The government says it has began the process of urban renewal and re-designing of old city and towns to come up with state of art infrastructure as part of efforts to compliment President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision of attaining an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

While the cabinet has already approved the design of a new city and the new parliament to be located in Mount Hampden, just outside Harare, the government has also hinted that it is working with local authorities towards the renewal of old towns and cities with old suburbs like Mbare being prioritised.

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde July Moyo said the smart city idea has been largely inspired by the growing population and high demand of accommodation.

“All the modern thinking about the new smart cities have inspired this urban renewal idea and we are planning for the future, giving room for future,” he said.

Minister Moyo added that the expansion and re-design of cities will help solve the accommodation crisis, citing that government has over 150 000 applications on the housing waiting lists.

“First priority will be given to tenants whose apartments will be affected in the renewal process. High-rise buildings will be the way to go and we seek to maximise space usage. At least 110 000 hectares of land has been under utilised through the old urban designs,” he said.

According to government, the urban renewal plan will be a joint partnership of both the public and private sector, while employment will be created in line with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision.