Cities in Afghanistan have been rapidly urbanized; however, many parts of these cities have been developed with no detailed land use plan or infrastructure. In other words, they have been informally developed without any government leadership. The new government started the In-situ Upgrading Project in Kabul to upgrade roads, the water supply network system, and the surface water drainage system on the existing street layout in 2002, with the financial support of international agencies. This project is an appropriate emergency improvement for living life, but not an essential improvement of living conditions and infrastructure problems because the life expectancies of the improved facilities are as short as 10–15 years, and residents cannot obtain land tenure in the unplanned areas. The Land Readjustment System (LRS) conducted in Japan has good advantages that rearrange irregularly shaped land lots and develop the infrastructure effectively. This study investigates the effects of the In-situ Upgrading Project on private investment, land prices, and residents’ satisfaction with projects in Kart-e-Char, where properties are registered, and in Afshar-e-Silo Lot 1, where properties are unregistered. These projects are located 5 km and 7 km from the CBD area of Kabul, respectively. This study discusses whether LRS should be applied to the unplanned area based on the questionnaire and interview responses of experts experienced in the In-situ Upgrading Project who have knowledge of LRS. The analysis results reveal that, in Kart-e-Char, a lot of private investment has been made in the construction of medium-rise (five- to nine-story) buildings for commercial and residential purposes. Land values have also incrementally increased since the project, and residents are commonly satisfied with the road pavement, drainage systems, and water supplies, but dissatisfied with the poor delivery of electricity as well as the lack of public facilities (e.g., parks and sport facilities). In Afshar-e-Silo Lot 1, basic infrastructures like paved roads and surface water drainage systems have improved from the project. After the project, a few four- and five-story residential buildings were built with very low-level private investments, but significant increases in land prices were not evident. The residents are satisfied with the contribution ratio, drainage system, and small increase in land price, but there is still no drinking water supply system or tenure security; moreover, there are substandard paved roads and a lack of public facilities, such as parks, sport facilities, mosques, and schools. The results of the questionnaire and interviews with the four engineers highlight the problems that remain to be solved in the unplanned areas if LRS is applied—namely, land use differences, types and conditions of the infrastructure still to be installed by the project, and time spent for positive consensus building among the residents, given the project’s budget limitation.
The global trend indicates that more and more people live and will continue to live in urban areas. Today cities are expanding both in physical size and number due to the rapid population growth along with sprawl development, which caused the cities to expand beyond the growth boundary and exerting intense pressure on environmental resources specially farmlands to accommodate new housing and urban facilities. Also noticeable is the increase in urban decay along with the increase of slum dwellers present another challenge that most cities in developed and developing countries have to deal with. Today urban practitioners, researchers, planners, and decision-makers are seeking for alternative development and growth management policies to house the rising urban population and also cure the urban decay and slum issues turn to Smart Growth to achieve their goals. Many cities across the globe have adopted smart growth as an alternative growth management tool to deal with patterns and forms of development and to cure the rising urban and environmental problems. The method used in this study is a literature analysis method through reviewing various resources to highlight the potential benefits of Smart Growth in both developed and developing countries and analyze, to what extent it can be a strategic alternative for Afghanistan’s cities, especially the capital city. Hence a comparative analysis is carried on three countries, namely the USA, China, and India to identify the potential benefits of smart growth likely to serve as an achievable broad base for recommendations in different urban contexts.
Traffic congestion is a worldwide issue, especially in developing countries. This is also the case of Afghanistan, especially in Kabul-the capital city, whose rapid population growth makes it the fifth fastest growing city in the world. Traffic congestion affects not only the mobility of people and goods but also the air quality that leads to numerous deaths (3000 people) every year. There are many factors that contribute to traffic congestion. The insufficiency and inefficiency of public transportation system along with the increase of private vehicles can be considered among the most important contributing factors. This paper addresses the traffic congestion and attempts to suggest possible solutions that can help improve the current public transportation system in Kabul. To this end, the methodology used in this paper includes field work conducted in Kabul city and literature review. The outcome suggests that improving the public transportation system is likely to contribute to the reduction of traffic congestion and the improvement of air quality, thereby reducing the number of death related to air quality.
This research is a very essential towards transportation planning of Kabul New City. In this research, the travel demand of Kabul metropolitan area (Existing and Kabul New City) are evaluated for three different target years (2015, current, 2025, mid-term, 2040, long-term). The outcome of this study indicates that, though currently the vehicle volume is less the capacity of existing road networks, Kabul city is suffering from daily traffic congestions. This is mainly due to lack of transportation management, the absence of proper policies, improper public transportation system and violation of traffic rules and regulations by inhabitants. On the other hand, the observed result indicates that the current vehicle to capacity ratio (VCR) which is the most used index to judge traffic status in the city is around 0.79. This indicates the inappropriate traffic condition of the city. Moreover, by the growth of population in mid-term (2025) and long-term (2040) and in the case of no development in the road network and transportation system, the VCR value will dramatically increase to 1.40 (2025) and 2.5 (2040). This can be a critical situation for an urban area from an urban transportation perspective. Thus, by introducing high-capacity public transportation system and the development of road network in Kabul New City and integrating these links with the existing city road network, significant improvements were observed in the value of VCR.
Most developing nations face energy production and supply problems. This is also the case of Afghanistan whose generating capacity does not meet its energy demand. This is due in part to high security and risk caused by war which deters foreign investments and insufficient internal revenue. To address the issue above, this paper would like to suggest an alternative and affordable way to deal with the energy problem. That is by converting Solid Waste to energy. As a result, this approach tackles the municipal solid waste issue (potential cause of several diseases), contributes to the improvement of the quality of life, local economy, and so on. While addressing the solid waste problem in general, this paper samples specifically one municipality which is District-12, one of the 22 districts of Kabul city. Using geographic information system (GIS) technology, District-12 is divided into nine different zones whose municipal solid waste is respectively collected, processed, and converted into electricity and distributed to the closest area. It is important to mention that GIS has been used to estimate the amount of electricity to be distributed and to optimally position the production plant.
High population and irregular urban development in Kabul city, Afghanistan's capital, are among factors that increase its vulnerability to earthquake disasters (on top of its location in a high seismic region); this can lead to widespread economic loss and casualties. This study aims to evaluate earthquake risks in Kabul's 13th district based on scientific data. The research data, which include hazard curves of Kabul, vulnerability curves, and a questionnaire survey through sampling in district 13, have been incorporated to develop risk curves. To estimate potential casualties, we used a set of M parameters in a model developed by Coburn and Spence. The results indicate that in the worst case scenario, more than 90% of district 13, which comprises mostly residential buildings, is exposed to high risk; this may lead to nearly 1000 million USD economic loss and 120 thousand casualties (equal to 25.88% of the 13th district's population) for a nighttime earthquake. To reduce risks, we present the reconstruction of the most vulnerable buildings, which are primarily adobe and masonry buildings. A comparison of risk reduction between reconstructing adobe and masonry buildings indicates that rebuilding adobe buildings would be more effective.