Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gaborone Planning?

Here a guy (of the planning variety, presumably) writes about the layout of Gaborone, described as unsustainable. He suggests that the none-too wide roads, hemmed in on all sides by houses in more or less large gardens cause lots of problems, eg traffic snarl-ups (which might explain my 40 minute wait for taxis the other day). 

Gabarone as a capital was only built in 1966 and later, and there are plot numbers rather than street numbers; now it is getting a bit crammed, but it still feels nice and spacious.  Everyone has a house and a garden, with greenery in it. Which probably explains why they did not think of parks as open spaces when they first planned it - everyone has their own little park, and a tree to sit under.

Of course what Gaborone needs to build new wide roads is a war. That's what sorted the problems in Germany, Britain, and many other European countries.  Is that what he suggests?  So the roads are not so good for cars. I don't see that as much of a problem. There is a (private) public transport system - so far I have tried it only once, but it seems ok. Why should everyone have a car? Ok, your own car can be air-conditioned in hot summers....

I bet he would like to go back to the drawing board and start again. And then what? In another 40-50 years someone else might go along and give out about the planning. In many countries (in places where a war did not rage) people live around the buildings rather than the buildings making way for that God, the motor car.

The comments on his blog are closed, so this is the only way of responding to it.


Mark Ellery said...

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