Urban Planning in Nairobi, Kenya



Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, lies in the East African region. It is arguably the most vibrant city in the region, and home to a number of United Nations Office like UN Habitat, UN Environmental Program (UNEP), and many other international offices (Oyugi & K’Akumu 2007, p. 94). It is also the African operation centre for a number of multinationals like Google. Nairobi is the gateway to the Sub Saharan region with countries like China choosing it to be their entry point to the rest of the continent. Nairobi is faced with major urban planning challenges. The population of Nairobi has grown rapidly from a non-existing cattle watering point at the turn of the 20th century to a bustling metropolis with a population of 6.5 million while the city centre has a population of about 3.1 million according to the 2009 census (Makworo & Mirer, 2011, p. 1118). Referred to as the City  in the Sun, Nairobi continue to experience growing population pressure from the growing population as more and more troop in search for work and opportunities. Nairobi contributes about 60% of the GDP because it is not only the administrative centre of the country but also the industrial centre (Oyugi & K’Akumu 2007, p. 95). The population has growth from 3.36 million in 2011 when it was the second –largest city in Africa Great Lakes region after Dares Salaam in Tanzania. As show in the image below, the population of Nairobi has continued to rise from 11,150 in 1906 to 3.1 million in 2009, with an annual growth rate of4.1% as shown below:



Assignment 2 – Planning Typologies and Housing (further information will be provided in the class)

Maximum 2500 words (excluding tables, illustrations, bibliography)

Search the literature on planning in developing countries focussing on population growth, strategic and statutory

urban planning, housing systems, land delivery and methods of provision of infrastructure and services.

Choose a city from a developing country which has substantial informal housing. Choose a city on which there

are sufficient material available. Depending on the city you choose some of the eReaders available on the

course homepage may be useful.

Describe strategic and statutory urban planning model/style followed in the city. For example types and nature

of plans (strategy plans, stature plans, master plans etc. as they may be called)

Identify strategies and policies followed with respect to land acquisition, zoning, housing polices and housing


Discuss how plans are implemented and its success and failure on housing and infrastructure.

Critically analyse how informal housing come about and continue to persist and is a form of housing for

substantial proportion of urban dwellers.

How does informal settlements coexist with planned development and how planning strategies, land policies

deal with informal housing?

Describe attempts, if any, towards improvement of the quality and liveability of informal housing such as selfhelp

or sites and services and regularisation of housing.

Discuss why informal housing persists in developing countries and what can be done about it.

Assessment is based on the quality of the grasp of the issue, reading, research, clarity of ideas and

expression,logical arguments and ability to comprehend issues in different socioeconomic settings. Assessment

details areas below.

1. Evidence of research (40%)

2. Synthesis of information (10%)

3. Critical analysis of texts (20%)

4. Development of arguments (20%)

5. Grammar, expression, referencing (10%)

Essay should be organised under suitable headings and subheadings. Minimum of 1.5 line spacing should be

used. On the first page number of words should be stated. Word count should exclude words in table, graphics,

table of contents, and bibliographic references.

References from unverified sources like Wikipedia MUST be avoided. Harvard referencing system should be

used. Essay should have a cover page available on the course homepage.

Harvard referencing style must be used.

Feedback on this assessment will be provided on the Feedback form, a copy of which is available on the course