Zanzibar Town, the capital city of Zanzibar, is known to many through the outstanding architectural heritage of Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the year 2000. The neighbourhoods commonly known as Ng’ambo, the ‘other side’, located east of Stone Town and separated historically by a creek and nowadays a busy road, are far less known parts of the city. In 2015–2016 the Government of Zanzibar carried out a mapping of Ng’ambo in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam and African Architecture Matters, which brought to the fore the historical and cultural richness of the area.
The mapping was part of the development of the Local Area Plan for Ng’ambo, based on the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape approach. In 2017 the Government of Zanzibar adopted the Local Area Plan as the leading document in the redevelopment of the area, designated as the future city centre of Zanzibar Town, following the Zanzibar Structural Plan 2015.
This presentation gives insight into the collective action of Zanzibar and Amsterdam, the history and morphology of Ng’ambo, as well as its social and cultural make-up. Once a culturally vibrant heart of Zanzibar Town, known by some as ‘the happy streets’, Ng’ ambo has proven to be as historically as significant as Stone Town. Knowledge that is now considered the basis for the future plans for the area, the new city centre.