Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 March 2022:
Last Wednesday, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr, Deputy Mayor Osman T Koroma, CA Festus Kallay and the team from Freetown City Council met with a team from the city of Zurich to finalise the city-to-city cooperation project, which will focus on the regeneration of Central Business District (CBD) of Freetown.
Also present at the meeting were representatives of the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Planning and Development and SLRA.
The team from Zurich – made up of Craig Hatcher, an advisor specialising in urban development working for Helvetas, and Jonas Hunziker an urban planner working for Ernst Basler + Partner spent last week in Freetown to identify a locally-based Cooperation Partner for the city-to-city partnership.
The city-to-city cooperation between Zurich and Freetown started in 2019 when Zurich’s Mayor, Corine Mauch and Freetown’s Mayor, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr declared their mutual intention to share experiences and develop concrete solutions, whilst contributing to the achievement of SDG 11.
Over the years, Freetown’s CBD has become a less and less attractive destination for commercial and diplomatic headquarters with high levels of traffic congestion, limited walkability, and uncontrolled parking.
Consequently, the area bounded by Malama Thomas Steet, Garison Street, Wallace Johnson Street, Siaka Stevens Street and Percival Street has been identified for regeneration.
Through the city-to-city cooperation project, FCC and other partners in the Project Implementation Unit will:
- Improve street lighting, as well as footway widening and repairs
- Undertake landscaping and city beautification
- And implement a controlled parking zone
Last Wednesday’s meeting also involved discussions about the pilot phase of the project, which will commence later this year and completed by mid-2023. Once the pilot phase is completed, the rest of the project will be rolled out over a 4-year period with a budget contribution of USD2.5 million from Zurich.