Maraza New Town - Beira, Mozambique

Maraza New Town - Beira, Mozambique

Design sets a new standard

Commissioning party

Municipality of Beira; Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland

Type of project

Urban Design


New Town 500 ha; Pilot project 50 ha; 20.000 houses


Approved by City Council

Our design for Maraza sets a new standard for large scale urbanization in Mozambique. The project consists of a residential expansion and a business case for land development. As the location is within the (former) marshlands, it is not the most suitable location for the development of a housing district. The basic efforts of engineering are levelling and draining the area and providing it with road infrastructure.

Building with the landscape
Section during rainfall

Building with the landscape

During the rain season Maraza is prone to flooding. The urban design is therefore determined by the natural patterns of the landscape, such as elevations, natural conditions, wetlands, watercourses and the soil. We used the natural conditions to avoid floods and create a dry and healthy urban environment. The design is based on a Green Infrastructure. The New Town is sufficiently drained by natural waterways, canals, parks, ponds, ditches and gutters. Green infrastructure mimics the natural systems that reduce peak stormwater runoff and improve water quality.

4 Steps in the Urban Design

  1. An efficient drainage system by turning lower lying areas into a natural waterway;
  2. Drainage Park; a robust urban park-system;
  3. An efficient main road system;
  4. The lay-out of an efficient and beautiful urban environment. The morphology (elevations and drainage) and topography (lines in the landscape) were used in the urban design and gives a sense of origin. Furthermore we introduced elements from classical urban design found elsewhere in Beira.
Housing Program
Urban plan

Housing Program

Maraza has to provide higher living standards for each household. We projected a standard housing scheme to be implemented in the location. Our concept for the New Town is based on 4 income groups and accordingly standard housing schemes: Extra Small (XS), Small (S), Medium (M) and Large (L).