Author Archive

April 11 2014

Double Decker Highway: Good or Bad for Nairobi?

April 11th, 2014Posted by 

It is not news that there is a planned double decker highway for the City of Nairobi. Many people see the project as progressive and a potential solution to the traffic congestion problems. Only a few are asking whether it is really a long-term solution to our traffic menace and whether there are other more […]

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March 28 2014

The Risky Affair of Cycling in Nairobi, Kenya

March 28th, 2014Posted by 

2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome first started cycling as a boy in Kenya. Cycling is an equitable and low-cost form of mobility, although it can be a dangerous activity in cities like Nairobi. Many cities around the world have long recognized the importance of cycling as a way of mobility.  The City of […]

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March 14 2014

“Hatches, Matches, and Dispatches” Building of Kenya Continues to Stand

March 14th, 2014Posted by 

A city may start as a few shops, a road junction or even a railway station. The City of Nairobi is no exception. Starting as a railway headquarters in a swampy area, it has grown to a huge cosmopolitan concrete jungle. The historical growth and initial urban design of the city can be appreciated through […]

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February 28 2014

Nairobi’s Informal Urban Markets Threatened

February 28th, 2014Posted by 

The marketplace is important for any society. People buy goods they need and traders earn their daily bread. The City of Nairobi has recently seen development of large shopping malls. Targeting the upper and middle classes, they have classy restaurants, large supermarkets and secure parking. The recent increase in road and highway construction, together with […]

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February 14 2014

How Walkable is Nairobi’s Central Business District?

February 14th, 2014Posted by 

Are you comfortable walking in your city? After parking your car or getting off a bus, do you agonize at the fact that you must take a walk through crowded streets to your destination? ‘Walkability’ is not discussed frequently in African cities. However, the ever rising urban population and increased human traffic is raising questions […]

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January 31 2014

Outdoor Advertising: A Right or Privilege in Nairobi?

January 31st, 2014Posted by 

The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) is one of the most iconic buildings in Nairobi and literally defines the capital city’s skyline. Completed in 1973, it is a stunning 105-meter mega structure of twenty-eight floors. It has a helipad on its roof and a revolving restaurant on the top floor. Its unique shape and towering […]

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January 17 2014

Nairobi’s Failure to Protect Pedestrians

January 17th, 2014Posted by 

Taking a walk in the tropics is not an easy task. The skies are clear, sun is burning and temperatures are high. This is even harder in urban centres that experience slightly higher temperatures due to buildings, asphalt, and industrial activities; better known as the ‘urban heat island effect.’ Walking, however, remains a very popular […]

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January 03 2014

Will Nairobi Maintain its Status as the “Green City in the Sun?”

January 3rd, 2014Posted by 

There is something distinctly noticeable when you look at a map of Nairobi. The southern line of the metropolitan area is bordered by a national park, while the southern line of the Central Business District is bordered by an urban park, golf course, and an array of sports grounds. Nairobi, Kenya is known as the […]

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December 20 2013

The “Man-Eat-Man” Mentality of Nairobi Roads

December 20th, 2013Posted by 

The traffic lights go red, and drivers continue to drive. Only a near collision with another vehicle will make someone stop. The Nairobi road culture is interesting, a culture where red may mean go and green may mean stop. Even with the new digital traffic lights that synchronize and indicate time, drivers will try to […]

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December 06 2013

Who is to Blame for Nairobi’s Water Shortages?

December 6th, 2013Posted by 

Do all people have access to the water they need? The City of Nairobi draft master plan of 2013 acknowledges shortage of water supply and lack of sufficient infrastructure for water provision as a major problem. Nairobi’s water comes from Sasumua Dam, Thika Dam, Ruiru Dam and Kikuyu Springs, all located outside the city. Ground […]

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November 22 2013

Matatus: Nairobi’s Leader of Transportation Since 1973

November 22nd, 2013Posted by 

Mobility, sustainability, and identity are three key elements for good cities. Developed economies enjoy public transport systems with fixed routes, schedules, and pricing; but this is not the case in developing countries. In Africa, citizens use a variety of means to get around, ranging from small minibuses to riding on the back of motorcycles. Nairobi […]

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November 08 2013

Let’s Build Roads in Africa!

November 8th, 2013Posted by 

‘I will build new roads’ is a promise all politicians in Africa make to their people. This happens in spite of their constituents being well aware that the main means of travel they use may be non-motorized. In cities, however, many see roads as critical for inter and intra-urban mobility. The last decade has seen […]

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