Urgently needed: City physical planner, Republic of Uganda

Let me advertise some 20 highly lucrative jobs. Whoever gets one of them will be rewarded with long-term and social prestige.

TITLE: City Physical Planner (CPP) (20 posts).

LOCATION: The Republic of Uganda, East Africa.

BACKGROUND: Uganda recently (that is a couple of years back) designated 20 beautiful little towns to become cities. Ten of them have already had their city status bestowed upon them, and their residents are now very proud city dwellers, who can no longer pronounce the name of their little urban centres without adding the word “city”.

But, unlike our poor eastern neighbour, whose government (GoK) first insists on a town proving that it generates enough of its own revenue before it is accorded city status, our “cities” are first proclaimed, and then they can start begging the central government for money to become “operationalised”.

So the first 10 “cities” are soon making two years while still fighting the old districts they were carved from for office space and staff. The only thing they have in plenty are leaders — mayors, councillors and the like, who are proud country-folk without too much exposure to the running of modern cities.


There is very little evidence of physical planning visibly going on, yet, at this point in time, a highly creative climate-smart physical planning process is what would be driving the operationalisation of these “cities”.

Given the critical lack of money to recruit smart, qualified planners, the haphazard growth of slums might engulf the new cities. Already, wrangles are erupting over the (mis)use of areas previously preserved as green spaces in these areas.

DUTIES: On assumption of office, the City Physical Planner (CPP) will be required to immediately halt all physical developments in his/her city of operation, conduct a study not lasting longer than 30 days and then design a comprehensive (land use) climate-smart plan for the city for presentation to the city council not later than 90 days later; that is 120 from the date of assumption of office.

Thereafter, the CPP will oversee and supervise all the physical developments in the city which will include but not be limited to the construction of private and public buildings, roads, development and maintenance of public utilities, green spaces, residential estates, social infrastructure (schools, health centres, etc) and amenities, review lease policies and fees as well as coordinate the planning process with the neighbouring districts.

Above all, the CPP must design the city’s transport circulation system with a road network properly served by charging points for tomorrow’s reality of electric mobility.

DURATION OF CONTRACT: The contract of the CPP shall last 60 months and shall be renewable only once upon the satisfaction of the city council with the CPP’s performance.

QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants who possess a higher degree in urban/physical planning from a reputable university, with a demonstrable appreciation of the requirements of limiting carbon emissions and mitigating climate change impacts, should submit their detailed proposal/execution plan to the Mayor of the specific city they are interested in not later than January 31, 2023.

SALARY: Don’t be silly! If we indicated a salary then the CPP jobs would all go to some lazy nephews and a few nieces of the mayors. You are supposed to weave your remuneration into the whole execution plan. These new cities have a minimum of 100 square miles each. Just ensure that your company and only your company is qualified to manage a few of those square miles.

Buwembo is a Kampala-based journalist. E-mail:[email protected]

Source:  The East African

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