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Site Selection for the National Capital

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SITE SELECTION FOR THE NATIONAL CAPITAL

Criteria for the National Capital Site

Within the 6475 km2 Study Area centred on the existing Dodoma town, there are certain basic characteristics that must be considered and evaluated with respect to the development of a new National Capital. These are:

Area Required — Area requirements for the principal uses (residential, commerciai, industrial, government and open space), for a city of 350,000 population would be in the neighbourhood of 8,000 to 10,000 hectares. There are several locations within the Study Area where the topography is suitable for development of this magnitude, with additional lands available for further contiguous expansion if necessary.

Transportation Requirements — The new Capital should be easily accessible to all parts of Tanzania, and should be connected to the international air transportation system. The new Capital should be closely related to the country's main traffic routes, both road and rail There should be opportunity for the development of an airport of international standard.

Relationship of Existing Population — The main concentration of population is in the existing town of Dodoma, which is the only urban centre in the Study Area, it will be directly affected to a greater or lesser degree, no matter where the new Capital is iocated within the Study Area.

Socio-Economic Infrastructure — Dodoma District is located within an economically depressed area of the country. The development of a new capital within the Study Area should be sited so as to stimulate economic activity for the Region as a whole. The concept of Ujamaa is well established in Dodoma District and lends a degree of stability to the rural settlement pattern.

Accepting the foregoing, a detailed physical examination of the Study Area was carried out, and the results are recorded in Technical Supplement No. 2, Natural Resources. The following specific criteria were used to evaluate urban suitability within the Study Area:

Climate           — to select areas with pleasant climatic conditions.

Hydrology      — to avoid aquifer recharge areas and flood plains.

Physiography — to avoid unsuitable terrain.

Soils               — to avoid thin rocky soils and heavy sterile areas, and to retain good vegetation where this occurs.

Wildlife           — to avoid unnecessary disturbance to animals

These factors were examined with regard to economic considerations, the creation of a pleasant urban environment, and the need to preserve the best land in the region for agricultural purposes.

Identification and Evaluation of Potential Sites

Based on the natural resources studies outlined above, six potential sites for the new capital were identified. These are: Dodoma (expansion), Ihumwa, Hombolo, Bihawana, Meia Meia and Ikowa.

The locations of these sites are shown on Plate No. B1. In order to rationalize the site selection process, a site selection chart with a point system was developed to evaluate the relative costs and benefits of the six sites. Eight major factors were identified as follows:

A sample of the chart used in the evaluation process is shown below.

SITE SELECTION CRITERIA

1. Natural Environment

  1. Existence of good vegetation.
  2. Integration with natural features.
  3. Variety of wildlife.
  4. Orientation for climate.
  5. Presence of surface water.
  6. Protection of aquifer.
  7. Existence of good agricultural soils.
  8. Orientation to views, etc.
  9. Enhancement of natural environment.
                                                             Average Score

                                                             Weighted Score

2. Development Suitabifity

  1. Deep well-drained soils.
  2. Moderate slopes.
  3. Even land surface.
  4. Well defined catchments.
  5. Good surface drainage.
  6. Least chance of polluting environment.
                                                             Average Score

                                                             Weighted Score

3. Location Accessibility

  1. Road
  2. Rail
  3. Bicycle/Pedestrian
  4. To existing Dodoma
  5. To local development
  6. To region/country
                                                             Average Score

                                                             Weighted Score

4. Capital City Landscapes

  1. Approaches,
  2. Natural Setting
  3. Vistas
  4. Integration with natural features
  5. Aesthetic quaiities
  6. Capital City image
                                                             Average Score

                                                             Weighted Score

5. Social Impact

  1. Development activities/services
  2. (Minima) community disruption
                                                             Average Score

                                                             Weighted Score

6. Implementation/Start-up

  1. Airport
  2. Road access
  3. Rail access
  4. Minimal existing deveiopment
  5. Labour force accommodation
  6. Infrastructure availability
  7. Ease of phasing
                                                             Average Score

                                                             Weighted Score

Many items on the 'Cost' side of the equation were easy to assess objectively as were such categories as expansion potential. In terms of benefits however, it was recognized that many items could be assessed only subjectively, for instance capital city image or social impact. These factors, were carefully considered in the evaluation of the sites and their relative importance was established by the development of a weighting system.

The major factors outlined above were sub-divided into numerous sub-categories so as to make the system as comprehensible as possible. These were evaluated out of a possible maximum score of 10 points per category. This process, despite its apparent accuracy, was not an exact indicator of the suitability of any site for development, it appeared however a simple system for quantifying a wide range of opinions, both objective and subjective, of personnel on the consultant team and in the Capital Development Authority. As such, it provided a reasonable indicator as to which sites had the most favourable combination of factors for development suitability. Those with the highest scores combined low cost and high amenity.

Based on this analysis, it became apparent that the Bihawana, Meia-Meia, and Ikowa sites were not suitable for urban development. In the case of Bihawana, the site was considered to be too remote from main transportation routes and too difficult for provision of water. The Meia- Meia site is located in one of the best remaining stands of trees in the region and thus provides a very important water-shed protection function for the Makutapora Basin. The Ikowa site would impinge on some of the better agricultural soils in the sub-region which, with the full development of the irrigation plans will provide a significant quantity of vegetables. In addition, the scenery to the west is not stimulating, and expansion potential is limited.

The following is a summary of the site selection process for Dodoma, ihumwa and Hombolo, showing Ihumwa as rating the highest.

SUMMARY — SITE SELECTION PROCESS

Team Dodoma Expansion fhumwa Hombolo
1 18.4 19.6 17.5
2 17.1 23.7 14.9
3 20.5 22.2 19.4
4 21.8 22.0 15.9
5 16.4 16.3 14.5
Totals 94.2 103.8 82.2

The Seiection of Dodoma

Notwithstanding the fact that Ihumwa was selected by the matrix system previously described, further investigation of the start-up difficulties on a new site, away from a presently established urban settlement, ultimately gave an edge to development of the city of Dodoma itself.

Dodoma with its already established population of 45,000 people sits at the centre of an important road and rail network and it already has a piped water supply drawn from a location likely to remain the main source of supply well into the future. Perhaps most important of all, even should a new townsite be developed nearby, that is to say within 30 kilometres, Dodoma would undoubtedly continue to expand and the Capital Development Authority and Government would undoubtedly face a parallel series of infrastructure costs.

One drawback to Dodoma, however, is the low standard of much of the recent housing particularly in the squatter areas and the rather untidy state of the old town centre. These factors can be overcome and investigations lead to the opinion that the costs of improvements and the installation of appropriate services will be less than the initial costs involved in commencing a new town on a virgin site. The plus side of the cost equation is reinforced having in mind the fact that these improvements and services will have to be undertaken in Dodoma in any event.

During the course of these investigations and the assembly of all the data necessary before detailed planning commenced, consideration was given to the form a new city might take. This form, in large measure, is dependent on the public transportation system likely to be required to serve a city of from 300,000 to 400,000 people.

Parallel investigations were therefore undertaken into the roads and transportation network using theoretical models based on rectilinear, radial and linear plan forms and special note was made of conditions prevailing in other cities of similar size.

These studies led to the development of a city comprised of a series of residential communities, in theory approximately two kilometres in diameter, linked to the central business district, Government area and industrial sites by a public transportation corridor. The big advantage of the system being that expansion beyond a population of say 350,000 could easily be effected.

Not only did this system hold considerable promise from the point of view of providing convenient and economicaf public transport, which is considered a first essential, but it allowed great flexibiiity to "fit" the urban form into the landscape and utilize to the full the interesting sites selected for development. The system, in conceptual form is shown applied to the Dodoma, Ihumwa and Hombolo sites on Plates B2, B3, and B4.

The concept for each site had to have special regard for the provision of services, particularly sewerage which is so closely dependent on the existing drainage pattern, and also on the existing road and rail network. In this latter regard it was vital to ensure that the internal system of communications tied in closely with the regional and national network. This is more difficult in the case of Homboio than in respect of Dodoma and Ihumwa and additional transportation costs would certainiy be entailed in respect of the development of this particular site.

Taking into account all the above factors for the capital city it became clear that the city structure could be adapted to the conditions of any of the three selected sites. Each site had its outstanding aesthetic qualities and each could generate a city character different from the others. In the site selection process consideration was given to the impact of each individual site and its ability to contribute to the quality of the city as the Capital of Tanzania. In each site an attempt was made to use these qualities to create and enhance the capital city image, yet keeping in total harmony with the hills, plains and lakes of the wider landscape.

The Dodoma site proved almost equally appropriate with those of Hombolo and Ihumwa in all respects and having in mind the difficulties reviewed earlier, regarding a completely virgin site, the case for expanding Dodoma was conclusively proved. In the long term it was also recognized that the ihumwa site could in fact form a major expansion area for Dodoma and that a linear city having a population of possibly one million could be created along the northern siopes of the east-west hill chain.



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Copyright: Project Planning Associates Limited, Toronto, Canada, directed by Mr. Macklin Hancock and recipient "The Government of Tanzania, Capital Development Authority under the auspices of Mr. George Kahama.".