The Alleys in the Central Business District of Kampala: Uses and Implications for Urban Renewal


1 Graduate Architect, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

2 Ph.D., Lecturer, Department of Architecture and Physical Planning, School of Built Environment, College of Engineering, Design, Art & Technology, Makerere University. P.O. Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda.


This paper examines the structure and form of the Alley spaces in Kampala Central Business
District, with purpose to examine their uses, and the potential for urban renewal. The study employed multiple
methodological approaches and procedures including document review, case study approaches and analysis and
deduction of empirical findings, and explanation building. The study findings reveal that alleys in Kampala’s CBD
are significant outdoor spaces of linear nature, each with a distinct identity with respect to location, size and quality
initially designated for municipal service infrastructure but now taken over by the informal commercial enterprise
that sees value of these spaces and from them harnesses a means of survival, henceforth defining their character and
quality. The paper concludes that the users most often focus on subspaces of activity concentrations without necessarily
noticing the configuration of the whole space. For effective urban renewal to take place and for the alley to perform
effectively, it should be perceived not only as a space for movement but also a place of social interaction of a diverse
urban population.