This study analyses the spatial expansion of Huye city, Rwanda, the resulting neighbourhoods and key urban characteristics.

It explores evidence on (i) city growth and land-cover change, (ii) demographic, socioeconomic and environmental attributes, (iii) neighbourhood types and socio spatial categorisation, and (iv) education and health services.

Key findings:
  • Huye is a small city covering 43.14 km² with 44,209 urban residents. Large areas within its official boundaries remain rural, yet the city has experienced significant growth over the last 30 years.
  • Built-up areas of the city have increased from 1 km2 to 9 km² during this same period, driven mainly by internal migration, natural population growth and the development of new infrastructures.
  • Huye comprises 15 neighbourhoods that can be categorised into three main groups: planned, mixed and unplanned neighbourhoods. These reflect the socioeconomic profile of their residents in terms of high-, middle – and low-income households.
  • The consumption rate has increased by 40.5% over the last decade, but other key economic indicators have mostly experienced negative change. The unemployment rate increased by 6.4% while the poverty level rose by 11.9%. The rapid and uncoordinated urbanisation of Huye city has also affected the adequacy of housing and basic amenities.
  • While infrastructural development is noticeable in the education sector, the high poverty level is affecting school attendance. Although Huye has seen a significant decrease in child mortality, investment is still needed in the health sector to develop infrastructure at a broad level.