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IDCK logo blue
 INTERNATIONAL DESIGN COLLABORATION FOR KENYA
UN-Habitat in collaboration with Ministry of Land, Housing & Urban Development: Urban Development Department, Kenya, is looking for creative planning and design ideas for sustainable urban development in Kenya. Students from around the world are below invited to participate in a student design competition for Kenya’s towns.

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Download the full competition brochure
Registration was completed 1 Feb

WINNING PROPOSALS

UN-Habitat and Kenya’s Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development are pleased to announce the winners for the International Design Collaboration for Kenya (IDCK). The competition was held by UN-Habitat and the Ministry to seek creative planning and design ideas for sustainable urban development in Kenya. The competition was open to undergraduate and postgraduate students from around the world.

Through this design competition UN-Habitat and The State Department of Housing and Urban Development seeked to create a momentum for greater urban design application by demonstrating the value of urban design in implementing newly drafted city/town plans in Kenya.

It targeted nine cities/towns in Kenya: Mombasa, Malindi, Kitui, Machakos, Kiambu, Nyeri, Embu, Nakuru and Naivasha.

For full information about the competition, see the bottom of this page.

The shortlisted projects were exhibited at the United Nations Office in Nairobi, where an inauguration ceremony of the exhibition also was held for invited participants.

Find the winning collaborations and their proposals below.

See the full document of all the winning proposals here (large file).

WINNER

Machakos. Urban-rural interface.

UrbanRuralInterface

Team members; Román Alonso Gómez, Sara Ferrán Ballus, María Ferré, Paul Omanwa

Collaborating universities: ETSAM – Technical University of Madrid/ ETSAV – Technical University of Catalonia/ University of Nairobi

Countries: Spain/Kenya

 

RUNNER UP – NAKURU

Urban Nodes – ToD Strategy for Nakuru

UrbanNodes

Team members: Fang Zhou, Rongchuan Zhang, Dianyu Yang, Dennis Mutua Mwavu, Hamilton Kipkoech Bett

Collaborating universities: Iowa State University/ Technical University of Kenya

Countries: U.S./Kenya

 

RUNNER UP – THIKA

Dynamic Trade Centre: Kiang’ombe CBD

DynamicTrade

Team members: Josephine Atieno Omwanda, Kelly Mia Arendse, Diego Giron Estrada, Oleksandra Tkachenko, Juliana Giraldo Sanabria, Maria Isabel Da Rocha Lima, Millicent Wawira Kareithi, Lynda Bitrus Elesa, Unbreen Qayyum, Ambrose Akpobe, Indriany Lionggo, Poonam Mehta, Ronald Michael Kamau, James Shikuku Kamande, Michael Lumadede Agoya

Collaborating universities: Institute Of Housing And Urban Development Studies (IHS) – Erasmus University Rotterdam (Eur) / Jomo Kenyatta University Of Agriculture And Technology (JKUAT)

Countries: The Netherlands/Kenya

 

SPECIAL MENTION – NAIVASHA

Rise . Raise . Rose

RaiseRiseRose

Team members: Wenchi Yang, Wahyu Pratomo Hariyono, Lilla Krisztina Szilágyi, Nikita Baliga, Alkmini Papaioannou

Collaborating universities: Delft University of Technology

Countries: The Netherlands

 

SPECIAL MENTION – NYERI

Legal Security, Work, Education, Health

LegalSecurity

Team members: Oto Novacek, Marek Trebula, Tomas Pozdech, Angela Machoka

Collaborating universities: Slovak University of Technology/ Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Countries: Slovakia/ Kenya

 

SPECIAL MENTION – MOMBASA

Mombasa: New Urban Waterfront For A Historic New City

Mombasa

Team members: Zulaika Shaari, Ayesha Binti Ahmad Zawawi , Nur Attiya Binti Masrom, Nursaffrina Binti Ropiee, Azamuddin Bin Amran, Muhamad Rozaini Bin Mohd Rom, Muhammad Hasif Bin Ahmad, Reiner Khamala, Felix Archar

Collaborating universities: International Islamic University Malaysia/ Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Countries: Malaysia/ Kenya

 

SPECIAL MENTION – EMBU

Embu – Pedestrian-friendly environment in the CBD area

Embu

Team members: Mark Ojal, Alokananda Nath, Adele Vosper, Sofia Samur Zuniga, Evandro Davi Holz, Alexander Obermeier

Collaborating universities: The Technical University of Kenya/ TU Berlin/ Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile/ LFU Innsbruck

Countries: Germany/ Chile/Austria/Kenya

 

SPECIAL MENTION – KITUI

Co-dependent Systems in Developing Economies

CodependentSystems

Team members: Blue Benington, Rudi le Hane, Claire Barry, Jonathan Melamdowitz, Arthur Magero, James Kagiri, Matthew Wambua

Collaborating universities: University of Cape Town/ Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Countries: South Africa/ Kenya

 

SPECIAL MENTION – MALINDI

Malindi Alive

Malindi

Team members: Horta López Israel Enrique, Aguayo Ascencio Aarón, Arellano Acevedo María Guadalupe, Cárdenas Castañeda Héctor Gabriel, Cedano Casillas Myriam, Dubois Casillas Carlos Rafael, Gómez Contreras Lucina, Hernandez Vazquez Jose Manuel, López García José de Jesús, Moreno Garcia Alberto, Quintero Perez Gustavo, Razo Zaragoza Alfonso, Viña Hernandez Susana Cristina, Lloyd Kimungi, Mwaura Kimani

Collaborating universities: Universidad de Guadalajara/ Technical University of Kenya

Countries: México/ Kenya

 

SPECIAL MENTION – MALINDI

Malindi Waterfront as Socio-ecological Infrastructure.

MalindiWaterfrontSocial

Team members: Alessandro Frigerio, Alessandra Sammartino, Pietro Bergamini, Pietro Manara, Mariachiara Anelli, Kenalois Murakaru Kinyua

Collaborating universities: Politecnico di Milano/ Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Countries: Italy/ Kenya

THE CONCEPT
Invitation and background

Kenya’s urban areas are undergoing dramatic population growth. UN Population Division projects that by 2050, the country’s urban population will increase from the current 12 million to approximated 43 million, close to 50% of the country’s total population. A significant share of this growth will be recorded in secondary and intermediate cities. This transition presents an equal share of challenges and opportunities to urban planning and development in Kenya.

During 2012-2015, UN-Habitat has provided “Support to Sustainable Urban Development in Kenya” through various projects; key among them is support to the Kenya Municipal Program (KMP) which entails the formulation of Integrated Strategic Urban Development Plans (ISUDPs) and Digital Topographical Mapping for select urban centers in Kenya. KMP is financed by the World Bank and executed by the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) through the Urban Development Department (UDD).

During the last quarter of 2015, the formulation of nine draft ISUDPs will be completed for Mombasa, Nakuru, Naivasha, Nyeri, Machakos, Thika, Embu, Kitui and Malindi towns. The main outputs of each ISUDP will be: a structure plan; land-use plan; sectoral plans (e.g. infrastructure such as water and sanitation, transportation, etc. and environment management plans); select detailed action area plans; and capital investment plans. The Digital Topographical Mapping will result in a set of topographical maps for town, thematic maps; Geographic Information System (GIS) database, including cadaster.

So far, UN-Habitat’s support to KMP has mainly focused on capacity development and technical advisory services in the Planning Departments of the county governments where the above planning processes are taking place. The support was expanded to include Kenya’s planning schools by advancing their training.
It is upon this extended support to the planning schools that UN-Habitat, in collaboration with the Urban Development Department (UDD) invites students from all over the world to an urban planning and design competition to complement the completion of the planning processes of the nine towns. Detailed planning and design will be a major component of implementing these urban plans. This implies that the county governments, upon approval of the ISUDPs, will embark on undertaking detailed planning for specifc sites.
The design competition is expected to run between January 2016 and May 2016. UN-Habitat and UDD will consider exhibiting a select number of the design proposals in Nairobi, Kenya in April, 2016, and during the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador from 17 – 20, October 2016.

Habitat III is the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development . The Habitat III focus is to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanization, to focus on the implementation of a New Urban Agenda, and building on the 1996 Habitat II Agenda. The New Urban Agenda will be approved during Habitat III in Quito, which aligns with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in October, 2015. Sustainable Development Goal No.11 recognizes the critical role – socially, economically and environmentally – that cities play in Sustainable Urban Development. Thus it states that by 2030, we should seek to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, at all levels and across the continuum of human settlements.

Inter-Disciplinary Design Teams to Address the Urban Challenge
Given that the majority of Kenya’s urban centers are characterized by inadequate urban planning and design, compounded by informal developments and inadequate infrastructures, urban design will contribute significantly towards the overall transformation of these urban centers by enhancing livability and unlocking their full potential. Through this design competition, UN- Habitat and UDD seek to create a momentum for greater urban design application by demonstrating the value of urban design in implementing ISUDPs in Kenya.

The conceptualization of this design competition is informed by the need to

  • Enhance the urban design component of the ISUDPs
  • Present planning students with an opportunity to participate in the process and
  • Advance their applied learning skills of planning students and
  • Provide an opportunity to illustrate the opportunities and limitations of the ISUDPs in terms of developing the next generation of Kenyan cities and towns from a spatial perspective.

The competition is designed to involve international teams that will be formed by linking students from universities in Kenya with students from external universities (outside Kenya). The teams are envisaged to be inter-disciplinary, comprising of mainly Urban Planners, Urban Designers, Architects, Landscape Architects, Urban Economists, Sociologists and Environmentalists. However, additional areas of disciplines may be invited to participate depending on the needs and interest of each team. The design competition is also intended to further promote international inter-university collaboration as a platform for knowledge exchange and co-production of approaches to livable urban spaces in diverse contexts.

International teams will be invited to work in specific towns, where they will develop proposals for a defined site in the town. The teams will submit their proposals anonymously for evaluation by a team of jurors. The jurors will select the 9 best proposals – one per town/ site – based on a set evaluation criteria; from these, the best overall proposal will be selected, and the rest will be declared as the runners-up. UN-Habitat will make available limited funds for facilitating rapid field work for each team, and together with UDD, will provide the teams with the necessary available data and information for the project.

The competition is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students from around the world. Entrants must be enrolled in a certified program during the 2015 academic year at Bachelors (preferably those past the mid-level of their program), Masters, or Ph.D. levels. Importantly, where possible, the resultant inter-university collaborations are encouraged to continue beyond the design competition, and to establish longer-term collaborations based on semester planning/design studio calendars and specific research projects.

THE COMPETITION
Overview of Kenya's urban challenges

Kenya has a relatively low urban population (projected at 25.6% by the UN Population Division in 2014), although this is set to increase significantly in the next four decades, when almost half of the country’s population is projected to be urban, translating into significant increase in the actual numbers. Despite the relatively low urbanization level, the existing urban centers are faced with numerous challenges that have undermined their role in driving structural transformation. Inadequate planning, poor urban governance and management, and under-investment in infrastructure and affordable low-cost housing have resulted in dysfunctional urban development in the country.

In 2006, the government of Kenya launched Kenya Vision 2030, whose agenda is to transform Kenya into a middle-income economy country. This vision acknowledges that urbanization will play a vital role in transforming Kenya’s social, political and economic landscapes. However, if current and future urban centers are not well planned and designed, effectively governed and managed, investments in infrastructure up-scaled and or matched to the desired levels, they will be incapable of driving this transformation. Whereas Kenya Vision 2030 has set the roadmap at the national level, only a few individual urban centers in the country have formulated development plans to guide the realization of Vision 2030. However, with a devolved government system that tasks governments with mandatory urban and regional planning, it is expected that urban centers will increasingly prepare development plans.

A combination of factors has resulted in the numerous challenges faced by Kenya’s secondary cities and intermediate towns. These include:

  • Spontaneous growth, resulting in urban sprawl, informal developments, environmental degradation, ineffective urban form with inadequate public spaces, unequal distribution of social and commercial services, and overall unsustainable urban growth;
  • Inadequate infrastructure such as roads, water and sanitation, solid waste management, electricity, recreation facilities, parking spaces etc.;
  • Inadequate housing (especially affordable low-cost housing) and public amenities (e.g. public space, recreational parks, health and education facilities, social halls etc.);
  • Ineffective land administration and land-use planning, characterized by illegal/informal land subdivisions that have contributed to a fragmented urban form, poor street network & connectivity, poor plotting pattern, and unplanned conversion of prime agricultural land to urban real estate;
  • Inability or lack of integration of informal economic activities and increasing competition over urban space between “formal” and “informal activities”;
  • Proliferation of informal settlements and their deteriorating conditions of living, often characterized by socio-economic deprivation;
  • High unemployment rates, urban safety challenges and related social issues;
  • Ineffective planning and governance institutions, characterized by inadequate capacity to plan and implement urban plans.

To address the above challenges the KMP undertook to formulate ISUDPs for selected towns in various counties in Kenya. This process is scheduled for completion in the last quarter of 2015. The competition aims to contribute to these ISUDPs by demonstrating the value of urban design in tapping the inherent potential of the towns and in addressing various challenges, including that of ineffective implementation of previous plans.

Aims and objectives

The Competition aims to create a momentum for greater urban design uptake by demonstrating the value of urban design in implementing ISUDPs in Kenya.

The specific objectives are:

  • To enhance the urban design component of the ISUDPs;
  • To present planning students with an opportunity to contribute to the process of the ISUD planning;
  • To advance the applied learning skills of the participants;
  • To illustrate the opportunities and limitations of the ISUDPs;
  • To promote international inter-university collaborations as a platform for knowledge exchange and co-production of livable urban spaces.
Conditions of the competition
  • The application is open to students of Urban Planning, Urban Design, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Economics and any other relevant discipline globally.
  • Applicants from a specific school may apply as individuals or as a group. An applicant must be enrolled in a certified program during the 2015/2016 academic year at Bachelors (preferably those past their midlevel of their program), Masters, or Ph.D. levels.
  • By applying, an applicant consents to being teamedup by the Competition Secretariat during formation of the International Competition Teams. Each International Competition Team MUST comprise of participants from both a Kenyan-based school and non-Kenyan based school.
  • The official language for the competition is English.
  • Participation in this competition is anonymous. Each team will be issued with a unique registration number which will serve as the only means of identification during the entire adjudication process.
  • Communication between a team (or an individual participant) and any member of the Jury is strictly prohibited.
  • Teams and/or individuals participating must not have a relation (personal) with any of the Jury members.
  • A finalist from each town/site shall be selected to exhibit their work during an exhibition to be held at the UN-Habitat headquarter offices in Nairobi.
  • Each International Competition Team will appoint a team leader who will be the focal point for the team. The team leader will submit the proposal on behalf of the team.
The Assignment

For each KMP town, a specific site has been identified as part of the competition. Within this site, one or several challenges related to sustainable urban development can be found. Section 21 of this brief summarizes the sites.

The assignment is for the teams to analyze the respective site, including the contextual conditions and how it fits in the proposed ISUDP, and thus to understand the inherent challenges and opportunities. Based on the outcome, each team shall forward a proposal on how the site can be developed through an urban planning and design framework, e.g. in the form of urban design guidelines or a specific project proposal. The emphasis should be on the conceptual idea, rather than the detailed solution.

The towns included in the competition differ in size, location and character. Thus, the assignment is based on different geographical, topographical, typological, socio-economic conditions, and will address urban design issues on different urban scales, from city district to neighborhood or very local level e.g. a street or place. Teams may also choose to address the urban challenges by preparing proposals based on a thematic approach.

Each team is required to undertake urban design for one out of the 9 towns listed below.

1. Embu

2. Kitui

3. Machakos

4. Malindi

5. Mombasa

6. Naivasha

7. Nakuru

8. Nyeri

9. Thika

To secure a good balance of the number of entries per county, each applicant is advised to select any three (No.) towns in order of preference; the Competition Secretariat will allocate the towns and sites to respective teams on a first come basis. A brief overview of the towns and the site locations is provided below. Further information, including the draft ISUDP for each town will be made available to successful applicants once the International Competition Teams are formed.

Competition format and schedule

The Competition shall be open to participation from a wide range of urban planning and design schools globally. The competition shall take place from January to May 2016. The Schedule shall be as follows:

  • Competition announcement – 11th January 2016
  • Questions to Secretariat and Answers – 11th to 23rd January 2016. Answers will be provided on the website on 25th January 2016 and thereafter on a continuous basis until the competition ends.
  • Registration 11th – 1st February 2016. Registration deadline – 12:00pm/24.00 hrs. on 1st February 2016 (Nairobi time)
  • Notification of acceptance & teaming – 8th February 2016
  • Commencement of actual design work – 12th February 2016
  • Submission deadline – 12:00pm/24.00 hrs. of 10th April 2016 (Nairobi time)
  • Competition results and shortlist of best proposal for each town/site – 2nd May 2016
  • Announcement of overall winner, exhibition and presentation of awards – 6th May 2016 (to be confirmed)
Right of participation/Eligibility
  • Students enrolled in a certified program during the 2015/2016 academic year at Bachelors (preferably those past the mid-level of their program), Masters, or Ph.D. levels are invited to participate in the design competition. Multidisciplinary groups are strongly encouraged.
  • Applicants whose choose to apply as a group can do so. Group sizes are open and an entire studio class from a specific university can register as a group, but this group, just like individual applicants will have to be paired with students from another university (based in Kenya or based outside Kenya, accordingly), to form an International Competition Team. All Teams must comprise students from both Kenyan-based universities and students from a university outside Kenya.
  • Applicants who choose to apply as a pre-constituted International Competition Team can do so. Team sizes are open, and universities can partner to make a team. But, this pre-constituted team must comprise of students from both a Kenyan-based and nonKenyan based university.
  • Only one single proposal can be submitted by any one International Competition Team.
  • Individuals cannot participate in more than one International Competition Team.
  • Individuals or a group representative MUST register online via the online registration form by midnight of 1st February 2016 (Nairobi time) indicating the three towns/sites – in order of preference – that they would like to develop proposals for.
  • All applicants must submit proof of student status. This should be in the form of scanned Student ID or any other form of verification. This is to be uploaded when filling out the registration form.
  • Upon successful registration, acceptance and pairing, the participants will be communicated with to their registered e-mail address by the Competition Secretariat. Each participant and resultant International Competition Team will be issued with a unique registration number that will henceforth be used throughout the competition. This is to ensure that all proposals submitted to the jurors are received in anonymous format.
  • There are no registration fees. Participation in the competition is free.
Creating the international competition teams

The competition format is based on the composition of international teams, with participants from both a Kenyan and non-Kenyan academic institution. To meet this requirement, the following options are applicable:

  • As an individual or non-constituted team – in this case an interested individual or a group from either a Kenyan or non-Kenyan based academic institution that has not identified or partnered with another individual or group to form an International Team submits an application, and the Competition Secretariat pairs the applicant with another applicant from either a Kenyan-based academic institution or non-Kenyan based academic institutions, accordingly, in order to form the International Competition Team as required. By applying, this type of applicant consents to the teaming procedure.
  • As a pre-constituted team – This applies where applicants already have constituted a team comprised of students from both Kenyan-based and Non-Kenyan-based academic institutions. This mode recognizes academic institutions that already have existing partnerships and would like to present a joint team for the competition. In this case, when filling out the registration form select that you’re applying ‘as part of an International Competition Team’, and indicate the name of your group leader.

The Competition Secretariat will decide on the eventual applicants for participation.

Facilitation and materials provided

The organizer will make available various materials for each town and site. A link to download the materials will be shared with each respective team. These materials will include:

  • The Integrated Strategic Urban Development Plan (full, draft report).
  • Summary of ISUDPs, PDF and text, in separate document. Topographical map file of the competition site.
  • Geographic Information System data for the competition site (contours, existing infrastructure and cadaster etc.).
  • Satellite/Orthophoto for each competition site.

Each team will acquire available additional material or information required for the design. Opportunities to visit the competition sites will be facilitated through the Kenya-based student counterpart/s of each team. This site visits will be aided by a member of Kenya Youth Senate, a Non-Profit Organization which has volunteered to support this competition by assisting in gathering 7 information related the sites. A Youth Senate Volunteer will be assigned and introduced to each team. The volunteer will mainly assist with obtaining any additional information about the sites.

The Proposal

Submission shall be digital only – no hard copies will be accepted. The team leader should make the submission on behalf of the team to:

kenya.urbanplanning@unhabitat.org

The Urban Design Proposals submission should be made in the following two files formats (both are required).

Poster(s) – A maximum of 2 (No.) A0 Posters per proposal.

  • The Poster should indicate the perspective taken to address the site design challenge, and contain a concise description of the proposed solution, with clear illustrations of key aspects of the proposed solution and effective visual design. It is however up to each individual team to determine what information to include in the Poster in order to communicate the proposal most effectively. Relevant site plans, sections, and perspectives/renderings are encouraged.
  • The Poster should be ISO A0 (1189mm x 841mm) in size and oriented to the LANDSCAPE (i.e. horizontal) format.
  • The scale of the site plans, sections, other drawings etc. will vary depending on site of each town.
  • The resolution of the Poster must be at least 150dpi and not exceed 300dpi. File size should not exceed 30 megabytes (Mb). UN-Habitat mail server will only accept upto 8 Mb. Participants who would like to send a file more than 8 Mb has to utilize web based file sharing programme.
  • The entry must include the Team’s unique registration number in the upper right corner of the Poster. There should be NO names, affiliations or any other forms of identification on the Poster.
  • The File Name must include your registration number and conform to the following naming convention: UNHABITAT2015_XXX.jpg and UNHABITAT2015_ XXX.pdf (where XXX refers to the assigned Team Registration Number).

Extended Abstract – One per Proposal

  • The abstract should be a summary of the design solution and its evolution, with emphasis on the concept and idea.
  • It should be presented in a maximum of 2 pages (A4 size) document saved in both Ms Word.doc and .pdf formats. Each  le must be no larger than 3 Mb in size.
  • The Name/ title of the Design Proposal should be indicated at the top of the document.
  • There should be NO names of persons, affiliations or any other forms of personal identifications in the text.
  • The File Name must include the registration number and conform to the following naming convention: UNHABITAT2015_XXX_Abstract.doc and UNHABITAT2015_XXX_Abstract.pdf (where XXX refers to the assigned Team Registration Number).
  • Only these two files saved in two formats (One *.jpg, two *.pdf and one *.doc) will be accepted. Submissions that exceed the page limit will be automatically disqualified. No additional files will be accepted whatsoever.

The Extended Abstract and a link with the downloadable A0 Poster(s) should be submitted to the email address: kenya.urbanplanning@unhabitat.org

The participants must submit their proposals no later than the midnight on 10th April 2016, Nairobi time. The subject line for the email should be ‘Proposal Submission for Students Urban Design Competition’. Proposals received later will not be considered.

Jury and evaluation criteria

The Jury for the Competition represents different aspects of urban planning and design and also represents different sectors of the urban development society in Kenya and internationally. The members of the Jury are:

1. Ms. Doris Ombara (chair of the Jury) – Kisumu City Manager

2. Ms. Mugure Njendu – Architectural Association of Kenya

3. Dr. Isaac Karanja Mwangi – Kenya Institute of Planners

4. Dr. Toma Berlanda – International Expert (Academician)

5. Mr. Gustaf Asplund – International Expert (Urban Advisor)

6. Ms. Hannah Maranoa – County Urban Planner

7. Mr. Ron McGill – Kenya Municipal Programme

Jury Moderator and Secretary – Prof. Alfred Omenya

The jury will judge based on the required materials submitted to the Organizer, in their original submitted form. Each proposal will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • How well the overall concept and idea responds to the aim of the competition, and how it relates to the context and particular conditions of the site and town in question.
  • Use of appropriate design methods such as contextual research, secondary research, reflection, critique, analysis, and empirical evaluation.
  • Creativity and the innovation articulated. Due to the diverse conditions in the towns collectively, and the possibility to address various urban scales, geographies or thematic areas, the evaluation will be based on the concept, the idea and approach to solving the challenges at hand. Thereby, a proposal illustrating very innovative solutions for one particular theme may be as strong as a design proposal for an entire new development.
  • Clear communication of key aspects of solution, design approaches and of arguments for proposed solution.
  • Originality and quality of the design solution, including claims and their supporting evidence.
  • Clarity of the presentation materials; Posters and Extended Abstract.
Awards

The jury will select the best proposal from each of the 9 towns/sites. Out of these 9, the jury will select the overall best design proposal. The team with the overall best proposal will be the Competition Winning Team. The other 8 proposals will be runners-up.

The Competition Winning Team will be awarded $10,000 US. The Organizer will partly fund nominated member(s) of the team to participate in the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador from 17-20 October 2016.

Further, the Organizer will exhibit the 9 best proposals at the Habitat III Conference in Quito.

All of the 9 best proposals will feature in an exhibition at the UN-Habitat global head offices at Gigiri, Nairobi in May 2016. The students from the Kenya-based Universities will get their travel to the UN Headquarters in Nairobi covered, to enable them to present their teams’ work to the Jury and the Exhibition participants.

Each team member from the 9 best proposals will receive a certificate from the Organizer.

Registration

As mentioned above under ‘Right of Participation/Eligibility’ and ‘Creating the International Competition teams’, you can apply as either an individual, a local group of students (from either a Kenyan based university or a university from outside Kenya), or as an already formed International Competition Team (consisting of students from both a Kenyan university and from a university outside Kenya).

In either case, each student need to register themselves via the online registration form, where they will be asked which option they wish to apply under. Please be prepared with:

  1. A proof of your student status
  2. The name of your fellow applicants (only if you apply as a local group or as an international competition team)
  3. The name and email of your selected group or team leader (only if you apply as a local group or as an international competition team)
  4. An agreed common name for your group or team (only if you apply as a local group or as an international competition team)

Please register for the competition here.

General information about the competition

QUERIES ON THE COMPETITION
The competition uses the below chat for quick clarification of various matters, which will be used to provide clarification on the competition format, organization, set-up and process of the competition. Any questions not answered below can be submitted to the competition secretariat via email address: kenya.urbanplanning@unhabitat.org Questions will be collated, and Answers will be provided collectively on the competition website on a regular basis.

COMPETITION LANGUAGE
The competition language is English.

COMPETITION ORGANIZER
This competition is organized by UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Urban Development Department (UDD) of Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Kenya. The competition and the competition brief have been approved by the Jury, the Secretariat and the Advisors.

SECRETARIAT AND ADVISORS
The Competition Secretariat comprises members from UN-Habitat & UDD. The advisors for the competition include urban planning professionals in County Governments, Kenya, Architectural Association of Kenya, Academia and World Bank.

PUBLICITY AND DISSEMINATION
The organizer intends to compile a booklet based on the 9 best proposals and some other select proposals. This booklet will be available in print format and downloadable online. The work to develop this booklet will commence in May 2016 (after the Nairobi Exhibition). The organizer will also exhibit select proposals in other relevant forums, e.g. at Habitat III. Individual team members will be acknowledged in the booklet, accordingly.

The proposals that feature in the booklet will remain accessible to thousands of researchers and practitioners worldwide.

OWNERSHIP AND USER RIGHTS
The Organizer has the user and material rights, while the competitors have the copy right and user rights.

CERTIFICATION OF COMPETITION BRIEF
The competition and the competition brief have been approved by the Jury, the Secretariat and the Advisors.

NUMBER OF ENTRIES
Individuals may participate on only one team. Each team is permitted to enter only one submission.

FURTHER INFORMATION
More elaborate information and materials will be made available to registered teams.

URBAN PROFILES & SITES
The towns included in the competition differ in size, location and character; hence, the issues of each town differ. The below provides an overview of the different sites.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 7.46.24 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 7.46.45 PM

Thika

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 8.11.15 PM

Thika town is located in Kiambu County, 50Km north of Nairobi CBD, and within the Nairobi Metropolitan region. The population in 2009 was 136,576 people, projected to increase to 323,000 people in 2039, the year that the draft ISUDP, if implemented will expire.

The draft ISUDP highlights growth catalysts for Thika to include: the transportation impact of the Thika Super Highway and Garissa road and proximity to Nairobi and the recent real estate, business and industrial investments in the town. Meanwhile, urban development is hindered by various constraints that include: inadequate infrastructure, ineffective urban governance and management, inadequate urban planning and design resulting in informal developments, loss of public space and congestion, environmental degradation, as well as physical challenges such as a steep topography in some sections of the town.

The town’s draft ISUDP proposes, amongst other things: to develop a second airport north of Garissa road; upgrade and develop new markets; densify existing development and optimize densities for compact growth; pedestrianize sections of the CBD and enhance overall public space system in the town; environmental regeneration (of the river system); enhance local economic development through upgrading and developing new retail markets; industrialization (mainly agro-based) and promoting development of secondary CBD centers (or sub-CBDs); upgrade informal settlements and upgrade and expand networked infrastructures.

The site identified for the design competition in this town is the proposed secondary CBD Development at Kiang’ombe.

Site Description: Kiang’ombe

Kiang’ombe is one of the rapidly growing sections of Thika town. Residential and commercial developments characterize the area. The area is located in close proximity to the Thika CBD, only 3.5 kilometers away. The site covers 306 hectares, mainly with low-density housing located along the main roads.

Main Challenges Confronting the Site

Kiang’ombe’s growth is mainly a product of unplanned or poorly planned development, fueled by a dynamic land market that has resulted in high demand for land in the area. The area offers opportunities for enhancing mixed-use developments and local economic development. In order to develop Kiang’ombe as a functional secondary CBD offering employment opportunities, services and amenities, commerce and playing an integration role etc., certain issues have to be addressed, top among them being: detailed planning and design, infrastructure and housing, connectivity issues, local economic development and environmental management.

Key recommendations of Draft ISUDP

The draft Thika ISUDP recommends an urban structure with a main Central Business District, with several secondary CBDs. Kiang’ombe is one of the areas marked for development as a secondary CBD.

The Assignment/Expectations of the Design

Based on the above, the proposal for this site should provide ideas on how to develop the site into a viable secondary CBD, taking into consideration the challenges of addressing the complex urban issues manifested currently. Hence, it is important that the relation between the proposed secondary CBD and the main CBD including the immediate context is addressed.

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Naivasha
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Naivasha is the second largest town in Nakuru County, located 78km Northwest of Nairobi. The town had a population of 91,993 people in 2009. The urban structure of the town is dictated by Lake Naivasha – a freshwater lake and an important ecosystem. However, the impact of the lake on urban development has remained under-explored through planning and design.

The main economic activities of the town include agri-business, mainly driven by the flower sub-sector, and the hospitality industry driven by tourism and conferencing. Two major highways, the Nairobi-Nakuru highway and the Mai-Mahiu road, as well as the tourism sub-sector, have promoted the growth of the town. However, inadequate housing and infrastructure, limited public space and mobility challenges, continue to undermine sustainable development in Naivasha.

The town’s ISUDP proposal pays attention to infrastructure provision, densification of existing urban development, environmental conservation, disaster management, enhancing public space access-especially the lakefront, local economic development and promoting low-cost and affordable housing provision.

The site identified for the design competition in Naivasha is a section of the lakefront for possible transformation.

Site Description: Naivasha Lakefront Transformation Area

The site identified is the lakefront, stretching from Kihoto area along Moi South Lake Road to Karagita area.

Main Challenges Confronting the Site

Although Naivasha town is adjacent to Lake Naivasha, the connection between the lake and urban development has been underexplored in terms of planning and design. Whereas it is evident that Naivasha’s economy is highly dependent on the lake, planning for lakefront development vis-a-vis environmental management has been ad-hoc. Within the project site, Kihoto section is built-up, mainly through informal developments that are advancing towards the lake. Cases of flooding have been reported in the area. A number of flower farms are also located at the edge of the lake. Overall, development along the site continues to unfold in the absence of a sound urban planning and design framework. This has implications for conservation of the lake eco-system, as well as enhancing inclusivity in terms of utilization of the lakefront as a public resource.

Key recommendations of Draft ISUDP

According to the draft plan, this site will fall under three main land-uses: commercial, residential (the section close to the town center and Kihoto), and eco-tourism/recreational (mainly along the lakefront).

The Assignment/Expectations of the Design

As mentioned, planning for the lakefront has remained a major challenge for Naivasha, hence, the need to provide a clear planning and design framework that offers guidelines on how development can be harmonized with environmental sustainability and the need to enhance the public space system of the town. Further, the proposal may address opportunities for local economic development by utilizing the lakefront as a resource. Planning and design options that enhance the environmental sustainability of the lakefront area, and it’s utilization as a public space and economic space, in relation to the town’s growth are required.

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Kitui

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Kitui Town is located in the lowlands of southeastern Kenya, 160 kilometers east of Nairobi and 105 kilometers east of Machakos. The town’s population was 155,896 people in 2009, according to the census report, making it then the 12th largest urban center in Kenya. Kitui is the administrative headquarter and the largest town in Kitui County. The economic role of the town to the county is thus significant.

Infrastructure underdevelopment, inadequate housing and low economic development rank high among the challenges the town is facing. Other challenges include informal land subdivisions and development and increasing conflicts over rights of trading in various sections of the town, emerging from the informal economic activities.

The draft ISUDP emphasizes: the need for increased investments in infrastructure and amenities; promoting growth of sub-centers; increasing access to and the quality of public spaces; upgrading informal markets and housing.

The site identified for the design competition in Kitui is the Kunda-Kindu Bus Park/Market Area.

This site is a major transit area for the town linking it to centres in the region and Kenya. It is also a significant informal economic activities hub.

Site Description: Kunda-Kindu Bus Park/Market Area

Kunda-Kindu Bus Park is one of the two main bus parks in Kitui town, the other one being located at the heart of the CBD. A walking distance separates the two. This bus park not only plays a transportation function, it is also a major economic cluster for the town. Informal and formal commercial activities make the place a vibrant area. The bus park abuts a major regional road that passes through the town – the Kibwezi-Kitui Road, and also a stream and informal housings units.

Main Challenges Confronting the Site

Despite the vital economic and transportation function played by the park, its optimal performance is hampered by a number of challenges, key among them being: poor connectivity; lack of a site plan that can integrate the functions effectively; highly inadequate infrastructure facilities; inadequate space; congestion and capacity issues; environmental challenges; and poor management.

Key recommendations of Draft ISUDP

The draft ISUDP proposes widening of the Kitui-Kibwezi road from 30 meters to 45 meters, to accommodate the projected traffic increase. A consideration is being made for the redevelopment of the area by relocating the public transport functions to Kalundu area, and developing the area as a high-capacity retail market that is well integrated with the CBD and adjacent uses.

The Assignment/Expectations of the Design

The design proposal is expected to develop a plan to guide the redevelopment of the bus-park into a retail market that accommodates the current users and the expected increased capacity as well as exploring options/scenarios for redeveloping the area with or without relocating the public transport functions to Kalundu area. The design proposal will also have to address the integration of formal and informal economic activities and consider revitalization of the stream flowing through the site. Furthermore, it should be noted that the anticipated expansion of the adjacent Kibwezi-Kitui Road would have an impact on the developments on the site in question.

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Machakos

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Machakos Town is situated 56 kilometers southeast of Nairobi, and is the administrative headquarters of Machakos County. In 2009, the town had a population of 150,141 people, which was projected to grow to 354,000 people in 30 years.

Analysis indicates that the potential of growth is high, due to the regional location of the town. This growth will however demand that the town invests significantly in infrastructure, housing, industrial development, environmental management, as well as institutionalizing sound urban planning and design.

The topography of the town has contributed significantly in shaping the spatial growth pattern of Machakos. The steep slopes that surround sections of the town edge have constrained growth and affected environmental management in the wider urban development area, and particularly so in the eastern section. Rural and peri-urban agricultural activities characterize these areas.

Guided by environmental analysis, the draft ISDUP indicates that the topography of the town has had a major impact on growth direction, as some sections are too expensive for infrastructure and building development owing to their steep slope. This is combined with the evident neglect of the riparian corridors and poor articulation of development along these corridors. Generally, these issues have not been fully explored through environmental and urban design.

The site identified for the competition is Machakos Town-Eastern Section

The selected site requires an approach that jointly addresses environmental design and neighborhood revitalization with consideration for the adjacent area, i.e., the CBD, the river and open space and the peri-urban agricultural land.

Site Description: Machakos Town-Eastern Section

The eastern section of Machakos town (as marked by the competition site boundary) borders a river, which acts as the interface between the urban and rural edges. The area is a relatively low-income area, with inadequate infrastructure and housing that has led to the deterioration of the neighborhood’s living conditions. Indeed, as Machakos spatially grows, this section has witnessed little spatial growth. The eastern side has become the ‘backside’ of the town, where inner-city areas have developed and environmental conditions continue to decline. Perhaps this explains why the town’s growth has had minimal impact in transforming the adjacent rural settlements across the river that separates the town and the rural area.

Main Challenges Confronting the Site

The selected site comprises of three major areas: the urban settlement, the riparian corridor and the rural settlement across the river. The key challenges are related to the urban settlement and the riparian corridor where there is inadequate infrastructure and ageing housing, resulting in declining urban conditions. Environmental challenges are prominent in this section of the town (e.g. soil and water pollution), and the relationship between the adjacent agricultural activities and the town has been underexplored through spatial plans and design. The area occasionally floods.

Key recommendations of Draft ISUDP

The draft plan has recommended upgrading of the settlement in the selected site; revitalization of the riparian reserve; and retention of the land-use across the river as rural-agricultural development.

The Assignment/Expectations of the Design

Revitalization of the settlement and the riparian corridor, whilst examining the spatial relations of the urban-rural interface, is a priority. Across the river, development of the hilly rural settlement needs to be conceptualized in the context of possible rural-urban transformations. The anticipated transformation of this relatively rural area is likely to result in the areas becoming peri-urban, being converted into urban real estate, or even being developed as model sites for urban agriculture. A proposed revitalization of the area will have to factor in various environmental considerations.

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Embu

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Embu is located approximately 120 kilometers northeast of Nairobi, on the foothills of Mount Kenya and along the major Nairobi-Meru highway. Currently the town serves as the county headquarters of Embu County. It had a population of 60,673 people in 2009, expected to increase to 144,000 people in 30 years. The town is located at the heart of a rich agricultural region; the town’s economic activities are linked directly or indirectly to agriculture.

The town’s topography is generally hilly, with steep slopes in various sections acting as a barrier to development. This has triggered urban sprawl as developers seek alternative lands in the town’s peripheries. At the same time, this has put pressure on existing developments resulting in infrastructure challenges and traffic congestion in some cases. One of the major urban challenges in Embu has been inadequate infrastructure, and increasing congestion in the CBD area. The draft ISUDP has proposed various measures to address the infrastructure problems, as well as measures to decongest the CBD and enhance better traffic management.

The competition site is a section of the CBD that requires various urban design solutions in order to enhance efficiency in traffic management, mobility and enhancement of the public space quality in the town.

Site Description: Section of Embu CBD

The site selected in this town is a section of the CBD covering a section of the Meru-Nairobi Highway, Mama Ngina Street and the stadium area.

Main Challenges Confronting the Site

The CBD area is relatively small, but quite significant in terms of commerce and financial functions. As the town grows, the populations accessing the CBD has increased, and particularly during the daytime. The CBD is a compact area currently marred by conflicts between vehicular traffic, pedestrians, and hawkers, combined with inadequate parking arrangements and poor integration of the various uses of the streets.

Key recommendations of Draft ISUDP

The draft ISUDP states “These problems will be rectified by pedestrianizing segments of the Nairobi-Meru Road (B-6) and Embu-Kiritiri Road (B-7) that pass through the CBD, allowing delivery trucks only in the early morning and late evening. Internal roads in the existing CBD area will be redesigned to incorporate pedestrian friendly features.” Accessibility, traffic management and parking issues related to the stadium have been addressed through developing parking areas adjacent to the stadium, and one-way routes around the stadium.

The Assignment/Expectations of the Design

The competition site should address opportunities to create a pedestrian-friendly environment in the CBD area. This is a priority and should include a design proposal for a streetscape that integrates diverse users, optimizes densities, and invites additional urban functions and uses. The integration of the stadium in the CBD, and solving the parking problems in the CBD is equally critical.

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Malindi
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Malindi Town is located along the Indian Ocean and is 120 kilometers northeast of Mombasa City. The population of Malindi was 207,253 according to the 2009 census. It is the largest urban centre in Kilifi County, and is of socio-economic and also historical importance. Watamu and Gedi are satellite towns of Malindi, connected by a road running along the coastal line. Tourism is the main economic sector, and the seafront accommodates significant investments in the town’s tourism sector.

Informal urban development is a major challenge confronting the town’s growth. Informal settlements such as Kisumu Ndogo and Maweni have grown over time, and poor planning has resulted in the waterfront being developed for exclusive tourist facilities with poor linkage to other parts of the town, resulting in inadequate public beach facilities for the larger section of the town. The productivity of the waterfront has also been undermined in various ways by the nature of planning or lack of it. To enhance the role of Malindi as a leading tourist destination, and most importantly to shape the town as a model coastal town, it is critical to revisit the quality of the waterfront development.

The site selected for the design competition is the section of the waterfront area of the town, running from the Northern section at the estuary of river Galana, southwards to Casuarina beach.

Site Description: Malindi Waterfront Development Area

The site is the coastal line running from the Northern section at the estuary of river Galana, southwards to Casuarina beach. The B8 and Casurina Roads demarcate the edge of the site towards the mainland section. The site has a public beach, Malindi beach, informal settlements, and numerous tourist resorts/facilities. The site is also home to various tourist attraction preservation sites e.g. the Vasco da Gama pillar and beaches.

Main Challenges Confronting the Site

Informal settlements, poorly articulated densities, poor connectivity and accessibility to the waterfront by the public, inadequate infrastructure and environmental degradation are some of the challenges facing the selected site. There is also the environmental concern of conserving the marine ecosystem in Malindi, following the poor planning and development along the waterfront.

Key recommendations of Draft ISUDP

The draft ISUDP proposes the enhancement of the provision of public space in the town, as a system and with regard to individual places, by opening-up more spaces for public beaches; upgrading of informal settlements; improvement of infrastructure and housing; and local economic development through enhancing tourist development and commercial activities.

The Assignment/Expectations of the Design

For this site, the competition expects urban planning and design solutions for revitalizing and redevelopment of the waterfront, with particular attention to social inclusivity, economic productivity, public-space enhancement, cultural heritage and environmental sustainability.

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Nakuru
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Nakuru is the fourth largest city in Kenya and the capital of Nakuru County in Kenya. The town plays a regional function and is located along the Eastern Africa Northern Infrastructure corridor. It had a population of 286,411 people in 2009, which is projected to more than double in 30 years. The town’s spatial growth is mainly dictated by the Menengai Crater to the North and Lake Nakuru to the South.

Nakuru town’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. The on-going national project of constructing a standard gauge railway is expected to boost the connectivity of both the town and the region; it is anticipated that the railway station will be a major economic hub for the town. Currently, retail hawkers markets, bus parks and a recreational park are located close to the existing railway station. However, the current railway system is highly under-utilized due to the poor state of the infrastructure. Inadequate urban planning coupled with inadequate infrastructure and housing, congestion and environmental degradation are major challenges facing the town. It should be noted that Lake Nakuru is protected by the Ramsar convention on wetlands. Thus, the continued growth of the town, without proper planning and infrastructure development is a threat to the conservation of the lake.

Nakuru’s urban challenges can be addressed by infrastructural development and densification to address urban sprawl, as proposed by the draft ISUDP. Furthermore, informal economic activities continue to demand more space for trading in the town, resulting in conflicts over street-space use and congestion in sites allocated for markets.

The site selected for the competition exhibits a combination of these challenges. This is the site where the current train station is located, including the Central Park, Matatu/Bus park area, and hawkers market.

Site Description: Nakuru Transit District

The Railway station area, the Central Park, the Matatu/Bus park area, and the hawkers market demarcate the competition site; this is the main transit area in Nakuru. Transportation, commerce and recreational are the major land-uses in this site.

Main Challenges Confronting the Site

The site presents significant opportunities for transformation of the town’s central district. However, challenges of traffic and street vendor congestion, conflicts over space, poor integration of land-uses, and inadequate infrastructure to support the functions are among the major challenges undermining the optimal functioning of the area.

Key recommendations of Draft ISUDP

The draft ISUDP proposes the revitalization of this area, including addressing the integration of informal sector activities and the provision of supporting infrastructures.

The Assignment/Expectations of the Design

At this point it is not yet confirmed whether the railway upgrading will maintain the existing train station, but it is hoped so. This implies that the site has the potential to be developed as a Transit Oriented Development. The urban design proposal for the site is expected to, among other things, address integration of uses in the area; promote productivity, including that of informal economic activities; enhance the public space system, connectivity and place making.Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 8.10.47 PM  

Mombasa
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Mombasa is a coastal city and the second largest city in Kenya after Nairobi. It is also arguably the cradle of urbanization in the East African region. In 2009, the city had a population of 939,370 persons; currently the population is estimated to be about 1.2 million persons.

The city has the largest seaport in East Africa, and is a major tourist destination. The city’s growth is projected to have significant impact on the existing infrastructure and spatial coverage. So far, the national government has embarked on expansion of the port, the construction of by-pass highways to decongest the Island area, and planning for a special economic zone.

Infrastructure, amenities and housing, unemployment and informal developments are major issues that need critical attention in Mombasa. Congestion in the island area is pronounced, and as the population increases, the available public spaces are overwhelmed. One of these public spaces is the Mama Ngina Drive area, which is the only promenade that is easily accessible to the city’s residents.

The draft ISUDP proposes the revitalization of public spaces in the city enhancing access to public beaches; densification to accommodate more growth within the existing built-up area; planned city extension; mega-infrastructural development; various decongestion measures and waterfront redevelopments for land-value capture and to increase productivity.

The site selected for this competition is the area covering the Likoni ferry crossing area, Mama Ngina Drive, and the waterfront section of Shelly beach.

Site Description: Likoni-Mama Ngina Drive Area

Mombasa city has three main land masses: the southern Likoni Mainland, the Island, and northern Kisauni Mainland. Connection between the Southern Likoni Mainland and the Island is through ferry services-the Likoni ferry crossing channel. The crossing points have matatu (bus) terminus located adjacent. On the Island area, the stretch from the matatu terminus to the Mombasa Golf Club is a promenade, Mama Ngina Drive. This is an important public space in Mombasa. Across the ocean, sections of both sides from the ferry crossing point are also part of the site selected for this competition.

Main Challenges Confronting the Site

Public spaces, especially in the form of a promenade and beach, are inadequate in Mombasa, despite the city having a relatively expansive coast line. This is partly because of inadequate planning and design, combined with ineffective land administration and management. The result is that a significant section of the shoreline is ‘privatized’, limiting the number of waterfront public spaces that are freely accessible to the general public. Mama Ngina Drive is a unique public space, but it is degenerating and requires revitalization. A similar approach is required on the opposite side of the ocean, where Shelly beach and the shoreline have the potential of being redeveloped into an integrated public space area, as well as a commercial waterfront development area. The unreliability of the ferry services undermines the level of connectivity between the Island and mainland.

Key recommendations of Draft ISUDP

The draft ISUDP has recommended various measures for this area, including a consideration to develop a physical connection (a bridge) across the current ferry crossing channel; redevelopment of the mainland shoreline (Likoni side); and the revitalization of Mama Ngina Drive recreational public space. It should be noted that the solution designed for the ferry crossing challenges will impact on the location of the matatu terminus and possibly also on the usage and orientation of Mama Ngina Drive.

The Assignment/Expectations of the Design

The purpose of selecting this site is to demonstrate a creative, viable and potentially transformative approach to the revitalization of Mama Ngina Drive as a model promenade where recreational functions are integrated with formal and informal economic activities to achieve a vibrant space that enhances social interaction and promotes economic productivity. Similarly the Likoni waterfront areas require revitalization and redevelopment. The current built form limits the realization of the areas potential for public space use and economic development. Both sides must be designed to enhance their connectivity and visual impact, bearing in mind that the crossing solution adopted for Likoni channel will impact the transformation of this site. Due to its history, Mombasa has a representation of diverse cultures, which are evident in the planning and design elements of the streets and architecture of buildings. It is important for the proposal to pay attention to these qualities.Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 8.10.04 PM  

Nyeri
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Nyeri town is about 160km North of Nairobi city, and on the western slopes of Mt Kenya. The population of Nyeri town was reported by the 2009 census as 133,346 people; the population is currently estimated at 146,000 people. The town’s growth is also connected to the growth of various satellite centers, such as Chaka Kamakwa, Gatitu, Mukaro, Kiganjo and Karia.

The town’s economy is strongly linked to the regional economy, which is dominated by agriculture.

The ISUDP process identified informal urban developments; poor land-use planning; urban sprawl; ineffective land administration and management; inadequate infrastructure and housing as the key challenges confronting the town’s growth. The draft plan emphasizes the development of the town into a compact city to address urban sprawl. This should be matched with provision of adequate infrastructure and amenities, creation of employment, and provision of low-cost and affordable housing.

The site selected for focus in this competition is an informal settlement, Witemere

Informal settlements are a defining character of Kenya’s urban centers. However, their spatial and socio-economic manifestations differ depending on the urban center. Of particular interest is that Nyeri is an intermediate city; hence, addressing its informal settlement challenge could pose unique challenges and opportunities.

Site Description: Witemere Informal Settlement Area

Witemere informal settlement is located between Chania River and Kaburini road on the northwest and 300 metres away from the town’s CBD.

Main Challenges Confronting the Site

Like other informal settlements, Witemere is characterized by inadequate infrastructure, amenities and housing, tenure contestations, unemployment and low incomes, and vulnerability to disasters. Furthermore, it is also observed that formal planning systems in many occasions have failed to adequately address informal settlements. Often, informal settlements are approached selectively without integrating them in formal plans and municipal budgeting processes. This has resulted in their continued lagging behind in terms of development and improvement of living conditions. Although this settlement faces such challenges, it is located in close proximity to a major economic center of the town, the CBD. This is an opportunity to upgrade the informal settlement with consideration to enhance the resident’s access to economic opportunities.

Key recommendations of Draft ISUDP

The draft Nyeri ISUDP proposes the upgrading or redevelopment of informal settlements in the town, to be guided by the following principles: incremental upgrading, community participation, minimal relocation, and provision of support infrastructure services and amenities.

The Assignment/Expectations of the Design

The spatial integration of the informal settlement to the wider urban development and spatial form is necessary, including addressing the environmental challenges posed by the settlement to the Chania River. Economic and functional integration is equally important. This means incorporating market places and other spaces for economic activities. The design proposal should also innovatively address the infrastructure challenges and provide options for low-cost and affordable housing and overall be a creative guide to transforming the settlement to a vibrant, sustainable neighborhood.

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Q&A
For any questions, either contact kenya.urbanplanning@unhabitat.org or directly post your question below.
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