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Wars in Kabul and South Sudan

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At the end of Chapter 3 I described the key messages of the Mostar case, including the importance of a sound process (in institutional terms) of construction project management. The present chapter is also describing planning recovery from war, but there are two other themes. The first one is the role and general purposes of an urban planning system in the situation in which Kabul then was. The second one was the matter of urban design, particularly of models of housing districts in South Sudan. The government of South Sudan would expand ten towns in order to facilitate the post-war return of the population from the jungle and provide for their assembly in urban centres.

As I noted in Chapter 1, I visited Kabul in August 2002, at the request of the Crown Agents and the Afghanistan Assistance Coordination Authority (AACA) in order to report upon the present position and future needs regarding urban planning and management of the development process. This chapter notes that progress was being made in many areas, but that several matters of great strategic importance appeared to be neglected. I report what these matters are; and attempt to define and quantify them and cost desired action (at 2002 prices). The estimated expenditure was said to be fundable within resources immediately available to the international community, and budget reservations were tentatively made. The conclusion suggests that there was little sign of a coherent urban strategy, (notwithstanding several general reports which say all the right things.) The lack of a strategic direction may reflect reluctance to accept central leadership and central responsibility on the part of the international aid community. Alternatively, the problem may arise from the lack of urban planners (or similar experts) on the ground.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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