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Forget about studying Medicine, Law and IT. Stop playing lottery. Don’t even join the NRM. If you wanna get rich, move to Kampala and become a Property Developer.

The land bonanza is in full swing. Schools with long traditions and attractive locations are being razed to the ground to make room for developments of Saudi royals who later loose interest and rather buy A380 superjumbos. And, more seriously, cemeteries are being ploughed over because we need some more apartments in the trenches of Lugogo Bypass.

At the same time, housing projects in and around Kampala are spreading like Ebola. If you are abroad for kyeyo, have a lot of money to invest and don’t trust your relatives, your options are endless:

You like the look of recently constructed buildings at Makerere? Go for Uganda’s One-stop Shop (also on offer: sugar, oil and soap). You prefer to join the race for land in Lubowa? If you fancy Lake Victoria in the background, these guys might be your choice; down in the valley, you can go Bauhaus. The same developer went all Ugandan further down South, in Kakungulu, where uninspired Architecture seems to be the rule of the game. By the way: This is also the place where Africa’s answer to Bangalore is under construction, offering Uganda’s academic fraternity the ultimate chance to end up as call centre agents. If you find Kakungulu too far away from Kabira’s fitness studio and you like sunsets, post-modernist Architecture and a lot of retaining walls, how about this.

Hey, and of course you can always become Rio Ferdinand’s neighbour.

So is all of this good news for Kampala?

The housing boom points to a growing middle class and at the same time reflects local and foreign investor’s rising confidence in Uganda’s economic growth. It brings a lot of kyeyo money into the country. And it apparently answers the dream of many Ugandans to live in organized environments.

…and no
Some of the currently proposed developments (such as the US$ 300m Naguru-Nakawa Estate project of the Comer brothers) are so large in scale that they fatally remind of urban crimes committed by European cities in the 1960’s and 70’s. Some of them went so horribly wrong that they had to be demolished or totally refurbished in the 90’s. Key mistake: massive project, one developer, one Architect. Result: dead cities.

Since then a lot has happened and plenty of new concepts have been invented. A very interesting one is Amsterdam’s Java Eiland: massive project, one developer, many young Architects (and almost no design regulations). While each individual building certainly deserves a lot of criticism, the overall ‘urban image’ of this new city is diverse, colourful and interesting. That is more than most projects of this scale could ever claim.

One Comment

    • steeka
    • Posted Thursday, 20th December, 2007 at 23:06
    • Permalink


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By R.I.P. « kampala.ver on 10 Aug 2008 at 10:42 am

    […] Organized Environments is all about the pros and cons of Kampala’s booming property developing industry. […]

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