Proposed Concepts

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The Spatial Concept competition created a unique opportunity to re-imagine the future of the Nairobi Metropolitan Region and for a short time, it inspired dialog among Kenyan urban planners, designers and architects who participated. 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.

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.

Spatial Planning Concept Competition: Runners Up

Nairobi Metropolitan Region: Networking the Sustainable African Metropolis

By: Center for Urban and Regional Planning, Nairobi, Kenya; University of Nairobi, Kenya, Department of Urban and Regional Planning; Center for Sustainable Urban Development, Earth Institute, Columbia University; University of Leuven, Belgium, Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning; OMGEVING, Belgium; EURO IMMO STAR, Belgium; Latitude – Platform for Urban Research and Design, Belgium – Italy

Submitted by an international consortium of six partners from a variety of academic, private and public sector backgrounds, this concept was built upon the principal that a spatial concept is not an urban plan, but an articulation of the principles and ideas that will guide a larger urban planning process. The proposal provided a set of principles and ideas to guide the participatory process of developing a regional spatial plan. It recommends a series of strategic projects and tactics for implementation of the suggested process. The authors believe that the urban challenges that metropolitan Nairobi face are less about what needs to be done and more about finding effective ways to reach the needed ends. The proposal was selected as the first runner up, just three points behind the winner.

The Green Heart of Africa

By: ETC Kenya (now ETC East Africa, part of the ETC International Group); Niras and Henning Larsen Architects, Denmark.

“The Green Heart of Africa” proposes the concept of leapfrogging to plan for the future of the Nairobi Metropolitan Region.  It highlights seven Key Result areas that must be addressed to create a Regional Development Plan for Nairobi. These areas include infrastructure and utilities, mobility and accessibility, regional and municipal planning, urban planning and architecture, landscape planning and governance systems. The proposal suggests a web based portal called the KE-plan that should be used to communicate the Spatial Development Plan to citizens, administrators and municipalities.

Vision for Nairobi 2030

By: Austin-Smith:Lord, UK; Saad Yahya & Associates, Kenya

Submitted by a Kenyan and UK-based coalition, this proposal suggests medium and long distance radius ‘rings’ of infrastructure; systems of road, rail, sewage and clean-water supply and storage. The idea would link new and existing towns across the existing network of roads, river and rail lines, providing each town with its own political, economic, social and infrastructural identity.  This proposal is based on the premise that Nairobi stands at a cross roads and must balance its energy, beauty and resources when growing. The team believes that growth and change best happen from within, and any new scheme for the region has to use people and materials sustainably.

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