‘Glocalizing’ Urban Sustainability: The Case of Nairobi, Kenya

The city of Nairobi, Kenya, has today reached a critical juncture in its history. Despite sitting atop the Kenyan urban hierarchy as a primate city, Nairobi is far smaller than other notable cities of the developing world. Thus, although issues of housing and infrastructure provision, economic opportunity, and environmental health are paramount in all cities, Nairobi is afforded a profound opportunity to implement a sensible approach to sustainable urban planning. For Nairobi to be successful, however, a new approach to the city’s typically heavy-handed top-down modus operandi is needed.

Increased government transparency and accountability are required, as is the fostering of a network of political, business, and community leaders who work together to plan for the city’s future. Efforts at empowering the underprivileged and improving economic opportunity offer viable means for accomplishment in Nairobi. These efforts include combining community knowledge with advanced technology through public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS), as well as uniting business, political, community, and religious leaders through a regime theory of urban growth. This study therefore assesses the problems and prospects facing the city of Nairobi. Positing the need for a model of sustainable urban planning that incorporates technology transfer, public participation, and regime collaboration, the study advocates for strategic planning initiatives that can positively affect the future of Nairobi.

Source: Spatial Diversity and Dynamics in Resources and Urban Development Springer Link (subscription required)

Photo Credit: ninara via flickr


Publication Type Book Chapter
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Year 2015
Author(s) Christopher D. Cusack and Kathryn J. Bills
Editor(s) Ashok K. Dutt, Allen G. Noble, Frank J. Costa, Rajiv R. Thakur, Sudhir K. Thakur
Other Numbers pp 99-115
ISSN 978-94-017-9785-6
DOI 10.1007/978-94-017-9786-3_6
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