This proposal is voluntarily made to contribute and echo the calls to draw a road-map that would rescue Khartoum from the current urban chaos; and enable creation of a true metropolitan that represents the resilience of the Sudanese people.
The proposal is pragmatic and practical to address the imminent problems as concluded to be Urban Strategy, Transportation Planning and Land Management. These key problems have collectively deep impact on Economical, Ecological and Sociopolitical systems of the over populated yet poorly planned sub-Saharan city.
This proposal briefly addresses the transportation planning, and based on outcomes of an analysis of the urban strategy-to-be. Assuming it would be; the following key challenges were concluded:
- The dominating colonial grid design had no contemporary justifications and should be replaced with new urban visions and implementations; as all urban developments and land subdivisions blindly follow the same patterns.
- The uncontrolled urban spiral and growth of slums; due to inefficient urban management and operations, whereas the urban land (2018) had increased 300% in less than 20 years.
- Absence of national demographic, economic and social policies had driven the influx to the city that hosts more than 20% (2019) of Sudan’s population (43 mln capita with 2.4% growth 2019); therefore, urban infrastructure are incompetent.
- Despite the proportionally small public debt (US$ 55 bln 2018), yet the GDP (US$ 123 bln 2018) is short to support the costly urban regeneration and renewable; considering the low annual growth of 4.4%.
- Stat of urban infrastructure is chaotic as no authentic data are available; yet the wild guess suggested that power supply is not steady, drinking water relays on wells and no sewerage networks. Transportation and traffic are similarly chaotic.
The initial Urban Strategy had defined key elements to determine the transportation master planing for Khartoum Metropolitan:
- The city should have limits to control the growth, yet requires national strategies to reduce the urban migration, rural development and surgical solutions to rectify the inefficient urban planning.
- The public transportation (80% share of TIS) includes various modes that collectively produce the traffic jams and environmental pollution; which should be organized in a more business oriented manners; yet satisfy the customers needs.
- The existing route of the railways had exhausted the purposes and should avoid the CPD routes and meet the contemporary views of land port planning. Trading off existing Rail-Rights-of-Way shall generate sufficient fund for replanting the new route and enhance the strategic services.
- The practical concept is based on Tram Model, not LRT or Metro. Not only to reduce required capital, but also to provide quick solutions, without disturbing the existing road networks.
- The proposal define categories of the transit modes (4 mln daily trips) and whereabouts to be used; in order to achieve the timely critical targets and incorporate entrepreneurs and SMEs to continue serving the public, and earn living within an organized policy.
Accordingly and briefly; the short-term Transportation Strategy of Khartoum Metropolitan shall provide:
- Three independent rings of Tram service at the CBDs of each of the three cities of Khartoum Metropolitan.
- Key stations at each of the rings shall either connect to a distant Transit Nodes or been part of the Land Ports to establish the new national transportation system.
- Crossing the Nile shall be limited to 40-Seaters heavy Bus service, which will connect the three Tram rings to each other. This will mitigate principle traffic jams within 5km reduce around famous Khartoum Confluence.
- Medium Buses; 24-Seaters shall connect the Tram Stations with Transit Nodes.
- Light mode of transportation; 7-Seaters and Tik-Tok shall travel among the Transit Nodes and surrounding neighborhoods.
- Utilize the River Transport, which was never considered in all transport planning of Khartoum
- New Railways route will avoid the CBDs and have Central Stations at the peripheral Districts, considering to be dual tracks with protected RROW.