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Building height regulation preparation practices in Addis Ababa: Gaps and implications

Heyaw Teref

Abstract


Contrary to its long urban history, Ethiopia has a very short history of urban planning by local professionals and largescale implementation of plans. As a result, gaps are expected not only in implementation of plans but also in preparation of planning components such as building height regulations. Studies aimed at identifying these gaps and their implications, not only for the study city but also for regional urban centers have, however, been quite scarce. By studying four cases of building height regulation preparation processes for Addis Ababa during the past 22 years, this study is aimed at contributing to filling these gaps. Its findings indicate that there were significant gaps in both the analytic and participatory components of building height regulation preparation processes in the city. The former gap, in particular, had implications for all the major elements of the building height control: its thematic scope, spatial scope, control status, the roles of related building regulations and urban design, and for the development and protection of the green elements of the city which may play vital infrastructure roles. The study recommends basing building height regulation studies on strong analytical or conceptual framework and using not only technical but also political or participatory processes, generally, and revisiting the current building height regulation of Addis Ababa in the light of the general recommendations specifically.

Keywords: Building Height, Planning Components, Thematic Scope, Spatial Scope, Control Status, Addis Ababa




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