Author Archive

April 03 2015

Farewell to The Grid From Constant Cap in Nairobi, Kenya

April 3rd, 2015Posted by 

It’s been slightly over a year since I started writing for The Grid, and the journey has come to an end. Starting in November 2013, while a postgraduate student, I began the journey of writing 27 blogs on diverse urbanism topics. The experience has helped me understand the challenges facing the City of Nairobi, from analytic […]

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December 26 2014

Residents’ Associations Grow From the Poor Delivery of Services in Nairobi, Kenya

December 26th, 2014Posted by 

The last two decades have seen the development and growth of the City of Nairobi at sporadic levels. The population of the city has grown from 350,000 in 1963 to 3.5 million people today. This has naturally led to the development and growth of more residential areas in low, middle and high income areas. Together, with […]

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December 12 2014

Recognition of Slum Dwellers is Essential for Urban Development in Nairobi, Kenya

December 12th, 2014Posted by 

Access to safe, sanitary, affordable housing and basic infrastructure is a basic human right. In colonial Africa, Africans were limited to living in segregated, poorly planned areas. After independence, in cities like Accra, (Ghana), Lusaka (Zambia), and Harare (Zimbabwe) rich Africans moved to European and Asian residential areas, while the poor (and increasing urban migrants) were […]

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November 28 2014

Nairobi, Kenya Increases Polytechnic Education Opportunities for Growing Sectors

November 28th, 2014Posted by 

Urban poverty is a reality in developing cities. In many cities, thousands of people live on a dollar a day. Alongside this lies a challenge faced by many governments and municipalities in providing quality education for the urban poor. Urban poor have to face the trouble of overcrowded primary schools, shortages of teachers, poor learning […]

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November 14 2014

Nairobi, Kenya Solving Traffic Congestion by Increasing Capacity?

November 14th, 2014Posted by 

Urban areas experience a lot of vehicular congestion and traffic jams cost us millions of dollars every day through wasted time, environmental pollution, and increased stress. The City of Nairobi is no exception and due to this a “Transport and Urban Decongestion Committee” was set up by Governor Evans Kidero to look into the best […]

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October 31 2014

In Kenya, Nairobi National Park Faces Development Encroachment

October 31st, 2014Posted by 

Nairobi National Park consists of 117 km2 (approximately 45 square miles) of wild flora and fauna within the city boundaries. Established in 1947, it has over a hundred mammal species including lions, leopards, hyenas and cheetahs, plus over four hundred migratory birds. The park also has various picnic sites, restaurants, and facilities for family and […]

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October 17 2014

Urban Drainage Poses A Major Development Risk in Nairobi, Kenya

October 17th, 2014Posted by 

The City of Nairobi, Kenya lies at the border of the central highlands and the flat dry plains, composing an exceptionally interesting subtropical highland climate. This translates to two rainy seasons with an average annual high temperature of 280C and a low of 150C. The southern sloping terrain enables a natural drainage flow that settles in the […]

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September 29 2014

Time for Nairobi, Kenya to Manage its Urban Freight or Face Transportation Woes

September 29th, 2014Posted by 

Population growth in cities comes with a increased demand for goods. These goods need to be transported to get to their consumers. The movement of these goods within the city is what we may call urban freight. The developing world has put little consideration into the management of urban freight within its urban planning frameworks. Most cities […]

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September 17 2014

Green Buildings Sprouting Up in Nairobi, Kenya

September 17th, 2014Posted by 

Green buildings are at times defined as buildings that are “not as bad” or “notably better” than the average with regard to impact on the environment. More technically,  a green building is one whose construction and lifetime of operation assure the healthiest possible environment while representing the most efficient and least disruptive use of land, […]

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August 01 2014

Nairobi, Kenya’s 1973 Master Plan Receives an Update

August 1st, 2014Posted by 

Urban planners from the County Government of Nairobi and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have produced a new Master plan called Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan (NIUPLAN). This is expected to guide the growth and development of the City for the next 15 years. It is the first major plan since the Nairobi Metropolitan Growth Strategy […]

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June 30 2014

The Development and Use of Nairobi’s Urban Commuter Rail

June 30th, 2014Posted by 

One of the most interesting recent developments in Kenya is the budgetary allocation by the Kenyan Government for an urban commuter railway. This came under the drive to improve productivity and competitiveness through investment in modern transport and logistic networks. A few weeks prior to this, the Governor of Nairobi launched the Nairobi Integrated Master Plan […]

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June 20 2014

Persons with Disabilities Largely Ignored in African Cities

June 20th, 2014Posted by 

Recent up-market building construction in the City of Nairobi has made a big effort to accommodate persons with disability, the sick and the elderly. Ramps for those who may have a problem using stairs, braille buttons, vocal instructions in lifts for the visually impaired, and even special washrooms for these vulnerable groups are some of […]

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June 06 2014

Is There Any Solution to Nairobi’s Parking Nightmare?

June 6th, 2014Posted by 

“Drivers in New Delhi, Bangalore, Nairobi and Milan argue most over parking spaces [and] more than half of the drivers get frustrated and end up giving up on looking for parking space,” according to IBMs global survey on parking space in major cities. Many have stated that Nairobi, in particular the Central Business District, does not […]

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May 23 2014

The Emerging Motorcycle Taxi Sector of Nairobi, Kenya

May 23rd, 2014Posted by 

When we think of mobility as a public good, we need to ensure that people can access different parts of the city in a flexible manner. There are several means that can be used for this from bicycles and cars to walking and public transportation. The phenomenon of motorcycle taxis has become popular around the world recently. However, many urban planners, authorities […]

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May 09 2014

What Direction has Nairobi’s Densification Taken?

May 9th, 2014Posted by 

The City of Nairobi has witnessed a gradual transformation over the last decade. This is the change from what were single unit houses to high-rise buildings, of several stories, like office blocks and multi-story apartments. The increasing urban population has created an increased demand for housing and office space. This has put pressure on the […]

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April 25 2014

1,500 Tons of Waste Goes Uncollected in Nairobi, Kenya Each Day

April 25th, 2014Posted by 

One of the first pledges made by the first Governor of Nairobi upon assuming office was that of cleaning up the city. Years of neglecting solid waste management had seen the city cease from being a “green city in the sun.” Increased urban growth, poor urban planning and years of mismanagement by the now defunct […]

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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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