Published by Alex O. Awiti in Advancing Global Sustainability
William Henry Ogilvie, the Scottish-Australian poet, wrote “These are the men with sun-tanned faces and keen far-sighted eyes, the men of the open spaces”. Open outdoor spaces are innately liberating, bequeathing to us the privilege of reflection and introspection.
By most accounts we will end this century as homo urbanus – wholly urban creatures. This demographic transition will see millions give up the vast airy purity of open spaces of the countryside for cloistered, stifling existence in the city – the concrete jungle of hard tarred roads, stone, glass, steel, parking lots, automobiles traffic congestion and polluted air. Continue reading
Published on 21 December by Jacqueline Klopp
Last month, amongst much fanfare, the Thika Highway Improvement Project came to an official close, although for another year the contractors will be liable for any needed changes. Thus it is timely to reflect on how people will come to terms with this new infrastructure that can allow for extremely high speeds in densely populated areas along the Nairobi-Thika Corridor. It might also be time to look more systematically at what this project can teach us for other ongoing or new highway projects such as the proposed World Bank-funded elevated Uhuru highway and the African Development Bank funded transformation of Outer Ring Road. It is time to ask ourselves, what are the broader implications of highway building for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region as a whole? Continue reading
Published on 22 November 2012 in Business Daily by Immaculate Wairimu
The growth of Nairobi towards Thika is unstoppable,” Housing minister Soita Shitanda said on August 25 during the ground-breaking ceremony of a new housing project in Juja.
Mr Shitanda said the Ministry of Housing would like to see a situation where this growth goes hand in hand with related infrastructure development and appealed to the Thika Municipal Council to be proactive in assisting developers to get connected to the sewer lines and the water system.
But to many observers, Nairobi’s “unstoppable growth” towards Thika is becoming a source of concern. Continue reading
By Delfina Lopez Freijido
Slums present challenges to the rapidly urbanizing world. They involve multiple dimensions where problematic situations occur, especially in terms of no satisfaction and even violation of dwellers rights. Past responses to change this reality often failed because they didn’t get to target the causes of the visual reality. This has been so, because of the partial vision of slums that misses the dynamism of a system where slums are an integral component. Continue reading
Published on 3 November by Japheths Ogendi
Last month, President Kibaki signed the National Transport and Safety Authority Bill of 2012 (http://www.standardmedia.co.ke). The National Transport and Safety Authority Bill, 2012 is an Act for Parliament to provide for the establishment of the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA), its powers and functions and for connected purposes.
The National Transport and Safety Authority Bill, 2012 is a welcome move Kenya. Continue reading
Published on 24 October 2012 by Prisca Oluoch
Above: Cycling to Stomp out Cancer event, 13/10/12, Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi
On 13 October 2012, Wheels of Africa and HENZO Kenya held a bicycle rally to raise awareness around the impacts of cancer on patients and families. HENZO Kenya, an affiliate of the Kenya Cancer Association, is a registered support group for patients of cancer, caregivers and volunteers. Since 2010, Cycling to Stomp out Cancer has been an annual event, bringing together health care professionals, community members and patients in the fight against cancer.
Wheels of Africa is dedicated to progressing the culture of cycling in Africa. Our vision is to mainstream cycling as a lifestyle and an alternative mode of transport in Africa. With this we wish to broaden access to bicycling and all its benefits through hands on programs, commuter transportation, enterprising projects and events.
Together with the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development and the Nairobi City Council, Wheels of Africa aims to increase the percentage of trips by bicycle in the city of Nairobi, while simultaneously increasing the number of kilometers of bicycle lanes in the city. The new lanes will be dubbed, “the Green Lanes”, and they will include facilities for parking and locking bicycles throughout the Nairobi metropolitan region.
These bicycle-friendly infrastructure improvements will be the first step in lobbying the city around the importance of creating a Non-motorized Transportation Master Plan for Nairobi.
Wheels of Africa is seeking research interns who can help collect baseline information for both the planning of bicycle-friendly infrastructure and a future Non-motorized Transportation Plan. We are currently seeking grant funding to carry out this work, and appreciate any contacts or public input.
The following blog entry was first published as an open letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Roads in Kenya by Architect Eric Kigada in October 2012.
I would like to state my strong disapproval of the planned elevated highway over Uhuru Highway.
On the face of it, the elevated highway might look like a very good thing to build. Unfortunately the environmental and social impact assessment study carried out for NUTRIP did not include in the team or consult, architects and town planners. If the study team had included them, they would have told the roads ministry or at least written in their report that the elevated highway at the suggested road section is the worst possible place to build one.
I am appealing to you to reconsider building the elevated highway by considering a shift from infrastructure that enhances “automobility” to infrastructure that enhances public amenities and quality of urban living (“liveability”). Continue reading