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CURI Newsletter

Spatial Planning in Kenya at Crossroads? Perceptions from the Kenya Institute of Planners (KIP) 3rd Annual Conference 2015

The Kenya Institute of Planners (KIP) held its third annual conference on 3rd to 4th December, at Machakos County Headquarters to deliberate on ‘Urbanization and planning under devolved governance systems in Kenya’. There was representative attendance in the workshop drawing participants from various spheres including planners in private practice, government, civil society, representatives from county governments, the Commission of Constitution Implementation, the Transitional Authority as well as members from Academia.

‘RUIRU ON THE MOVE’: THE SUSTAINABLE URBAN MOBILITY PLAN FOR RUIRU TOWN

On 8th of October 2015, the University of Nairobi in collaboration with the County Government of Kiambu and UN-Habitat launched preparations for the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for Ruiru Town.

Strengthening Community Fire Response Mechanisms Study

Recently, the Centre for Urban Research and Innovations (CURI), based in the University of   Nairobi collaborated with the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) in a research project on Community Fire Response Mechanisms in Informal settlements. The study which commenced in August 2015, is an initiative by the Kenya Red Cross that forms a part of its larger Fire Sensor for Safer Urban Communities Project. The research was undertaken in Mukuru Fuata Nyayo which is one of the informal settlements in the Nairobi industrial area.

ESA Regional Implementation Workshop, Madagascar

The Centre for Urban Research and Innovation attended the Eastern and Southern Africa Implementation Workshop 2015 held at Antananarivo Madagascar from 10th-13th November 2015. The ESA Regional Implementation workshops are held every 18 months within the region. This year’s 4 day workshop had the theme on Rural Transformation through Inclusive Growth and Private Sector Engagement.

 

UN-Habitat hosts workshop to review planning curricula in Kenya

Naivasha, Kenya, 25 September 2015– UN-Habitat through the Support to the Sustainable Urban Development Sector in Kenya Project (2012-2015) is supporting Urban Planning schools in Kenya to improve the quality of planning education. The support to planning schools is premised on the fact that Africa is the fastest growing continent and projections indicate that up to 60% of Africa will be urban by 2050 thereby creating the need to equip and prepare planning graduates with adequate knowledge and skills to be able to meet emerging and future challenges of urbanization.

The Paradox of Rise in Shopping Malls along Thika Superhighway

The construction of Thika Superhighway began in 2009 and was completed in 2012, a period which saw the rush for ‘prime’ land along the project. With sprawl inevitable, the need for housing was imminent, and with housing comes the need for service centres to offer consumable goods, recreation, and other necessities, thus developers took the opportunity. Large malls; mixed use developments incorporating wholesale and retail enterprises, office spaces, residential houses, leisure/recreational spots and banks, have since been put up, generally transforming the character of Thika road environs. So far, since the completion of the superhighway, Thika Road Mall, Garden City, Mountain Mall, Juja City Mall, and Uni-City Mall in Kenyatta University have all been put up, or are under construction.

Land Market Study

The Centre for Urban Research and Innovations in collaboration with the Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS), conducted a study on ‘infrastructure knowledge programme policy research’ themed Urban infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa – harnessing land values, housing and transport’.

Regional Learning Workshop on Land and Natural Resources Tenure Security in East and Southern Africa

A Regional Learning Workshop on “Land and Natural Resources Tenure Security” took place in in Nairobi-Kenya on 30th June to 2nd July 2015 to provide an important opportunity for the different IFAD-supported projects and partners in East and Southern Africa to share their achievements, lessons learnt and provide a way forward.

Completion of the placemaking project: New strategies for Nairobi's public places

On the 17th June 2015 the University of Nairobi team members who participated in the Placemaking project were issued with certificates of excellence and participation. This was after a successful completion of the project that focused on making better public spaces in the city of Nairobi.

4th African Urban Research Initiative Meeting

The fourth African Urban Research Initiative Meeting was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on the 28-30 June 2015. Africa Urban Research initiative (AURI) is a network composed of 12 urban research centres across the African continent established in 2013. AURI supports existing and future Africa based research centres to improve the capacity of individual centres to undertake collaborative urban research and to engage with key decision---makers to proactively address Africa’s urban transition. The meeting was supported by  the Ford Foundation, as part of a one-year work programme aimed at consolidating the network and refining collective thinking on key issues that will ultimately inform the forthcoming AURI publications for dissemination at the 2015 Africities conference and Habitat III in 2016. In attendance from the University of Nairobi was Prof Peter M. Ngau (CURI) and Prof Winnie Mitullah (IDS).

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