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This content is taken from the UCL (University College London) , Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre & Njala University's online course, Development and Planning in African Cities: Exploring theories, policies and practices from Sierra Leone. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds Freetown is a beautiful city. But with regards to its topography, it is made up of hills, and it runs down through a valley right down to the coast. It is a coastal city. So based on the geography and the topography, the major challenges facing Freetown over the years can be public transportation and traffic management, waste management as a result of, of course, lots of problems which I’ll delve into later, and most importantly, again, water and sanitation problems.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second So a properly planned road network will increase economic activities because it will reduce time for doing basic things. That is one. Another thing, with water, of course you know in Africa the time people take to go and access water and actually do their chores is enormous. But with improved infrastructure like pipe borne water supply, it reduces time to do your chores at home. So time is money– that’s the common saying. So it boosts up economic activity, and it also triggers investors to come to the capital city and invest. It can lead to touristic activities, because waste virtually is unsightly to people coming around, even for those living within the city.

Skip to 1 minute and 53 seconds So a healthy community, or a healthy Freetown, will attract investors.

Skip to 2 minutes and 3 seconds For infrastructure to work for the urban poor, firstly, we have to focus on strengthening decentralisation. Once we strengthen decentralisation, firstly, by devolving some key functions to local council or the local governance structure, empower the local councils, like you empower the Freetown City Council, for instance, as a municipality. The central government empowers the Freetown City Council, and then everything will fall into place with proper planning.

Infrastructure in Freetown

Mr Horatio Gorvie, engineer for the Freetown City Council (FCC), discusses some of the challenges regarding infrastructure in Freetown.

He describes the most pressing infrastructure needs of the city, including the importance of a properly planned road network.

If you haven’t already, you can head to the Freetown interactive map and enjoy videos travelling along three of Freetown’s main roads.

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Development and Planning in African Cities: Exploring theories, policies and practices from Sierra Leone

UCL (University College London)

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