Equitable Access to Green Space in African Cities

Expanding and improving equitable access to green open spaces in African Cities

Cities4Forests supports equitable access to green open spaces in cities and provides technical assistance to make these spaces inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. We are collaborating with African cities to map the accessibility of existing open spaces, with a view to improving access and expanding the areas to support growing populations.


Africa is in a period of rapid development, as its population is growing much faster than that of any other continent. Its urban population has grown from 27 million in 1950 to 613 million in 2021, and is projected to reach 1.463 billion by 2050. Green spaces support urban residents’ well-being while increasing a city’s resilience to climate and natural hazards. However, many African cities lack green spaces for residents to enjoy. For example, green open spaces only make up 10.7% of the land area of Kumasi in Ghana. Data on the extent of green spaces in African cities and residents’ access to them also remain sparse, making it difficult to craft effective policies to improve and expand these resources.

Project Description

We are collaborating with three African cities — Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Kumasi in Ghana, and Musanze in Rwanda — to map the accessibility of their open spaces. The map will provide baseline information for city governments, civil society partners, researchers and other local stakeholders to improve access to these spaces. The project also assesses how far green spaces are from different communities and identifies areas to promote affordable, safe, and accessible green space expansion. In addition, we will be working with city officials and other stakeholders to help them better manage green spaces and implement new plans and projects. For example, we are collaborating with the Gullele Botanical Gardens to develop a species selection guideline for the right type of trees to plant in different areas in Addis Ababa. We are also organizing capacity-building workshops and peer-to-peer learning opportunities for the three cities to support the exchange of experiences and solutions.