Ethiopian in areb countrues in many terms the growth of a city is defined by its infrastructure such as roads and buildings and the social and economic advancements these infrastructures bring in to the people living in the city. The current city council of Addis Ababa, a city that emerged out of decades of mismanagement by successive city councils, is pushing itself to its limits in an attempt to improve the city’s infrastructure including the messy transport system and housing shortages for thousands of its ill-sheltered and unsheltered inhabitants. Signs of promising road constructions and housing projects can be seen everywhere. Disturbingly though the city is denied of green areas both in the form of city parks, recreation areas and zoos.
Trees and shades are becoming rare and impossible to find; and almost none of the new high rising buildings crowding the city have any plans for green areas in and around them. Ironically though several of the city master plans developed and revised over the last few decades are not devoid of ideas for city parks, green roundabouts and even zoos.
On March 22 this year Dr Kumlachew Yeshitila, Head of Ecosystem Planning and Management at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Buildings, Construction and City Development (EiABC) of the Addis Ababa University presented a research paper at the Ghion Hotel entitled ‘Green Areas and Parks in Addis Ababa’ at a public debate organized by Forum For Social Studies (FSS) in collaboration with the British Council. Globally the notion is that, and it is also maintained by Dr. Kumelachew, green areas benefit societies and the environment by providing clean air, maintaining biodiversity, helping cities build cheaper and long lasting drainage systems, and keeping down the heat during dry seasons. Unfortunately that is not true for Addis Ababa. “The per capita distribution of green areas and parks in Africa’s urban cities is 7 square meters, but Addis Ababa only has 0.3 square meter distribution of green areas and parks,” said Dr. Kumelachew.