Cities

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Translating the Spirit of the New Urban Agenda to Our Mechanisms of Work

Nairobi, 5 October 2016 — This week on URB.im, we speak with George Wasonga the CEO of the Civil Society Urban Development Platform (CSUDP) and the convener of the Kenyan Civil Society Habitat III Caucus. See more.

Defining the future of Nairobi

Nairobi, 2 September 2016 — Nairobi city is home to over 3 million individuals. Besides being the capital city of Kenya it acts as an economic hub for east Africa. Its levels of vibrancy and growth are unmatched by any other city in east Africa. It has also remained a dream destination for many people all over the world due to its natural and heritage character being the only city in the world hosting a national park within the city and being headquaters for main multinational organizations such as the UN. This vitality comes with high growth rate and similary high demand for services. Balancing the level of growth in this city and its vibrancy of activities has remained the biggest challenge with planning authorities being fulted for adopting a reactive and exclusionary approach to planning and urban development. See more.

The Talking Walls: Strengthening community cohesion

Nairobi, 11 August 2016 — Street art has been used globally for creating public socio-political spaces of engagement. However, in Kenya, street art has, overtime, been seen as a tool of rebellion and vandalism. In Nairobi city, in particular, the concerned officials have come out to fight it, calling for youth to be given space to express themselves and earn a living. Street artists in Nairobi hope to open community dialogue towards positive social transformation. See more.

Recognizing Informal Trade in City Development Plans

Nairobi, 28 July 2016 — An analysis of the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey of 2004/6 shows that 61% of urban workers in Kenya are informal traders against only 34% formal traders. These include both men and women involved in small/unregistered trade activities such as domestic workers, street vendors, hawkers among others. These informal businesses offer support not only to the larger city economy but also local market level that is affordable to low-income households/slum families. See more.

From idea to innovation: revolutionizing banking and insurance in pursuit of smarter cities

Nairobi, 26 May 2016 — Founded as a cooperative savings scheme in 1999 by a small group of 50 hawkers and slum dwellers in Nairobi, Jamii Bora Bank (JBB) today boasts a dedicated base of 360,00 customers and 26 branches across the country. The mission of JBB is simple, assist its members to get out of poverty and build a better, more sustainable life for their families. See more.

Moving Nairobi’s traffic off the road and onto the rail

Nairobi, 6 April 2016 — The roads of Nairobi are serving a growing population, with infrastructure development and service provision racing to keep up with growing demands. The constant traffic gridlock is fast becoming a nightmare for city residents, with the loss of productive time as well as air and noise pollution from the motorized traffic negatively impacting their quality of life. What is the most viable option the city has to effective deal with this problem? See more.

Solid waste management key to livable cities for all

Nairobi, 17 March 2016 — Sanitation and waste management are becoming critical areas of concern within Nairobi's informal settlements. Because of this, poor people living in informal settlements bear a disproportionate burden of the services failure, negatively impacting their health, productivity and well-being. New solutions, however, are providing an opportunity for more livable cities for all. See more.

Bottom-up or top-down? Meeting in the middle at Habitat III

Nairobi, 21 January 2016 — Meeting Sustainable Development Goal #11 requires multi-level and cross-sectoral approaches in urban centers to address the needs of slum dwellers. Collective bargaining cooperatives such as the Muugano Support Trust (MuST) are just as necessary as high-level implementation of Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) projects that will be showcased at Habitat III. See more.

The benefits of community-managed resources

Nairobi, 10 December 2015 — As is the case in a number of rapidly growing urban centers across the Global South, Nairobi’s growth has occurred in the absence of an urban development framework. This has resulted in housing production and human settlement patterns that are complex and do not meet key environmental justice or sustainable development mandates. See more.

Connecting to the periphery

Nairobi, 3 November 2015 — Nairobi is notorious among commuters, travellers, and business owners for consistent and costly jams. Large-scale infrastructure development has helped the efficiency and effectiveness of moving goods and people through and around Nairobi. Because of recently completed road projects, peripheral urban areas of Nairobi have experienced many positives, including a dramatic decrease in commuting time—a step that is in line with Kenya reaching its Vision 2030. See more.