Cities

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Nairobi, a global leader in using data informatics and mapping quality of life

Nairobi, 9 March 2015 — The explosion in the use of mapping and data analytics to identify hotspots of insecurity and vulnerability has been directly aided by Kenyan developers, technologists, and the entrepreneurial spirit pulsating in Nairobi. See more.

Impact-sourcing, demographics, and the details of youth unemployment

Nairobi, 4 February 2015 — Over 90 percent of Kenyans under 30 can read and write, resulting in a highly-skilled population that faces seemly intractable unemployment rates reaching up to 70 percent in some communities. Impact-sourcing, a strategy that targets employment of impoverished and disadvantaged individuals, and technology literacy programs have the potential to leverage Kenya's comparative advantage. See more.

Collaborative hubs and hackspaces leveraging high-impact technology for poverty eradication

Nairobi, 8 January 2015 — Nairobi has long been at the forefront of the movement to leverage technology to address poverty challenges. Innovative social enterprises, nonprofits, and public-private partnerships continue to be formed and incubated by a number of diverse collaborative working hubs and hackspaces around the city. See more.

Innovation in financial services and financial literacy training for Nairobi residents

Nairobi, 4 December 2014 — An individual's propensity to save is directly linked to their ability to begin the ascent out of poverty. Increased savings and micro-credit opportunities, alongside financial literacy training, are key potential growth opportunities for Kenya. In Nairobi a number of groups are developing innovative capacity development approaches to increase effective utilization of available financial products. See more.

Gendering development planning to address persistent quality of life challenges

Nairobi, 13 November 2014 — Informal settlements in Nairobi pose unique challenges to urban development, public health, and environmentally sustainable land planning and policy actualization. Transformative grassroots efforts to address these challenges are making headway towards minimizing some of the complex inequalities associated with life in Nairobi's informal tenements. See more.

Master planning Nairobi's way out of the jam

Nairobi, 8 October 2014 — It is estimated that Kenya loses roughly 37 billion KSH annually in gross domestic product (GDP) as a result of Nairobi traffic jams. This valuation neglects to account for the environmental or carbon pollution and human public health costs associated with heavy traffic flows, congestion, and associated injuries from road accidents. A number of public-private partnerships, non-governmental organizations and tech-savvy entrepreneurs have been developing innovative solutions to address these challenges. See more.

From slums to significance: the communities shaping our urban future

The two megatrends of demographic growth and urbanization are rapidly transforming human settlement from rural to predominantly urban environments. This is particularly true in Asia and Africa, where the UN forecasts that the urban population will grow from 2.3 billion people in 2011 to 4.5 billion in 2050. Many large cities in these regions are struggling with how to provide services, housing and jobs for large numbers of rural migrants. These migrants are often highly vulnerable: although they have moved to the city in search of jobs and access to services, the informal neighborhoods that receive them lack infrastructure and are often removed from main centers of economic activity. A lack of economic opportunities and poor living conditions set the stage for marginalization, instability and violence. Read more.

Building the city of the future, today, in the developing world

Nairobi — the capital of Kenya — is growing at a tremendous pace. The population is about 4 million, and the city is growing at about 7 percent per year. Nairobi is the most prominent city in East Africa and the hub for the entire region. The city is brimming with innovation and entrepreneurship. For example, the mobile money platform MPESA was developed in Nairobi, and has transformed the business landscape not just in the region, but around the world. Read more.

Going digital in Nairobi's chaotic transport system

Imagine this: You step out of your house knowing exactly when your bus will roll up to your stop, you climb aboard and pay by tapping your phone/card on the conductor's reader, you sit down, log onto the vehicle's free wifi system and either read the news, write emails and surf your social network, or play interactive games like #bestdressed, which encourage you to nominate one of your fellow passengers in a city-wide transport beauty pageant. We could be in London, Stockholm, or Tokyo, but we aren't. This is Nairobi and the above scenario is no longer quite as sci-fi as it would have seemed a couple of years ago. Read more or discuss.

Mapping the city for youth migrants

Migration has often been identified as a central component of urbanisation, and with the rise of a 'mobility' paradigm, whereby movement is recognised as a rising necessity, the focus is on why people move and the nature of such movement. Novel innovations now enable our speed of movement, while services and infrastructure continues to build networks between spaces, people, and opportunities. However, in the case of Sub-Saharan Africa the question has been raised on what happens when urban agglomerations hosting migrants fail to secure livelihoods (see Bryceson, 2011)? Research in migration showcases the articulation of circular patterns of movement, rising rates of return, and greater insecurities in whether goals are achieved. Such raises an additional question - to what extent are those using, adopting, and experiencing, migration becoming stuck within such a mobility paradigm? Further, what do migrants do to get them out of this trap and achieve aspirations? Read more.