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Addis Ababa’s Three New City Parks. Beginning Of Interest In Urban Spaces In Africa?

Updated: Jan 16

Africa | Cities | Ethiopia January 6, 2022


(Photo: Friendship Park, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)


Urban spaces e.g., squares, plazas, arcades, paved walkways, and open spaces, offer many important social, economic, and environment benefits to cities. Urban spaces are therefore crucial physical components of the city.


Despite the benefits of urban spaces, there seem to be disinterest and even distaste of urban spaces in many African countries. As such, generation of planned and well-furnished urban spaces is often not prioritized in urban development investments in many African countries. In such countries, urban design tends to emphasize individual buildings while spaces between the buildings are often neglected. It not therefore surprising that most available descriptions of cities in Africa are in terms of skylines and types of buildings especially skyscrapers.


Notwithstanding, recent inauguration of three brand new urban parks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is pleasant surprise and great news about urban spaces in Africa. The three new urban parks, namely. Entoto Park, Unity Park, and Friendship Park that were generated under the city’s beautification and greenery program, have ample outfitting that is spatially well organized and built.


For instance, Friendship Park that covers 30 hectares, and consists of both hard and soft spaces, is said to be equipped with an artificial lake, large square, restaurants, sports facilities, grass lawns, shrubs, trees, lamp posts, and paved walkways, among others.


One wonders if the new urban parks of Addis Ababa indicate beginning of interest in urban spaces in Africa.

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