We need to Humanise Cities.

My introductions have always started with life insights or me recommending a nice book or a Tv show, (I assume you’ve noticed that by now), but today’s different. I remember commenting somewhere that I didn’t want this to be a rant blog, but our city’s situation is wanting!

I’m writing this with lots of emotions coz of the heartbreaking accident of a cyclist that happened on Thika Road, Nairobi. (may his soul rest in peace) I was so touched by the numbers that came out on the cyclist lives matter protest that happened on Saturday. That clearly showed how unsafe our roads are for the non-motorists in the Nairobi


I often imagine cycling (as an alternative to beat the traffic) but only the thought of it, is scary, from my safety, the routes to take, and where to park my bicycle. The city itself is discouraging the few that are reasonable enough to take responsibility on their own hands to reduce air pollution and at least decongest the city. I agree we all are responsible for how our cities turn out to be. But how can we even afford to take responsibility if the city itself isn’t built for us? Today’s post is a call for creating more human spaces in cities and towns.

Being a non-motorist in Kenya is clearly a death sentence. That’s the main reason why the majority of the population insists on driving themselves around the city. This continues to increase the number of cars on roads thus congestion and air pollution.

A program was recently done by Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) which involved the conversion of spaces into pedestrian walkways and cycling lanes, to make it easy for residents to walk and cycle from home to work in the CBD. Instead, motorists are already parking along the walkways, inconveniencing pedestrians as well as cyclists. This article highlights the shocking numbers of pedestrians and cyclists that die in road accidents in Kenya.https://insuranceguru.co.ke/road-accidents-in-kenya/

The term humanising the city means humans become the dominant priority in the organisation of the cities’ spaces. (cities serving the people who live in them). This is important since the citizens are the city, if the citizens are not feeling comfortable then, the city certainly is not human-centered. There needs to be a shift in the way cities are developed, cities should be developed with the intent to create better places for humans to inhabit. Urban designers and planners should consider the following strategies to Humanise space in cities and towns;-

  • Have visions and goals towards human-centered cities.
  • Have approaches that recognize problems that city dwellers face yet it also providers economic incentives.
  • Have engagement platforms to get to know what the citizens want.

Human-centered design will have a huge impact on the sense and vibrancy of the city, its advantages include:

  • Create a better place for humans to live.
  • Will make cities and human settlements more inclusive, resilient, safer, and more sustainable.
  • It will empower citizens to make more informed decisions.
  • Attracts density of people to use the NMT.

We’d love to see less car-centric streets and more pedestrians oriented.

Get in touch!

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