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Prospects for Innovative, Resilient and Inclusive Urban Development

The Centre for Urban Research and Innovations (CURI) and its partners namely Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT), Slum Dwellers International (SDI), the Federation for Urban Poor (Muungano wa Wanavijiji) and University of California, Berkeley, have in the last 7 years been focused on research and collaborative action aimed at promoting sustainable urban development. One of the outcomes of this collaboration has been the realization that innovations, resilience and inclusivity are fundamental in promoting sustainable urban development. However, with so many new innovations and emerging urban paradigms around the world we acknowledge the complexities in implementing these solutions. Coming home most urban areas continue to be poorly planned and face numerous challenges with the continued urbanization, including poor access to basic services, such as water, electricity, sanitation and housing.

Against this backdrop, the Centre based at the University of Nairobi hosted a 2-day conference on 27th- 28th October 2016 with the theme “Prospects for Innovative , Resilient and Inclusive Urban Development”. This conference focused on two main concerns; a) Is attainment of inclusive and resilient urban development real in Africa urban cities? b) What innovative mechanisms can be relied on in the realization of inclusivity in Africa cities and urban areas? The conference brought together key actors in the region to dialogue, engage in self-reflection and constructive critique on inclusive urban planning and policy development. In addition, the conference provided a platform for young professionals and students in the built environment to participate in the interactive sessions and presentations.  Suffice it to say, the conference provided an opportunity to reaffirm commitments and actions from key stakeholders in addressing urban challenges in contemporary and future African urban cities.

This conference brought together a broad spectrum of actors and stakeholders responsible for shaping the urban fabric in Eastern Africa. Over 70 delegates comprising relevant National and County government level policy makers and technical officers, independent constitutional commissions, university academia, consultants in the built environment, professional associations, and civil society organizations.

At the end, the participants collectively agreed that the conference was timely and much needed, given the current trends of development called for efficient guidance and innovativeness, to ensure sustainable development and resilient urban areas and cities. In addition, it was noted that such a conference, organized locally, was germane in articulating the vision of the New Urban Agenda.

Read the full Conference Report here:

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