on December 18, 2017. The Municipal Law has also been adopted. These regulate urban development affairs in order to make urban growth sustainable, efficient and conform to national and international standards. The aim of the law is to facilitate the provision of affordable housing, and encourage and protect private investors in the urban development and housing sectors.
  • Further legal and regulatory frameworks prepared, drafted or adopted include the following:
    • National Urban Policy prepared
    • Housing Policy prepared
    • Upgrading Policy prepared
    • Legal and regulatory framework for housing types, including single-family, multi-family, social housing developed.
    • Municipal Election Law revised (necessary to prepare for 2019 mayoral elections)
    • Internal review of Kabul Municipality law completed
  • The Citizen’s Charter is the government’s rural and urban national development program. Its urban component is overseen by the Independent Directorate for Local Governance. Neighborhoods hold elections to create community development councils, which then decide on development programs and projects in their vicinity, thus including citizen voices in the urban development process.

– Build urban infrastructure – principally transport and drainage
 PROGRESS: – In process.
  • Urban infrastructure development has been undertaken across Kabul city over the past few years. Under the Kabul Municipal Development Program, an ARTF funded project, 28 lanes, totaling over 7 kilometers (km), were paved and upgraded, while a drainage system of almost 15 km was installed, and a garbage collection system started. 9,000 residents of Kabul are benefiting from this project. Some 2,300 hectares have been upgraded to date. The project has built about 24 km of trunk roads, while upgraded areas have benefited from the construction of about 337 km of neighborhood roads, about 457.7 km of community drains and 25.73km of water supply pipes. Work has been executed to high standards, as the technical designs are subject to quality assurance and quality control procedures on par with international standards. To date, more than 530,000 people have benefited directly and over 200,000 indirectly, including students and staff of several schools and institutions of higher education. About three quarters of the beneficiaries are women and children. In addition, more than 1.5 million man-days of temporary employment have been generated from KMPD projects.
  • The Mumtaz Group has been contracted by the Urban Water Supply and Canalization Company to improve Kabul’s water supply. The $11 million project is the first of a three-phase project which will provide 10,000 families with clean water on tap.
  • The Emergency Economic Recovery Plan for the Capital will create income opportunities for women; build clinics, roads and schools; clean the Kabul River, build low cost housing and public transport – it will create more than 17 million days of work for Afghan men and women over a two-year period.
  • Work on the first ever metro bus project in Kabul started on 15 June 2017. The first phase will cover four kilometers from Baraki square to Sarai Shamali and is expected to be operational in 2018, providing easy, fast and comfortable transport for Kabul residents.

– Integrate cultural heritage into urban development plans;
 PROGRESS: – Achieved.
  • In April 2017, UNESCO co-organized with the governor of Herat a landmark conference on Tourism, Urban Planning and Heritage Management attended by major government stakeholders. As a direct result of the conference and its recommendations, the Office of the President drafted the following decree which was issued on October 2017: “On the restoration and preservation of historical, cultural heritage sites and monuments of the old city of Herat and preparation of the Herat Management Plan as a typical model for other historic cities in Afghanistan.” The main instructions in the decree included the following:
    • The Directorate for the Rehabilitation of Historical Cities was created within the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in substitution of the Department of Revitalization of Historic Cities at the Ministry of Information and Culture (MOIC).
    • The MUDH drafted a Comprehensive Management Plan to maintain the historical authenticity and architecture of the old city of Herat and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. The Ministry of Finance allocated funds to implement the plan.
    • MOIC created the Register of National Monuments, starting with Herat.
  • The Municipality was tasked with the day-to-day management of heritage properties and Independent Directorate for Local Governance with allocating the necessary funds for this to the Municipality.

– Upgrade urban neighborhoods, provide and enforce zoning rules, and promote affordable housing
 PROGRESS: – Partially achieved and on-going.
  • ]The MoUDH is in the process of establishing a zoning system and zoning ordinance.
  • [The following policies and procedures have been developed to achieve this deliverable:
    • Kabul Municipality laws, regulation and procedures are completed.
    • Draft of Housing policy is prepared.
    • Legal and regulatory framework for housing types, including single-family, multi-family, social housing is developed.
    • Detailed Nahia-level (neighborhood-level) development plans are prepared in harmony with the overarching city-regional plans.
  • The goal is to invest $3 billion in affordable housing. The government has devised national policies for Urban Development, Housing, and Urban Planning as well as over 80 detailed design for cities. Housing projects such the first phase of Khwaja Rawash, Emirates, and Khushal Khan, and the 60 blocks of Qasaba are completed. The first phase of Darul Aman Palace construction project has also been completed. Memorandums of understanding have been signed with China and Qatar to build 10,000 and 1000 residential units respectively, as well as with India to build 4,000 housing units in Nangarhar. These projects are currently in progress. Completed housing projects include the following:
    • 2021 housing units at Qasaba, Kabul
    • 3330 housing units at Qasaba, Kabul-Emaraat project
    • 312 housing units at Khshal khan, Kabul
    • 1116 housing units at Sanaye Ghaznawee, kabul
    • 1400 housing units at Banaye, Kabul
  • Measures have also been adopted to start a pre-fabricated construction industry. President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated Afghanistan’s first prefabricated housing factory on March 25th, 2018. The factory will help expedite the construction of schools, hospitals, buildings, universities and affordable houses across the country. The $11 million project will be funded by the Government of Afghanistan and is spearheaded by the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing. The plant will produce 300,000 cubic meters of prefabricated housing annually for various purposes.

– Certify and secure land tenure rights, improve urban services to the poor, and increase access to employment;
 PROGRESS: –  No information available.

– Promote mass economies, establish urban economic zones, and integrate urban hinterlands into metropolitan development planning
 PROGRESS: – In process.
  • Since 2015, the Afghan government has partnered with Sasaki, a US-based design firm and the World Bank, to create a framework and design for upgrading Afghanistan’s nine major cities. Sasaki has successfully developed a masterplan for Kabul city, and is now creating  master urban plans for eight other major cities in Afghanistan.
  • A ten-year strategic plan for Kabul Municipality has been developed.