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Having forward-thinking laws, policies and implementation procedures to guide urban growth is important – these are the documents that shape Nairobi’s built environment and resident’s everyday life.

Both the country of Kenya and the city of Nairobi are currently undergoing significant governance reform. In 2010 Kenya adopted a new Constitution requiring an overhaul of key legislation at both national and local levels, including the subdivision of Kenya’s eight provinces into 47 counties.

To help the public better understand these changes, the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) was established in 2011. CIC publishes a website that allows users to monitor the progress of Constitution related legislation and allows the public to comment on these documents.

These ongoing institutional changes present a moment in time where people can participate in improving the planning and governance process for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region – increasing the chance that Vision 2030’s world class metropolis will come to life.

This page serves as a reference list of the key policies that govern urban growth in Nairobi. These policies are listed under the categories of land use, transportation, housing, environment and governance. In practice, each of these policies has cross cutting impacts, demonstrating the importance of an integrated policy management approach for Nairobi’s future. A National Urban Development Policy exists but is in draft form. Recently, the government also launched its National Spatial Policy that you can also access as a popular version. There is also a draft National Land Use policy.

Land Use- Many of these laws are now under review and possible repeal with the Omnibus BIll. 

  • National Land Commission Act, 2012: The purpose of the National Land Commission Act of 2012 is meant to provide management and administration of land in accordance with the principles of land policy set out in article 60 of the Constitution and the national land policy.
  • The Land Act 2012: The Land Act of 2012 gives effect to Article 68 of the Constitution to revise, consolidate and rationalize land laws; to provide for the sustainable administration and management of land and land based resources and for related purposes.
  • The Land Registration Act 2012: The Land Registration Act of 2012 allows Parliament to revise, consolidate and rationalize the registration of titles to land, to give effect to the principals and objects of devolved government in land registration, and for other related purposes.
  • Land Consolidation Regulation, 1989: The Land Consolidation Regulation of 1989 specifies the fee schedule that is payable prior to registration of any dealing affecting a land holding, to be paid to the Chief Land Registrar.

  • Building Code, 1968: The Building code of 1968 is the primary statute governing buildings standards, design and material use in Kenya.  It consists of consisting of Local Government (Adoptive By-Laws) (Building) Order, 1968, and Local Government (Adoptive By-Laws) and governs the construction process from inception until maintenance.



  • The Housing Bill, 2009: The Housing Bill of 2009 provides for the effective coordination, facilitation, capacity building and monitoring of the housing and human settlements sector. It establishes the Kenya Housing Authority and the National Social Housing and Infrastructure Fund for the provision of housing and other related purposes.


  • Environmental Management Act, 1999: The Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act of 1999 provides overarching regulations and enforcement for the overall protection and conservation of the environment in Kenya, including air quality, water pollution and the regulation of toxins. The Act also mandates the relevant authority to ensure the sustainable use of hill sides, mountain and forest areas within the country and shall control the harvesting of forests and any natural resources in these areas, in order to protect water catchment areas, prevent soil erosion and regulate human settlement.

  • Environmental Impact Assessment and Audit Regulation, 2003: The Environmental Impact Assessment and Audit Regulations (EIA/EA) is a critical examination of the effects of a project on the environment. The goal of an EIA is to ensure that decisions on proposed projects and activities are environmentally sustainable

  • Water Quality Regulation, 2006: The Water Quality Regulations of 2006 provide guidelines and standards for the discharge of poisons, toxins, noxious, radioactive waste or other pollutants into the aquatic environment in line with the Third Schedule of the regulations.

  • Waste Management Regulations: Waste Management Regulations are meant to streamline the handling, transportation and disposal of various types of waste in order to protect human health and the environment.

  • Noise Regulation, 2008: The Noise And Excessive vibration Pollution Control Regulation of 2008 prevents loud, unreasonable, unnecessary or unusual noise which annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others and the environment in Kenya.


  • Constitution of Kenya, 2010: Kenya’s new constitution of Kenya was published on May 6 2010 and was approved in a referendum on August 4, 2010 by a 67% majority.
    The 2010 Constitution of Kenya replaced the previous 1969 version, which had itself replaced the 1963 independence constitution.
  • Local Government Act of 1986: The Local Government Act of 1986 establishes the authority of local government, defining their role and function in managing respective urban and rural regions.

  • Kenya Urban Areas Bill, 2011: The Kenya Urban Areas Bill establishes a legislative framework for classifying urban areas, governing and managing these areas, ensuring resident participation in these areas and establishes an Urban Areas and Cities Advisory Board.

If you have recommendations for documents that should be listed above, but are not, kindly email us at:nairobiplanning@gmail.com.


  1. Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) Bill Tracker (website)

1 thought on “Policy

  1. A good but rather shallow presentation. I am a transport consultant in Kampala, Uganda very eager to know the transport policy of Nairobi as a leading city in East Africa. I have written some document of my own regarding urban traffic management but I would be more contented if only I also knew what is pertaining in Nairobi for adaptation of best practice.


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