Improving Quality of Life and Creating Job Opportunities in the Heart of Kabul
Decades of violent conflict in Afghanistan have largely destroyed the Afghan people’s livelihoods, as well as structural installations, including Chihilsitoon Palace and its large 12 ha park in the capital Kabul. All that was left were ruins, while the surrounding green spaces fell into disrepair over time. However, for the 4.5 million residents of this ever-expanding city, there are only a few spaces for recreation and communal activities.
Restoring and building green spaces, gardens and sports facilities in Chihilsitoon Park is expected to make a major contribution to improving recreation facilities for Kabul’s urban population. This measure will also have a positive impact on climatic development in the city and create new jobs and training places, thereby improving socio-economic conditions for the city’s residents.
Measures & Results
The aim is to create an urban oasis providing recreational, leisure and employment opportunities for women and men alike. The park remains open to the public during the ongoing redevelopment work. In addition to the restoration of the park, individual measures are being implemented in neighbouring Char Deh District to improve living conditions for its 350,000 or so residents. For example, the creation of a sanitation system and the installation of street lighting are gradually improving the district’s infrastructure.
In order to ensure that all planned measures are tailored to the needs of the local population, the findings of a local survey are being used to plan individual schemes and prioritise small and micro interventions.
In addition to the creation of additional recreational and leisure amenities, employment potential has been increased for the residents of Char Deh through the delivery of six-month training programmes in tailoring, embroidery, carpet weaving, joinery and gardening/landscaping. More than 660 women and men have taken part in these courses to date. All participants were provided with a basic kit at the end of the training course to enable them to work in their trade of choice. For example, female participants in the tailoring course were supplied with sewing machines. This initiative is being very well received by the Afghan population, with further training courses now being delivered. The measure is also supporting women’s employment.
The revitalisation of the park and all the associated employment and infrastructural measures are thus making a positive contribution to the socio-economic situation of Kabul’s urban population. The park can also be used to host cultural events.