The city of Djibouti has a Master Plan, prepared by Keios in 2012-2014, which sets out the main directions for its future development. However, the urban sprawl of the capital has led to an increase in slums, very dense and without access to basic services, in combination with urban poverty.

The World Bank-funded Integrated Slums Upgrading Project aims to support the Ministry of Housing in implementing strategic interventions and spatial planning tools to better manage urban regeneration of informal neighbourhoods.

The overall objective of the plan is to set out the main orientations to control and direct the urban and economic development of the area.

North Balbala is characterized by high rates of informal settlement, low access to basic public services (water, electricity, sanitation and drainage, garbage collection), health indicators of concern, and still low levels of education.