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Ng'ambo: Tuittakayo! Tarehe 8 & 9 Februari in Zanzibar

Ng'ambo: this is what we want! On 8 and 9 February, the TOS research team is organising an event in the Kisiwandui and Kisimamajongoo neighbourhoods in Ng'ambo, to conclude the process of research on assets and values of the area, taking place in the recent months. Th inhabitants of the area are consulted on their visions for the future of the this part of the buffer zone of the ‘Stone Town of Zanzibar’ World Heritage Site. The outcomes will form the basis of a number of tools for a heritage-based regeneration proposal.

You can follow the event via An expert workshop and stakeholders conference later in the week will take stock of the results reached and the steps forward will be discussed.

Together with the Department of Urban and Rural Planning of the Government of Zanzibar, UNESCO, City of Amsterdam and Stadsherstel Amsterdam NV, AAmatters has been involved from the conception.


The UNESCO Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes, adopted in 2011, proposes a comprehensive approach to urban regeneration, which addresses the need to better integrate and frame urban heritage conservation strategies within the larger goals of overall sustainable development, in order to support public and private actions aimed at preserving and enhancing the quality of the human environment. It suggests a landscape approach for identifying, conserving and managing historic areas within their broader urban contexts, by considering the interrelationships of their physical forms, their spatial organization and connection, their natural features and settings, and their social, cultural and economic values.

Zanzibar has been one of the cities with early exposure to HUL, cooperating with UNESCO in the development of the HUL approach and hosting two international expert workshops in 2009 and 2011. The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar has since then been keen to implement the HUL approach.

The project Ng’ambo | The Other Side | Heritage-Based Urban Regeneration has been established in 2013 through common efforts of UNESCO, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and a number of other partners. The project aims at putting the HUL approach to practice and create a learning exercise for Zanzibar and the HUL network of cities.

A pilot area has been selected to demonstrate and adapt the HUL approach to the situation of Zanzibar and East Africa. The area chosen is located in Ng’ambo, the buffer zone of Stone Town World Heritage property. It includes a variety of buildings and public spaces that is part of the Kisimamajongoo and Kisiwandui neighbourhoods and is bordering Michenzani.

The process of desktop, archival and field research, as well as community interviews, has started in December 2013 and will culminate in the community-based visioning event on 8 and 9 February 2014. During this event, the research output will be exhibited and presented. Participatory exercises will be conducted to jointly develop visions on how to conserve, regenerate and develop the area based on its economic, cultural (physical and intangible), social and natural values, characteristics and assets.

An International Expert Workshop, inclusive a Stakeholders Conference, is planned right after the visioning event, to evaluate the preceding phases and to develop recommendations for the next steps in the project.

The visions will serve as the basis and be translated into the following policy and planning tools:

  • Recommendations for the buffer zone of the ‘Stone Town of Zanzibar’ World Heritage Site in the Zanzibar Master Plan that is currently developed

  • Roadmap for housing models in the buffer zone

  • Ideas for socio-economic development in Ng’ambo

Concrete results will be developed in the form of:

  • A design and roadmap for realisation for an open space in Kisiwandui

  • A proposal to Hifadhi Zanzibar (a company that is locally being established following the model of Stadsherstel Amsterdam) to include a historic building in their portfolio for restoration and use for a mix of private and public functions

Feedback will be given to contribute to the further development of the UNESCO HUL approach:

  • Recommendations on community involvement

  • Recommendations on desktop, archive and field research

  • Recommendations on how to put the HUL approach into practice

Currently, in a parallel initiative by Department of Urban and Rural Planning DoURP, the Master Plan of the Zanzibar Town is being prepared. The Department has invited both teams to exchange and cooperate. As part of the Master Plan, DoURP wishes to create pilot sites where the integration of culture and heritage can be approached and tested as one key step towards implementing the HUL approach in upgrading N’gambo area as a part of Government’s objective to provide affordable and accessible housing to all.


The project’s first phase has been funded by the Government of Zanzibar and the Netherlands Fund-in-Trust of UNESCO. It is further supported by the Zanzibar Municipal Council (ZMC), Zanzibar Social Security Fund (ZSSF), the Swiss Association of Landscape Architects (SBLA), the City of Amsterdam and Stadsherstel Amsterdam NV.

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