The 2016 Annual Report themed -Leaving No One Behind – the clarion call from 2016 New Urban Agendacaptures an array of activities that the Centre for Urban Research and Innovations (CURI) undertook in the year 2016. The Centre started as the Urban Innovations Project (UIP) in 2007 as part of a rethinking by urban planners on the relevance of current urban planning education, research and practice.
The broad areas of operation have remained: Applied Urban Research and City lab; Collaborative Urban Planning; Policy Dialogue; and Rethinking Planning Education. The Centre aims at strengthening interdisciplinary urban research, collaborative urban planning, and policy dialogue with public, private and civil society as a means to foster stainable urban development in Africa. Our vision remains to be a Centre of excellence in promoting applied urban research and innovations in Africa and beyond.
In 2016 CURI has continued to participate in many community-based initiatives such as e informal settlements upgrading, Community fire response mechanisms, Kitui learning Studio, Sustainable urban mobility, Land and Natural resources tenure security, Urban development control policy, and unlocking poverty and upscaling the respect for rights in informal settlements. CURI works in partnership with local and international civil society groups and NGOs such as Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT), Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and Muungano Support Trust (MuST), Kenya Red Cross Society and Civil Society Urban Development Platform (CSUDP). We collaborate with local and foreign universities such as Maseno University, Kenyatta University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Madrid as well as development partners, UN-Habitat, IDRC, Cities Alliance and Ford Foundation. Similarly, the Centre has collaborated with national and County governments in the preparation of d urban development plans and policy formulation.. We remain committed to sharing knowledge and information through seminars, workshops, conferences and publications.
In this publication, we share the milestones we have achieved in 2016, by providing an outline of the work undertaken under CURI’s principal thematic areas. Notable are, the IDRC funded Project on ‘Unlockingthe poverty penalty and upscaling Respect for Rights in Informal Settlements’ in Nairobi (Mukuru) and Thika ( Kiandutu) and Kitui Learning Studio, themed “Creating Momentum for Change through Innovative Generation and Engagement at City level” funded by Cities Alliance. . During the year, the Centre hosted a 2-day regional conference titled “Prospects for Innovative, Resilient and Inclusive Urban Development”. The Centre contributed in the successful bid for 100 Cities Resilience program for Nairobi CURI has continued to champion innovative, resilient and inclusive urban areas and cities through these and other projects explained in this report.
I wish to convey my sincere gratitude to all our partners with whom we have collaborated successfully in facilitating urban research and innovation in Kenya and Africa. I thank the staff and associates of CURI who have made us realized our objectives. I do believe we shall continue to buttress the successes so far realized as we strive to a better urban world as envisaged in the New Urban Agenda (NUA) at the global level and locally in Kenya’s Vision 2030.
We in CURI hope our experiences will inspire and inform others how through applied urban research and innovations we can build inclusive and liveable urban environments. We welcome feedback on the activities covered in this report as we strive to improve our work in future.
Prof. Peter Ngau