·       Site Area Description

Awka Capital Territory – ACT – The Capital Territory covers a land area of 400 square kilometer or 10 kilometer radius from Amawbia Junction. And the ACT is bounded by the following coordinates:

The Capital Territory consists of six (6) Local Government Areas (LGAs): Anaocha, Awka North, Awka South, Dunukofia, Njikoka and Orumba North

·       Purpose of Master Plan

The purpose of the proposed ACT Master Plan document is to set forth the framework for more detailed future planning steps including the rezoning of individual parcels. Accordingly, the plan should provide the long-range vision for the planning and development of the areas by describing its key components including: guiding principles, major land uses and densities, transportation, infrastructure, open space and parks, urban design framework and proposed development packages.

·       Vision and Program

Awka Capital Territory Development Area is intended to become a world class multi nuclei city made up of comprehensively planned communities offering a range of land uses including a variety of residential neighborhoods, retail commercial in several forms and types, industrial areas that generate new jobs and a generous open space and parks network.

The General Plan is to be based on a “corridor and wedges” concept which calls for development to be concentrated along the major corridors of growth radiating out from the old city of Awka on major transportation spines. These are existing spines that offer great opportunity as well as new transportation spines to be introduced based on projected growth pattern. The wedges, then, are to be spaces (satellite towns) between the corridors, for which the General plan would propose predominantly low density residential and rural-type development.

Development will be phased over approximately fifteen years. At full build-out, the program is expected to include: number parks and number open space, number homes (Neighborhood), number lifestyle centre (Urban Node), number large format retail (Urban Node), number light industrial, and number neighborhood commercial

·        Sustainability Strategy

The Master Plan should be guided by a number of principles that contribute to the long term environmental, social and economic sustainability of the Awka Capital Territory Development Area. Specific areas of focus should include:

1. Appropriate Location of the Cities

2. Environmental Protection & Restoration

3. Quality and Affordable Housing

4. Alternative Transportation

5. Jobs

6. Waste and Storm Water Management

7. Commitment and Civic Responsibility

·        Community Benefits

1.    In light of the proposed sustainability focus, it is expected that a number of benefits will accrue within and to the surrounding community. These include many of the needs that the community would have identified and those that are the specific mandates of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority – ACTDA:

2.    Integrated multi-use planned development

3.    Accelerated infrastructural development of the Awka Capital Territory

      – Upgraded street network and road connections

– Upgraded utility infrastructure network

– Transit-supportive densities and street patterns

4.    New retail and other services

5.    Quality and Affordable housing options

6.    Sidewalks and street crosswalks

7.    Trail system

8.    Open space system

9.    Preservation of environmentally sensitive Lands.

10. Multi-use parks and other public spaces

–       Playgrounds

–       Potential for community and recreational space

11. High quality street scape and landscaping in the Urban Node

Awka Capital Territory (ACT) Master Plan

The Terms of Reference:

Background

The move to produce a Master Plan for the Awka Capital Territory is designed to help Government and the Private Sector improve the quality of life, productivity and sustainability of the new cities. The project’s aims include partnerships between all levels of government to promote high quality urban design, improve the quality of open space and public spaces, address high levels of car dependency and traffic congestion and help cities tackle the challenges of the natural environment.

A Master Plan is achieved by an urban design process whose main essence is about the public realm or how we create attractive spaces that support various land uses, commercial activities and make cities functional and attractive places to live. It’s how we shape the experience, character and feel of a city so that all the parts work together and make a city distinctive, attractive and commercially successful.

An urban design master plan should provide a common vision for the future.

Awka Capital Territory Development Area (in general)

The Master Plan will provide a vision for the development of the Awka Capital Territory Development Area, an understanding of its use patterns, ownership, and the aspiration and preferences of all owners, stakeholders and users. The Master Plan will identify precincts which have distinct character and purpose and make proposals as to how those may be archived. For instance, the Master Plan will identify opportunities for the development of the Central Business district (CBD) through an incrementally staged plan to guide development and provide investor certainty over the next 20 years. The Master Plan will overlay a series of networks to identify opportunities for efficient connectivity, usability, sustainability, social inclusion and economic benefits of the Awka Capital Territory Development Area for all residents and visitors.

These networks include:

• Movement by private and public transport, pedestrians and bicycle

• The public realm, including streets, parks, malls, and open spaces

• Infrastructure such as ring roads, arterial roads, bridges, utility services and social infrastructure

• Potential tourist networks and facilities to make explicit the stories of Awka Capital Territory Development Area

• Land uses such as office, retail, tourism, residential and community

• Landscaping character.

Existing Capital City of Awka (in particular)

The intention is to bring together existing work (Improvement Strategy done by UN Habitat), some new work (urban design audit; retail strategy; landscape strategy; and spatial mapping to identify relationships between movement, land uses and land values in the existing Capital City of Awka) as well as stakeholder consultation. Then there will integration process to the whole of the ACT systematic yet massive infrastructure upgrade, re-certificatation process to ensure safety and environmental standard.

Process:

Some of the questions we at ACTDA aim to answer include:

• What is the projected population growth of Awka Capital Development Territory Area in the next 20 to 50 years?

• How can we make Awka Capital Development Territory Area a more livable area that is attractive for residents, workers and tourists?

• How do we provide a blueprint that gives greater certainty to property owners, developers and investors planning for future development and growth?

• How do we come up with a blueprint for the city’s growth over the next 20 years that brings alive the city’s precincts and links to areas in the surrounding ‘zone of influence’, including the 3-Arm Zone – the seat of government, Agulu Lake Promenade, transport corridors leading away and into the city, a better sense of arrival in the CBD, public green spaces and out to surrounding important places

• What other developments are on ongoing in the area that we should take account of?

• What are local, national and international trends in how we live and shop that could guide retail, residential, commercial and tourism precincts?

• How can we envision precincts that anchor the new cities and revitalize the existing city and define the character of different areas, drawing heavily on the region’s unique heritage and location?

• How do we knit together all the other studies that have looked at Awka Capital Development Territory Area’s growth, such as public transport, pedestrian and bicycle access; landscaping and green spaces; interaction of building frontages with the public realm; and the parking strategy;

• What issues do we need to take account of, such as honouring our culture and heritage, ensuring public green spaces, meeting the challenges of our weather, and incorporating the needs of an ageing population and the disabled, changing lifestyles and demographics and government policy?

What will happen with the outcomes?

A key element of the Master Plan project is participatory planning, so when the Awka Capital Territory Master Plan is presented to the Executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief (Dr.) Willie M. Obiano, for approval, it would have been endorsed by its stakeholders and is owned as a common blueprint for the capital territory’s development over the next 20 years.

Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA) will provide an implementation plan with list of recommendations, separating those that are directly covered by the ACT Master Plan Terms of Reference and those that are the mandate of other agencies.

At the conclusion of the public consultation period, a draft Master Plan will be provided to the Board of Awka Capital Territory Development Authority for approval, and then made public for final stakeholder feedback.

The master plan will then underpin future Government and planning and decision-making…. however, it will be the people of the state – “Ndi Anambra” – who have to invest (emotionally and financially) in making the master plan a reality.

KEY ESSENCE OF AWKA CAPITAL TERRITORY MASTER PLAN

–         to strategically guide development with the Awka Capital Territory

–         to facilitate rapid economic growth by attracting investments

–         to create employment, and

–         to position Anambra State as a commercial hub of Africa.

MASTER PLANNING GUIDE

1.    What is The Purpose of This Guide?

The purpose of the master planning guide is to serve as a reference tool for planners, government officials, and potential developers who will work with the new master planning process. The guide should aim to address three major questions:

– What are the main steps of Awka Capital Development Territory Area planning process?

– How does the Capital Development Territory Area planning process work?

– How does it differ from the existing adhoc planning effort in Anambra State?

2.    What is the General Plan?

The General Plan for Awka Capital Territory is to be based on a “corridor and wedges” concept which calls for development to be concentrated along the major corridors of growth radiating out from the old city of Awka on major transportation spines. These are existing spines that offer great opportunity as well as new transportation spines to be introduced based on projected growth pattern. The wedges, then, are to be spaces (satellite towns) between the corridors, for which the General plan would propose predominantly low density residential and rural-type development.

3.    What are Master Plans, Sector Plan and Functional Master Plans?

–       Master Plans are comprehensive plans for the future development of generally one or more planning areas within the Awka Capital Territory Development Area. These areas will constitute the multi-nuclei cities proposed as a model whose boundaries will be determined by the Awka Capital Development Authority.

Master Plans are more detailed and contain more specific land use recommendations than the General Plan, but build upon its broad land use framework. Master Plans typically include statement of planning policies, goals and objectives, and a description of planning area. Master Plans generally address such community concerns as housing, storm water management, historic preservation and pedestrian and trail systems, as well as such environmental factors as air, water, and noise pollutions, and agricultural lands. Plans also include maps outlining recommended land use, zoning, transportation facilities (mass transit, roads, and other facilities), and recommend general locations for such public facilities as parks, markets, schools, hospitals, governmental quarters, police and fire stations, etc.

–       Sector Plans are even more detailed than master plans, focusing on well defined, smaller areas (precincts) such as central business districts (CBDs) or transportation nodes. Sector plans; typically have more flexible zoning regulations. The design guidelines in sector plans particularly play critical role in determining the development character the precincts.

–       Functional Plans cover such functions as circulation systems (highways, mass transit, airports and bikeways), parks and recreation and environmental systems (watershed protection, agricultural preservation), and such public services as fire and police stations and libraries.

4.    How are The Proposed Master Plan Different from the Existing Plans and Sector Plan in Anambra State?

The Proposed Mater Plan is more systematic and more focused than the existing ways of planning. The Proposed Master Plan is notable for the following qualities:

–       Master Plans focus on a wide range of land use and regulatory issues related to community character, community building, revitalization, and economic competitiveness as part of the effort to address land use and zoning concerns.

–       While existing planning practices address immediate circumstances, Master Plans are more oriented to the near and mid-term and have a 10- to 15- year outlook.

–       Master Plans are more implementation oriented. Typically, a set of short-term actions and strategies needed generally over a series of 5- year period to implement visions and recommendations are included in each city master plan.

–       Master Plans place greater emphasis on the resources and strategies needed to make plan recommendations a reality

–       Master Plans are developed with inputs from multi-disciplinary planning teams permanently assigned to the planning area. The planners work with the local geographical area on a daily basis. The teams engage in ongoing data collection, community involvement, planning activities, assistance with local development projects, and eventual coordination of planning implementation issues once the Master Plans are completed.

–       Master Plans are developed with advisory input from a diverse set of stakeholders such as Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC)

5.    How is a Master Plan Prepared and Adopted?

–       Phase 1: Undertake Detailed Data Collection, Technical Analyses, Map Preparation and Community Information Gathering. (6 Months)

The first six months of any master planning effort is dedicated to detailed data collection, technical analysis, and map preparation.

–       Phase 2: Draft Purpose and Outreach Strategy Report.  (1-2 Months)

This includes examining the existing condition of the proposed planning area. (This aspect would be gathered mostly from the Structure Plan by UN Habitat conducted in 2009). Examine the changes that have taken place since the work on Structure Plan to determine the key issues or themes that the proposed Master Plan will focus on. Then, outline game plan for community and intergovernmental agency involvement in the master planning process. [A preliminary draft of the Purpose and Outreach Strategy Report is issued to the Planning Board – Awka Capital Development Authority – ACDA.   At this juncture, ACDA may explore the necessity for the formation of a Master Plan Advisory Group (MPAG) to review a preliminary draft of the Purpose and Outreach Strategy Report].

–       Phase 3: Finalize the Purpose and Outreach Strategy Report; Present to Planning Board (Awka Capital Territory Development Authority) for their Approval, after review and recommendations by the MPAG. (2 Months)

With this approval, a consortium of technical staff representative from different pertinent governmental Ministries, Departments and Agencies is composed to form a Technical Working Group (TWG).

–       Phase 4: Identify Alternative Actions and Draft Master Plan Recommendations. (6 Month)

After the Purpose and Outreach Strategy Report is approved, the most intensive phase of the master plan work effort begins in earnest. The Master Planners meet frequently with the MPAG and the TWG to gather input and develop alternative actions and recommendations for the master plan.

–       Phase 5: Finalize Draft Plan. (2-3 Months)

A period of time is allowed for the MPAG and the TWG to review and comment on the master planner’s recommendations for the Awka Capital Territory Development Area. The master planners may sponsor joint MPAG/TWG meetings, community workshops or surveys and topical issue paper so that the discussion of complex recommendations is complete and balanced.

–       Phase 6: Hold Planning Board Public Hearing and Workshops. (2 Months)

ACDA will hold public hearings and workshops on the Draft Plan, prior to publishing this document as the Planning Board’s (Final) Draft which will then be issued to the Executive Governor of the State. The public hearing must be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation. Copies of the Public Hearing (Preliminary) Draft Plan to the Executive Governor, to all municipalities and are made available to the public for review.

–       Phase 7: Approval and Adoption of Master Plan (details of this process and the sequence of events to be determined in consultation with the Executive Governor of Anambra State).

–       Phase 8: Monitor Master Plan Recommendations.  

Once the master plan is approved and adopted the Planning Board (ACTDA), in constant consultations with the Master Planners, will assume a formal role as planning coordinators working on the implementation issues of the Master Plan and regulatory activities  on a regular basis.