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

Some Serious Lessons from Thika Highway

Published on 21 December by Jacqueline Klopp

thika highway event banner_v4-01

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

Municipalities struggle to provide services in towns along the Thika Superhighway

Thika Highway image

 

 

 

 

 

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

The complex system of the low-income housing sector: understanding the blurry boundaries of slums in Nairobi

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

The National Transport and Safety Authority Bill, 2012: Issues, Challenges and Concerns

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

Cycling to Stomp out Cancer

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.