Architecture exhibitions in Nairobi: an interview with Dr. Anna Rubbo

Three architecture exhibitions were on display at the Nairobi Alliance Francaise on Loita Street from 05 June until 07 July. The exhibition opening on 05 June also saw the launch of Dr Lydia Muthuma’s book, ‘Nairobi in Pictures (1899-2000)’  which was accompanied by photographs of 100 Nairobi buildings and a number of historic settlement photos.  The book and photographs, seek to establish a link between Nairobi’s buildings and its people by cataloging the city’s transformation, and identifying elements of culture that make the city what it is. The second exhibition, ‘Architecture=Durable’ showed 10 recent projects by 10 French architects over time.

The third exhibition was titled ‘People Building Better Cities: Participation and Inclusive Urbanization‘ (PBBC). PBBC is an exhibition that is traveling around the world highlighting participatory approaches to solving contemporary urban planning challenges.  To date it has been shown in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Johannesburg and Nairobi. Over the next few months it will be shown in India, China and the USA. The driving force behind the PBBC traveling exhibition is Dr. Anna Rubbo, (Senior Scholar at the Earth Institute Center for Sustainable Urban Development and Global Studio founder). We had a chance to speak with Dr. Rubbo directly, asking her a few questions about her experience of working on the exhibition.

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Nairobi Planning Innovations: How was the exhibition organized in Nairobi and what was the highlight of the Nairobi PBBC exhibition? Continue reading

Nairobi’s Future: Will it change with Devolution? Not likely.

Nairobi_City

Published by Kwame Owino in Public Policy

The conventional wisdom in Kenya today is that the implementation of devolution as anticipated in the new constitution and brought to reality by the election of 47 county governors would provide stiff competition for Nairobi and most probably slow down the rate of the city’s growth. This view has been expressed largely in the press and represents the wishes of many, but is unlikely to happen for the following reasons: Continue reading

Pedestrian Safety: An interview with Dr. Khayesi

Transportation safety is a growing concern in cities around the world. Every year more than 270,000 pedestrians lose their lives on the world’s roads, while millions are left with injuries or permanent disabilities.

The World Health Organization (WHO), FIA Foundation, Global Road Safety Partnership and the World Bank recently co-published a manual titled “Pedestrian safety: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners”.  On 07 May 2013, Nairobi Planning Innovation interviewed Dr. Meleckidzedeck Khayesi, one of the lead authors of the manual, to get his perspective on the findings and intentions of the project.

Please note that Dr. Khayesi and Dr. Margie Paden from the WHO Department of Violence and Injury Prevention Disability will be hosting a live discussion about pedestrian safety on Twitter, Friday, 17 May from 17:00-19:00 Nairobi time. Join the talk or send questions as Tweets to @UNRSC using the hash tag #walksafechat. For more information contact  vesicj@who.int.

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Nairobi Planning Innovations:: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got engaged in issues of pedestrian safety as well as your role in producing this manual

Dr. Khayesi:  I am a Technical Officer in the Department of Violence and Injury at the World Health Organization (WHO). I studied at Kenyatta University earning a Bachelors degree in Education, a Master of Arts degree in Geography and a PhD in the field of Transportation Geography.  I have worked at the World Health Organization (WHO) for twelve years in the department of Violence and Injury.  Over the last seven or eight years, WHO has collaborated with the World Bank, FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society and the Global Road Safety Partnership to produce a series of ‘how to’ manuals, which provide information on how to implement recommendations of the World report on traffic injury prevention. Included in this series are manuals on helmets (2006); drinking and driving (2007); speed management (2008); seat-belts and child restraints (2009); and data systems (2009).  The coalition’s most recent report, ‘Pedestrian safety: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners’ is another step in this effort to provide information on measures to implement to pedestrian safety around the world.

Nairobi Planning Innovations: What was the most surprising aspect or finding in producing this manual? Continue reading

Nairobi’s troubles date back to 1900

Nbi1900sPublished by John Kamau in The Business Daily

The City of Nairobi has had quacks, clowns, and thieves at the top — men and women who were simply short-sighted. With the election of Governor Evans Kidero, let us hope that finally we will have administrative peace.

The leadership question in this city is not a recent problem. It goes back to 1900 when Nairobi was set up as “tinville”, and in the wrong place!

When Nairobi was hardly eight years, the administrators were warned that they had done a mistake by allowing the building of a town in a treeless windy plain where residents were constantly baked by the African sun. Continue reading

Reflections on Nairobi’s Race for Governor

Kenya

The Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Issack Hassan has recently announced that all returning elections officers are required to report results directly to the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi (read more here).

The IEBC says that its delays are due to technical failure, but regardless, they leave voters eagerly awaiting results for the Presidential, Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Member of Parliament, and County Assembly races.  During this time, Nairobi resident Daisy Maritim reflects on the Nairobi Governor race:

Kenya: Reflections on the Nairobi Governor Race

…”It gets me thinking; do the candidates we have make the grade? Continue reading

Silicon Savannah presses ahead

Published on 13 February 2013 by Linet Kwamboka

konza city pavilion

Early in the New Year, the proposed ‘Silicon Savannah’ progressed from an ICT Park to a 10 billion USD technology city. This progress was marked by the formation of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA) and design plans for the cities landmark building – the Konza City Technology Pavilion.

Located in Machakos and Makueni counties, the development will sit on over 5,000 acres of land and according to a recent report; it will be constructed over a period of twenty years using a public-private financing model (http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke).

In my opinion, Konza City is the perfect idea; one that I wish had been started about a decade ago. Continue reading

Reclaiming Kenyan Cities for People

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