The Country is currently engaged in deliberations for undertaking a huge construction project that will have far-reaching impact on many aspects of the social, spatial, economic, environmental, and political consequences both now and in future. As we read about cost issues as well as the operational and political repercussions of the same, and what this project has to do to serve the economy, Planners have to ask and confront some fundamental questions:
The long history of cities has it that they have been centres of prosperity and social integration. From the pre historic, all through history to the modern times, cities have continued to exist playing critical roles in human development. Cities have been known to be the centres of urbanism formed by numerous interwoven elements.
In recent years Nairobi has seen the massive growth of mammoth high-rise developments in the name of apartments. They have attracted some research by Marie Hzermeyer and Baraka Mwau among others. They come up in many shades - but typically they are dense and feature small rooms. From one perspective they are viewed as the answer to the housing shortage and alternative to slums. On the other hand they are seen as accidents waiting to happen. Many of them have poor infrastructure and are poorly designed. Their social impact is least studied.
A common planning trend with old, contemporary and growing urban areas across the world is the setting out of the green spaces. The green spaces or ‘open spaces’ as are commonly referred play a big role in maintaining the social, cultural/ heritage and political value in the urban spaces.
Global technology giants’ top executives are increasingly trooping into the country as they turn Nairobi into a launch pad of their African commercial strategies.
Githunguri town in Kiambu county which is famous due to its association with freedom fighters Mau Mau has refused to grow even as other towns near it shine in real estate.
Ten year ago the city of Kisumu was on a serious restructure mode, various plans had been lined up implementation.
It is more than a year since Prof Wangari Maathai left us. It was not in vain, she was a legend, a noble Kenyan. She fought fiercely and fearlessly against vicious State elements to preserve open public spaces from land grabbers.
New rules, general and place-specific, on farmland use in Kenya will be set by the Cabinet secretary for Agriculture once a new bill is gazetted into law.
As we start the New Year, 2013, there is every indication that we are beginning an entirely new ball game, new hope, fresh opportunities, a lingering fulfilment of a promise.