City for All: Investing in Sustainable Urbanization in Afghanistan

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Problem Statement

In Afghanistan, cities are growing at an estimated rate of 4% per year, one of the highest urbanization rates in the world – 24% of the population live in cities, with about 44% of the urban population living in the capital city of Kabul. Urbanization has been largely informal, with close to 70% of Kabul residents living in informal settlements, and land tenure regularization is a priority of the national unity government. Only 10-12% of households in Kabul pay municipal tax due to such a high rate of informality, making it almost impossible for local government to provide a proper level of basic services and infrastructure.

Support provided by UN-Habitat

The City for All (CFA) Programme is supporting the surveying and registration of urban properties across the country and developing a transparent and comprehensive system for tax collection that will allow local government to expand its revenue base, deliver a higher standard of service, and strengthen its social contract with citizens. Overall objective of CFA is to improve stability and stimulate local economic development in target cities through enhancing municipal governance and strengthening the social contract between citizens and the state. The project was started in Kabul.


The strategies of CFA are to (a) collect sample of land prices from each district, (b) analyze land price data from each district, (c) delineate land value zones based on land price bands, (e) determine Safayi rates considering land use and affordability, and (f) prepare land value zoning maps and tables for each district in Kabul. By the end of 2017, surveying of 382,000 properties was complete. This is the initial stage of the project. This is 53% of the target of 725,000 properties. This also represents 25% of all urban properties in Afghanistan (estimated at 1.5 million). (2) Current Safayi regulations have been reviewed under CFA. Projected increase in Safayi revenues will be 60%.

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