Open Sessions

SOU 17 - Overcoming the loss of urban green spaces in Africa

22 Nov

22 November

9:30 to 12:30

Venue: Rabat


Johannesburg City Parks and zoo

Tel: (011) 712-6600




The conversation on overcoming the loss of urban green spaces in Africa is not only timely and topical but crucial for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda which asserts the importance of public space in general in the functioning and success of cities. Looking at selected African countries such as Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Somalia, it is stated that less than 10% coverage of green spaces exists in the cities of these countries (Mensah, 2014, MaConnachie, 2008). Furthermore, it was observed that per capita green space of some African cities such as Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt, and Luanda in Angola fall below 1m squared. The declining nature of urban green spaces coupled with the fast growing pace of African cities make it necessary and tenable to take critical measures now to sustain urban green spaces in Africa’s physical landscape which is one of the main targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 (sustainable cities and communities). These measures include cities develop urban land policies to conserve green spaces, avoiding undue privatization of green spaces, controlling the effects of climate change on such spaces, developing strong intercity partnerships to facilitate easy transfer of ideas and lessons on green spaces, and strengthening public-private partnerships with university led research and partnerships given much attention. This is core to achieving the New Urban Agenda; advancing the implementation of SDG 11;7 which states: “by 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, particularly for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities.” and realising the aspiration of Agenda 2063 of a prosperous Africa based on  “inclusive growth and sustainable development”.  




The thematic session will comprise of three main moments of discussions, debates and exchange with audiences and resolutions and recommendations.

  1. Nature and challenges of urban green spaces in Africa
  2. Integrating the environment in urban planning and management
  3. State-Private Sector- CSO alliance in greening cities and economies across Africa
  4. Community led City green space inventory and assessment tool
  5. Discussion
  6. Panel discussion: Insights and challenges of urban green spaces in Africa
  7. Panel discussion closing remarks


Parallel Sessions