Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and since its independence has seen very rapid population growth. Similar to many cities across East Africa, Nairobi has suffered from poor urban and transport planning and lack of a public transport system to meet the demands of the increasing population, especially those on low incomes -over half of its population live in informal settlements. Fifteen per cent of the city’s 4 million residents drive to work.
However, chronic congestion mean people have to endure hours stuck in traffic. Matatu minibuses are the dominant mass transit option and used by 30% of Nairobi’s commuters, they contribute significantly to the problem as they often do not follow routes, park illegally and block roads. Motorcycle taxis, known as Boda Bodas are also becoming widespread in the city. Due to lack of an integrated transport system getting around Nairobi can be particularly dangerous especially walking and cycling. It has one of the world’s highest number of road accidents and fatalities , many of these are pedestrians and children. According to the National Transport and Safety Authority, in 2017 there were approximately 460 fatalities of which 65% pedestrians, 14 per cent passengers. (For a detailed analysis of Nairobi’s transport system follow this link to a report by ODI )
The Nairobi Metropolitan Area Authority (NAMATA) was created to develop transport policy across city’s metropolitan area and oversee the implementation of the integrated transport master plan including the development of a Bus Rapid Transit system. i-CMiiST worked with NAMATA to investigate how creative methods could be used improve participation in the design of streetspaces.
i-CMiiST worked at two locations in Nairobi:
i) Luthuli Avenue – known for its electronics shops this through road in the heart of Nairobi is often heavily congested, packed with delivery vehicles and matatus making it very difficult for pedestrians to pass through. i-CMiiST used a variety of creative methods to co-identify the issues faced by different stakeholders who use the avenue and to propose alternatives to the street layout to make it more accessible. Read more…
ii) Yaya Junction on Kilimani Ring Road The area faces several key challenges including driver’s apathy towards traffic lights, poor street design, tension between authorities and informal traders, poor bus-stop design, uncoordinated road signs and no consideration for on-street parking. The team used different approaches to seek solutions to these challenges including participatory mapping, social media and tactical urbanism. Read more…
Watch videos of the study areas