Imagined by Sasaki, the Kabul Urban Design Framework creates a vision of what the city can become. The project generates a set of guidelines that can transform the Afghan capital into a model of sustainable, equitable, and resilient development.
Commissioned by the Afghan Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, the Kabul Urban Design Framework consists of 3 main components: a Citywide Framework for urban development and growth, and corridor designs for two iconic roads: Dar ul-Aman Boulevard and Massoud Boulevard. These areas will become engines of urban and social regeneration, producing opportunities for millions of Afghans for generations to come.
The proposed master plan covers mainly the challenges that Kabul faces today, related to infrastructure, housing, mobility, and sustainability. Moreover, the framework tackles also with social aspects that can be altered once the physical features are in question. Urban fabric, women in Kabul, higher education, and cultural conservation are few of these rethought topics.
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Kabul is a city at the crossroads of cultures, ecological systems, and political currents, each of which has contributed to the identity of the city today. 20 years into building a new civil society, the opportunity for Kabul in this moment is immense. The Citywide Framework establishes a design-driven agenda for Kabul’s evolution at the metropolitan scale. The challenges are significant: over 70% of the city has developed informally, and its population has grown by over 2 million people in just the last 10 years. -- Sasaki
The Citywide Framework “establishes a vision that addresses the [challenging headlines of Kabul] while also positioning the city for the 21st Century”. Mainly, the adapted strategy consists of moving growth away from environmentally sensitive aquifers, restoring an agricultural belt, and establishing new locations for investment in education institutions and economic development zones. The guidelines include context-sensitive design matters, blending both the flexibility of on-site creations and rigid citywide rules. Finally, this approach ensures the integration of informal settlements into the city.
- Size: 395 square miles
- Status: design completed August 2018
- Disciplines: Planning and Urban Design, Architecture, Landscape Architecture
- Awards: Boston Society of Landscape Architects, Honor Award – Analysis & Planning; the PLAN AWARDS, Honorable Mention, Urban Planning Category; American Institute of Architects, Regional & Urban Design Award