Nairobi's Urban Master Plan and Its Importace

Before a city comes to be the way it is now it has always gone through some preparations. Not only the literal transformation from pen and paper to reality but there is more that...

Nairobi's Urban Master Plan and Its Importace

Have you been to a place or city whose beauty strikes you to the core that you are left in awe? Well, then a good guess is that you are a witness of brilliant minds. However, before a city comes to be the way it is now it has always gone through some preparations. Not only the literal transformation from pen and paper to reality but there is more that has actually happened.

What is City/ Urban Planning?

Urban planning is the art of giving shape, design, and structure to cities and towns. 

It concerns itself with both the development of open land (green-field sites) and the revitalization of existing parts of the city. It thereby involves goal setting, data collection and analysis, forecasting, design, strategic thinking, and public consultation.

City planning in this modern revolution has been integrated with urban sustainable development which refers to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Several envisions of an ideal city or town were built based on basic considered factors like; considerations of adequate sanitation, movement of goods and people, and provision of social amenities.

Evidence that city planning exists is the strategic and orderly arrangement of streets which are either classified as Radial or rectilinear and the presence of drainage systems.

A Metropolitan area, also called Metropolis, is a major city together with its suburbs and nearby cities or towns, and environs over which the major city exercises a commanding economic and social influence.

Nairobi County has become a household name when it comes to urban development, the presence of several sky-scrappers and complex road transport systems has made Nairobi a ‘hot-cake’ attracting various International companies and investors.

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and one of the most important economic centers in East and Central Africa.

It accounts for 50% of formal employment in Kenya and generates over 50% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Nairobi plays an important role not only as a political center but also as a model for economic and social development.

In order to accelerate sound and sustainable development, an integrated urban master plan has to be prepared to improve infrastructure such as transport networks, water supply, sewerage, etc.

Major foresight and envisions have been made in Nairobi by the government of Kenya in a bid to improve the wellbeing of the citizens and economic growth.

One such plan made is the Nairobi Metro plan, which is in line with Kenya’s vision 2030 and the Grand Coalition government agenda. The mission of the Nairobi Metropolitan Region is to build a robust, internationally competitive, dynamic, and inclusive economy and to develop a world-class infrastructure to support development, and enhance linkages and accessibility to national, regional, and global contexts.

City-planning, though a recent emerging strategy has brought along its boons and some of the advantages and importance it brings to a city include;

  1. It helps a city to grow and expand and improve its infrastructure
  2. Improves the quality of life and living standards
  3. It enables a country or city to predict disasters and hence are able to curb such disasters and hence cope with them when they happen
  4. It boosts the economy of a country in terms of the contribution to the GDP
  5. Good, safe and healthy lifestyle for everyone

Urban planning and development are governed by the urban areas and cities Act 2011 amended in 2019 which gives effect to Article 184 of the Constitution. To provide for the classification, governance, and management of urban areas and cities. In addition to providing for the criteria for establishing urban areas, it provides for the principle of governance and participation of residents.

Urban planning could basically be characterized as the blueprint to the Promised Land, containing all the improvements a town could get for future generations. Sleepless nights and sacrifices are made today for the betterment of tomorrow.

Indeed, Rome was not built in a day hence tapping from the resilience and sacrifice of the Romans we could better our country’s cities, however, we can all conquer that Nairobi and other cities in Kenya have to exploit proof that city/ urban planning helps and under the right circumstances and leadership it could be an appreciated boon by every citizen, specifically the coming generations.

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