Spatial Planning Competition

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In 2009, the Ministry of Metropolitan Development launched an international competition for a spatial planning concept that could transform the Nairobi Metropolitan Region into the world class metropolis envisaged in the Nairobi Metro 2030 growth strategy. The objective of this competition was to solicit ideas for a sustainable land use system that would:

  • Build an internationally competitive and inclusive economy
  • Deploy world class infrastructure and utilities
  • Optimise mobility and accessibility through effective transportation
  • Enhance quality of life and inclusiveness in the region
  • Deliver a unique image and identity through effective place branding
  • Ensure a safe and secure region
  • Employ world class metropolitan governance systems

This competition created a unique opportunity to re-imagine the future of the Nairobi Metropolitan Region – a dynamic and diverse area ranging from an urban core fueled by local entrepreneurial and intellectual skill, to areas of great natural beauty and high agricultural productivity. It was the first competition of its kind held in Kenya, inspiring dialog among Kenyan urban planners, designers and architects and their international counterparts.  In April 2010, after review by a jury of international and local experts, the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development announced the winning spatial planning concept. The winning concept and first runner up were displayed at a meeting of the International Society of City and Regional Planning (ISOCARP) in September 2010, a closed event for ISOCARP members and invited guests.

Despite the fact that this was the first open urban planning competition in Kenya, the public has not been invited to view the exciting ideas that were submitted by the runner up teams listed below. Only the winning proposal was released to the public, and it is now available on the website of the Ministry of Metropolitan Development.

This blog is an opportunity for the public to review and discuss the plans that were submitted as a part of the spatial planning concept competition. We believe that Kenyan residents, and the international community deserve a chance to engage in the future of their city – one of Africa’s fastest growing metropolises.

Winning Concept

“Development of a Spatial Planning Concept for the Metropolitan Region” (full submission)

Runners Up

“Nairobi Metropolitan Region: Networking the Sustainable African Metropolis”

(full submission or summary of submission)

“The Green Heart of Africa” (full submission)

“Vision for Nairobi 2030”


  1. Maina, Francisca. 2011. “International Spatial Planning Competition” MetroBulletin January Issue No 001: 26-27.
  2. Republic of Kenya. 2009. “Request for Proposals (RFP) to Develop a Spatial Planning Concept for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region” Ministry of Metropolitan Development, Nairobi Kenya.

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