Republic of the Congo: Integrating Urban Resilience into Poor Neighborhood Upgrading Activities in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire
Context and Objectives
With a population of 4.4 million, 64 per cent of which lives in urban areas, the Republic of Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa.
Efforts to manage, regulate and facilitate productive and inclusive urbanization have been inhibited by lack of effective urban planning, limited investment, and inadequate institutional capacity of key stakeholders at the national and local levels. This has resulted in a gradual deterioration of the living and working environment in the country’s main urban areas, with urban sprawl and land speculation displacing poor urban residents to areas unsuitable for settlement.
This project supported the World Bank-funded Urban Development and Poor Neighborhood Upgrading project, by integrating urban resilience in its design and implementation, and by building capacities/developing tools for central and local governments to be better prepared to disaster risks.
Community mapping activities on the ground have improved local capacities and networks to maintain and utilize risk information. A workshop was held in October 2018 with stakeholders from Brazzaville and Pointe Noire representing central and local governments, communities, and civil society organizations. The workshop shed light on the main objectives of the project and the data collection process. The data was then verified and published on the Open Street Map platform, therefore becoming open source knowledge. A second workshop was held in May 2019 to present this initiative, fostering local stakeholder relationships and elevating project visibility at the national level.
A report on Risk Assessment and Mitigation Measures was produced in early 2020, which includes the testing of 25 plans, which are combinations of infrastructure interventions to mitigate flooding, and tested against three scenarios varying according to three criteria: land use, climate, and economic growth. Each of these 25 plans was tested in the developed tool and recommendations are provided on the best cost-efficient plan.
Lessons learned from this project include the fact that a participatory framework for gathering risk data uncovers opportunities for collaboration, insight and growth. Another one is that data collection methodologies must be designed with users and impact in mind to gather clear, actionable insights and results.
Partnerships and Coordination
Key government counterparts included the Ministry of Large Scale Works and Urban Development and the municipalities of Brazzaville and Pointe Noire.
A short film on community mapping in poor neighbourhoods in Brazzaville is available here.
A Results In Resilience story on the Open Cities Africa initiative can be found here.
Window of Action
- Window 2
- 12/2017 - 03/2021