Informal Settlement Redevelopment in Nairobi, Kenya
Urban planning, land tenure, housing, governance, resilience, community-led
To develop holistic interventions, the partners launched eight consortia with 46 partner organisations, who range from academics and civil society groups to government officials, utilities agencies, and private firms. Each consortium was led by a corresponding department from Nairobi’s County Government. Additionally, Muungano and its partner NGOs SDI-Kenya and Akiba Mashinani Trust (known as the ‘Muungano Alliance’) worked closely with the consortia.
Mukuru is a large informal settlement located in Nairobi’s industrial area, with about 300,000 residents. Mukuru residents face several risks simultaneously linked to low-quality shelter, infrastructure, and services, as well as the settlement’s insecure tenure and flood-prone location. About 95% of residents are tenants who rent rooms in shacks, typically built of mud and/or galvanised iron sheets. Residents usually have very limited access to water, sanitation, and hygiene; there is also elevated of tenure insecurity due to Mukuru’s prime location on contested private lands. Residents also face social and political exclusion, as in Nairobi’s other informal settlements. After years of advocacy by Kenya’s slum-dweller federation Muungano wa Wanavijiji and related action-research, Nairobi’s County Government declared Mukuru a Special Planning Area (SPA) in 2017. This SPA has developed an innovative combination of 1) large-scale, multi-sectoral upgrading, 2) strong community participation, 3) minimal displacement, 4) interdisciplinary consortia, and 5) partnerships between government, civil society, residents, and other stakeholders. The partners also 6) transformed conventional planning standards, while also seeking to enhance physical and social infrastructure. Consortia members found ways to keep nearly all households in place: for Mukuru’s new transport network, the widest road will be just 12m rather than the conventional 48m. The SPA will prioritise improved non-motorised transport and support the construction of narrower roads/paths. Implementation of this multi-sectoral intervention is already underway with various official agencies. Click here for more information.
RELEVANCE TO THE CALL TO ACTION ON SUSTAINABLE URBANISATION ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH
These examples have been chosen because of their relevance to the Call to Action, as shown by the direct quotes provided below. To view the Call to Action click here.
- “Cities and human settlements are responsible for ensuring delivery of essential services including water, sanitation, healthcare, education, public transport, and housing, upon which their citizens depend.”
- “Sustainable urbanisation requires a commitment to good governance, integrated planning, effective service delivery together with fiscal and political empowerment.”
- “Sustainable urbanisation demands collective action – genuine multi-level governance – to empower, enable and support cities and their citizens.”
THIS EXAMPLE HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY
International Institution for Environment and Development (IIED): https://www.iied.org/