Top 4 books on City Making I wish I read earlier

I once had a friend review my research paper, and before he even started, his special requirements were that if I had started my essay with something in the line of “By 2030, 60% of the world’s population is projected to live in cities,” he wouldn’t even bother to continue. (The basic introduction to most urban planning and design papers; there’s nothing wrong with that; it is just common and overused.) Guess who uses that to determine whether books or papers in that genre will be interesting. Since I find city-making fascinating, I thought I’d share books that were provoking and whose ideas have stuck with me.

The following are recommendations of urban design and planning niche books that did not feel more academic in nature, but rather the writers were attempting to tell urban planning stories that anyone who is not a city planner would understand. It took some time for me to fully comprehend the urban design coursework while in school. This is a list of books I wish I had when I started.

Happy Cities

I’m starting with this because it gives the right vibes if you’re just starting to understand what urban design is. It finally gave me an answer to what I’d tell a 5-year-old if they asked what I studied at university.

The core argument of the book is that human isolation, which is primarily a symptom of design, is to blame for a great deal of unhappiness. Why not design cities that promote human connection as a goal by planning for happiness instead? It’s full of instances from cities all over the world that are putting these principles into practice and consciously designing more fun public spaces. 

A favorite quote from the book is: “A city can be friendly to people or it can be friendly to cars, but it can’t be both.” It is clear what Nairobi chooses.

The Image of the City

To be honest, this book became a little bit more technical than a book like Happy Cities. It is considered the bible of Urban Design Text. I’ll classify this as an insightful and provoking read.

Interesting questions from it: How do people view their cities? What sticks in their minds? What are the essential components of a good city, and what are their distinguishing qualities?

Kevin Lynch is more interested in the perception that the city conveys than in the city’s real physical structure. Our perceptions of cities, he argues, are intertwined with memories and meanings. One of the landmarks in Nairobi City that I can think of is Archives. It is a public realm that’s always full of people. It is a meeting point for many young people. If you want to know if someone is new to the city, they’ll propose this place as your meeting point. It is a city landmark on its own and it has helped in becoming part of the image of the city.

This is a great read, especially for urban planning and design students. It helps build one’s theories based on city imagery, and it helped me articulate my design proposals better. I didn’t miss a poster on-site analysis with the city elements from the book.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

I actually read this book quickly, although I will admit that there were a few passages that looked particularly out of date or no longer applicable. It’s a fantastic book that helped me understand what works and doesn’t in the city. It became clear to me why so many of the city’s features I adore function so flawlessly. It also taught me to use my eyes to explore and observe the city as a fun and educational place.

Anyone may understand why this book has reportedly become one of the most influential in all city planning. The major reason that I love this book, even more, is that, interestingly, Jane Jacobs was not trained as an urban designer, planner, or architect. Her observations come solely from her experiences living in and visiting cities. Major takeaways 

1) Mixed-use streets that are active throughout the day.

2) short blocks to allow for variation in routes and ultimately more foot traffic, 

3) Inclusive spaces for everyone.

4) Increased Density.

The City Makers of Nairobi: An African Urban History

This is my current read. I’ll update the review once I’m done, but it’s giving Nairobi Urban Planning History before the 1960s, a history that’s often not mentioned.

I’m interested in what book fascinated you recently, I’d appreciate it if you’d recommend some of the interesting urban planning books on African cities or Kenyan towns that I should read about in the comment section below. So far, I’ve found Kenyan design guidelines quite useful. Some of the Kenyan design manuals that I have interacted with include:

Street Design Manual for Urban Areas in Kenya

The guidebook is by, which aims to mainstream best practices for street designs that prioritize environmentally friendly forms of transportation and enhance the safety of vulnerable road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians.

The Just City Concept

How many times do we think about justice when designing our cities? The study proposes how the idea of a just city might be implemented in Kenya, paying particular attention to urban institutions, citizens’ rights, housing regulations, and public transportation systems. It also introduces to you the 4 major just city concept pillars. Which includes 

  • Dignity
  • Diversity and equity
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Democracy

The 3Ifs

The 3iF—integrated and Inclusive Infrastructure Framework—is a practical guide for Kenyan entities involved in infrastructure and informal settlement development. By bringing together government, built environment experts, students, and academics, it aims to maximize the integration and inclusion benefits of projects and learning. It is meant to be utilized in the development of policies as well as in the planning, design, and implementation of infrastructure improvement projects to minimize inequality and promote shared prosperity. The guidebook can be accessed through

“Let’s make Nairobi work” manifesto: will it make a change?

We had a boring election, and I’ve never been this happy about being bored. Apart from the few hands thrown at the Bomas of Kenya, it was such a flex to see how surprised the neighboring countries were by our civic, mature, and democratic election process—never been prouder of Kenya!

This Tiktok video shows the growth we’ve experienced as a country

I’m writing this while laughing at the number of times I’ve postponed duties and made promises using the after-election line😂. The tension that had built up all over the country was insane. I’m glad we are done(hopefully) with the election season; life can now go back to normal.

This article accurately represents my political views, written by Nanjala Nyabola via The Nation.

Someone suggested that we petition for the introduction of the NONE OF THE ABOVE option on the ballot; I believe that this will encourage young people to cast their votes.

Today’s post will highlight several promises made to Nairobians by Governor-elect Johnson Sakaja (Urban planning niched) that will aid us in holding him accountable during his term of service.

I examined Polycarp Igathe’s manifesto, which was precise, well-written, and widely distributed in newspapers. In contrast to Sakaja, he had a more straightforward manifesto for which people could hold him accountable. I also loved Igathe’s campaign strategy, the NAI TUNAVYO ITAKA concept, but it’s evident that Nairobians wanted to restore dignity and order to the city.

Polycarp Igathe’s billboard on Ngong Road
Snippet of Polycarp Igathe’s manifesto

Sakaja’s manifesto was launched as a professionally directed and persuasive video stream. which I thought was brilliant. He instilled a lot of hope that he will transform Nairobi. Some claim that women voted him in because of his looks.

If there’s a manifesto, most people, if not all, will remember it’s Sakaja’s and the single QR-enabled license/business permit for all businesses. Best belief, all of Nairobi’s business people, with kanjo’s on their necks, won’t forget!

In his manifesto, Sakaja pledged to build 20 new markets throughout Nairobi to support local vendors and ease traffic at the two main city markets, Gikomba and Wakulima, in order to create a welcoming environment for conducting business.

He will divide Nairobi into five boroughs if elected in order to decentralize control of the county. He will appoint city managers to lead each of the five, which are East, Central, West, North, and South. The needs unique to each area of the city will be addressed by the city managers.

Photo courtesy of Sakaja’s manifesto

Mr. Sakaja is betting on developing an integrated mass transit plan that will include smart solutions to decongest the city center and subsequently reduce the amount of time spent in traffic jams by 80% in order to deal with the ongoing traffic jams in Nairobi.

He intends to quickly address corruption and conflicts of interest in the waste management industry as well as provide adequate infrastructure for waste disposal by providing trash cans in both residential and commercial areas.

Summary of the manifesto

Congratulations to him, now time to deliver! We hope in 5 years time we will be checking the boxes of these promises. Here is the link to the video stream of the manifesto and also the document.

As you read through the manifesto, mark which promises you to want to see fulfilled and what other issues you want him to focus on. I’m curious, do you honestly believe this plan will make a difference in Nairobi?

Sustainability is now a need!

I love documentaries; those life-altering documentaries are my favorite to watch. On this particular day, I decided to watch this one, The True Cost, which covers the damage humans have done to the planet. The True Cost highlights the fashion industry’s horrific exploitation of the planet and its people.

It didn’t take long for it to sink in that I actually care about these things. Coincidentally, my sufficient writing skills and the fact that I was pursuing a degree in Urban Design proved to be a good combination for me to begin blogging. Blogging about the issues I care about, hoping those around me get to see my perspective.

I wish that for everyone, the awakening part, the realization that you care about where you live, your neighborhood, or the city in which you live. I hope this blog provides you with that opportunity. I hope you are, or you eventually get tired of living in mediocre spaces like me, spaces that lack necessities like a tree, and muster the courage to take actionable steps.

I remain adamant that urban planning and design are not the sole purviews of our architects, urban designers, or planners, nor are they a one-person or one-professional job. The famous quote by Robert Cowan Says

A city’s environment is shaped not only by the people who have an important influence but by everyone who lives and works there.

I’ve written several pieces advocating for better urban spaces, one of my favorites being   Do we really need to own cars in cities? Tag along if such kinds of posts and articles interest you.

‘NAKURU CITY’: Does It Deserve the ‘City’ Status

Hey there,

Welcome to the final blog post of the year 2021!🎊

The next time I write to you will be in 2022, when I’ll most likely be sitting in the same spot, wondering if time is really real… But let’s not go there right now. The past few months have been nonstop school work. Allow me to blame my silence on school. I hope you’ve been doing well all this time.

I’m just here to offer you all the urban news in a lighthearted manner❤️ before you stop reading your email before the holidays. Happy Holidays🎉, I can’t say I’m feeling all merrily. That, I suppose, is adulthood, and if you’re an adult reading this, I’d love to hear where you get your Christmas vibes from aside from family and, of course, food. Or, what are we supposed to feel?😂

This piece was inspired by the president’s declaration that Nakuru has been designated as a city. Many of us were thrilled, but others questioned whether Nakuru truly deserved the title.

A fierce argument has raged in Kenya for some time about whether the two cities, Nakuru or Eldoret, should be given city status.

In today’s post, I’ll highlight several factors that a town needs to meet for it to be a city, and we’ll discuss whether it truly deserves that title, and I’ll let you judge and draw your own conclusions.

According to the urban areas and cities act (an act of parliament that, provide for the classification, management, and governance of urban area and cities), a town must meet the following criteria in order to be upgraded to a city.

• Has a population of at least five hundred thousand residents according to the final gazetted results of the last population census carried out by an institution authorized under any written law, preceding the application for grant of city status. 
• Has an integrated urban area or city development plan in accordance with this Act;
• Has demonstrable capacity to generate sufficient revenue to sustain its operation;
• Has demonstrable good system and records of prudent management;
• Has the capacity to effectively and efficiently deliver essential services to its residents as provided in the First Schedule;
• Has institutionalised active participation by its residents in the management of its affairs;
• Has infrastructural facilities, including but not limited to roads, street lighting, markets and fire stations, and an adequate capacity for disaster management; and
• Has a capacity for functional and effective waste disposal.


It is also one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the country and the main way to get to most of the rest of the country. The city is situated at the intersection of several major highways, including the Baringo-Turkana, Nyahururu-Nanyuki-Isiolo, Nairobi, Eldoret-Malaba, Kisumu-Busia, Narok-Kisii-Migori, and Nyeri-Embu-Kitui roads. The Northern Corridor, which connects Mombasa-Nairobi and Kampala, passes through Nakuru. It is also served by the old Mombasa-Kampala railway, making it an ideal center for raw material movement.

The fact that it’s easy to get to from any part of the Rift Valley or the country, except for Mombasa, makes it a good place for businesses to set up. This gives the county a big boost in socio-economic development.

Its Economy Growth Rate

It is one of the country’s most important commercial and economic centers, and one of the top five contributors to GDP (GDP).

Furthermore, Nakuru was ranked as one of the cleanest towns in East Africa in the 1990s, attracting investors and tourists.

As per the UN-Habitat, Nakuru is the fastest-growing town in East and Central Africa, and it’s the fourth-largest metropolitan center in Kenya.

Infrastructure Upgrade

The city has undergone a substantial infrastructure improvement to improve traffic flow, including the development of bypasses and interchanges as well as dual major roads.


Nakuru is a popular tourist destination for both local and international visitors, especially due to its proximity to a variety of game parks. Visitors flock to Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Elemetaita, the Hyrax Prehistoric site, Menengai Crater, and the private Soysambu farm, all within a short distance of the city. Lake Baringo, Bogoria Lake, Lake Naivasha, Aberdare, and Thomson Falls in addition to the Laikipia Conservancies are all accessible via the region’s tourism loop.

Nakuru is also recognized for being a convenient escape from Nairobi for revelers, thanks to its vibrant nightlife, which has earned it the nickname “Nax Vegas.” Afraha, the city’s major stadium, hosts football, athletic, and rugby competitions.


It is estimated by the Kenya Bureau of Statistics that the town has 260,000 residents, which means the city could have more than 300,000 residents. With the increase of services, Nakuru is expected to have more than 500,000 residents in the next 15 years, providing the necessary population for supporting industry growth.

On the brighter side, the city will be the only city in the world that has a lake and a national park. With the title, Nakuru will join the likes of Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu in cementing its status as one of Kenya’s cities, with a range of benefits that will see the formerly small town transformed into an economic powerhouse.

What are your thoughts on this, Is Nakuru worth the ‘city’ title?

I haven’t had the opportunity to live in Nakuru; this piece is primarily based on research; I frequently travel through the city on my way home. Your feedback will be very important to those who live there.

Urban Designage @ One: Adventure awaits

A year has passed since I had the audacity to start putting myself out there. By out there I mean The internet. And yes, audacity is all we need. Do you know what that means? It’s been a year of you clicking the links that I share with you via email or social media.  

It’s been an exciting journey. I honestly learnt a lot from running a blog compared to what school has thought me. It has made me do more research than I have ever done on my assignments and the good thing is I have you as an audience to witness this learning process. I hope you are as proud as I am of what this baby is growing to be. 

The main lesson that I have learned is how consistency plays a huge role in our lifetimes. I have tried being consistent with my writing but school is demanding. I just finished a semester and preparing to start another semester next week. But ill update new blogs when I can. I’ll also share school projects that have made us listen to hope FM throughout the night 

For our first anniversary ill highlight Some of the oldest blog, can’t believe I’m saying old coz it’s just yesterday I was scared as hell to press the publish button of my first blog 

This was a popular post, being my first public writing even my friends could believe I write but you know what everyone can write we just need the audacity to put them publicly.
This is the kind of post I send as my blog signature. You’d want to read since it tries to question if you really need to own a car in a city 
I also recommend reading this since it talks about ways one can deal with imposter syndrome. I often revisit the post to try and implement what I wrote.

Other recommended post includes 

And here are the current stats of the blog so far 

Special thank you to: 

  • You, From the beginning, you’ve been reading and giving me thoughts on this site. Because your comments make this place more dynamic and interactive, and I’ve learned so much from them! 
  • My editor for making sure that the things I post on here make sense. 
  • My blogger friends and friends have been a big encouragement to me, always visiting my blog and motivating me with their support and comments by sending me emails, constructive criticism/corrections, or messages simply to say hello 
  • Sharing this blog with your friends and family 
  • And also Following me on social media and engaging with my posts 

Thank you for trusting this young Creative. Buckle up for the new adventure that awaits.

Cheers 🥂

Matatu Culture or BRT?

Today’s post was inspired by the virtual workshop I attended last month. It was organized by ITDP Africa. The workshop assessed the current and planned BRT systems in Africa which is:

  • Nairobi Thika Road BRT.
  • the Addis Ababa B2 BRT system.
  • the Cairo BRT system.
  • the Dar es Salaam BRT.
  • the Kigali bus sector modernization.

Head over to their website and listen to the webinar recordings and presentation of the workshop.

Mobility is a crucial topic in Kenya. The experts discussed most of the solutions that can be used to sort the mobility issue in Nairobi. The major takeaway I had from the webinar is that it is better for Kenya to benchmark on the already similar working systems rather than generating new unproven systems to be implemented.

Let’s talk about matatu culture. We refer to it as a “Club on Wheels,” Most of them are loud, with beautiful graffiti-style paintings, custom designs, flashing lights, and onboard entertainment to attract the attention of the young passengers.

The matatu sector has benefited greatly from technological advancements. Some offer high-speed internet access as well as power outlets for charging phones and other electronic devices. Once the car has been pimped up and it has left the garage, it will be marketed to matatu fans on social media sites.

According to Kenya’s Transport Ministry, 70 percent of the city’s 4.5 million commuters rely on these minibusses to get around. these privately owned taxis that transport multiple passengers have developed from a mode of transportation to a way of life.

  • they are the largest employer of youth in Kenya.
  • they are used to communicate Kenyan pop culture,
  • premiere new music videos and sometimes interactively transmit conscience messages.
  • They are an important part of Kenya’s heritage and authenticity.

The uniqueness of the culture attracts visitors who tend to be amazed by the vibrant design, including American celebrities like Cardi B, Chris Brown, and Trey Songs.

While Matatus are the preferred mode of transportation for most Kenyans, they are inexpensive, easy but sometimes chaotic. To keep ahead of the competition, matatu touts and drivers are known for causing havoc on the busy streets of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. They are known for violating most traffic laws, particularly during rush hours.

The Matatus have destinations, but no schedules. They compete for the same routes and leave only when all passengers are on board; otherwise, the trip would not be worthwhile. Buses with the best artwork, the friendliest drivers, and the most entertaining conductors fill up fastest.

As a regular user of Matatus, I have had a fair share of some negative experiences with them. some touts are always rude for no reason and it is believed that “nganya” has some favoritism that only attractive girls are allowed to take the front seat with the driver.

A loving and loathing culture paradox exists within Matatu culture. The urban youth see them as a source of identity while some visitors and older generations see all they are as chaotic.

However, government bans and alternative modes of public transportation can soon put Matatu culture at risk. Clearly, the introduction of the BRT in Nairobi will have a significant impact on many workers who rely on the matatu industry for their livelihoods.

Read about BRT

Govt announces schedule for Nairobi BRT buses

After the introduction of BRT, it is also certain that the matatu business would continue to play an important role in Nairobi’s transportation system, providing feeder routes and transit services in areas where BRT does not serve.

Therefore, the key question is how to develop and integrate this crucial aspect of the public transport system properly with BRT needs to be dealt with.

Whether or not BRT is successfully implemented, Kenya’s plans for an eco-friendly and integrated passenger transport system still need to address some key issues in the city. The formalization of employment, elimination of extortion, corruption, reducing congestion and pollution are essential to mobility in Kenya.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Pre-independence Planning Attemtps Of Nairobi

The emergence of planning in Nairobi can be traced back to the arrival of the train in the plains of the  River Nrobi. This place was chosen by the railway builders as an ideal resting spot while awaiting the ascent of the steep Limuru escarpments. Kenya’s first proposal was to establish a railroad town along the rails, a colonialist’s first infrastructure built to link the hinterland to the coastal region.

Nairobi was a good option because it provided a convenient stopover between Mombasa and Kisumu, as well as sufficient water supply from the nearby Nairobi and Mbagathi rivers. The terrain was relatively flat, making factories, industrial areas, and a depot possible.

Following the establishment of the railway depot, certain spatial trends emerged, including the railway station, a shopping center, housing quarters, and the Indian bazaar. This layout was based on the 1898 Railway Town Plan and the 1899 Railway Staff Quarters Plan.

Nairobi’s transformation from a railway town to an administrative and commercial center under the British protectorate was aided by the move of provincial offices from Machakos to Nairobi first, and then the protectorate headquarters from Mombasa to Nairobi.

In 1900, the city became Nairobi’s first township. This was the beginning of the town’s municipal government. By this time, the city had grown into a large and prosperous town, with settlements primarily consisting of KUR structures, separate residential neighborhoods for Europeans and Indians, and a small African settlement in Eastland. By 1909, a large part of Nairobi’s internal structure was already built, particularly in the Central Business District (CBD). In the year 1919 Nairobi was named as a municipal council with corporate rights

Nairobi was 25Km2 in 1920, 90km2 in 1927, and 684 square kilometers in 1995. Nairobi’s business and regulatory status extended related to its populace. Key business roads like Delamere Street- now Kenyatta Avenue and Government Road-now Moi Avenue, became significant shopping zones as zones like Bazaar Street now-Biashara Street emerged. Hence, a lot of the old buildings in the town are also located on these streets

With the commissioning of the 1948 Master plan by the Nairobi Municipal Council and the Railway Authority, the settler capital was further elevated to a colonial capital. The plan’s main goal was to make Nairobi more appealing as a capital for Kenya and the East African region. The plan, like other proposals for colonial capitals, aimed to improve relations between the colonizing nation and the colonial territory.


However, the plan was specific, focusing on European and Asian traders, with the raised grounds toward the west saved for private use. Since the land seemed, by all accounts, to be abandoned (pastoralism practice by the Masais), it provided opportunities for land appropriation.

In the early stages of the growth of Nairobi, racial character in various places portrays the racial segregation created by spatial organizations. Europeans lived on the railways in the north and west;in areas where they had easy access to ports and roads for the transportation of goods, the colonisers developed centers of life represented by administrative, cultural, economic, and recreational activities.. Africans and Indians were restricted to the eastern and southern regions.

As a result, the spatial structures of Nairobi, became overly dependent on a limited number of economic geographic areas.With a few exceptions, these land-uses have remained unchanged in modern-day Nairobi.


Teckla, Muhoro, et al. “Reflections on Architectural Morphology in Nairobi, Kenya: Implications for Conservation of the Built Heritage.” Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage in Kenya: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach, edited by Mugwima Njuguna and Anne-Marie Deisser, 1st ed., UCL Press, London, 2016, pp. 75–92. JSTOR, Accessed 15 Mar. 2021.

Owuor S, Mbatia T. POST INDEPENDENCE DEVELOPMENT OF NAIROBI CITY, KENYA Pre-colonial patterns of urbanity and rurality and the European colonial legacy 3. Urban Geology of Nairobi. 2008;1(1):22-23.

Post Pandemic Cities

Urban centers are home to half of the total populace and are drivers of development and creativity in the economy. The high concentration of people and events in urban areas, also, makes them inclined to different stressors, for example, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.People were seen fleeing out of most urban centers for safety.

Significantly more than one city has been closing down, converting urban commercial centers, suburban malls, and other public areas into ghost towns as the infamous coronavirus rips through the globe. A few nations are as yet under lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19. Kenya was one of the nations that partially pre-owned this methodology to contain the infection.

This isn’t the first occasion when this has occurred—since days of old times, urban areas have become the focal points of transmittable infections.

With the coronavirus set to restructure the urban environment over the coming years, we are headed for rather momentous days with these upcoming changes. Urban centers being the epicenter of the pandemic, there should be more of advocating for the reimagining of cities and proposing alternatives ways for creating a resilient built environment. The main aim of this blog post is to explain the effects of the pandemic on cities and to highlight valuable lessons that can be learned from urban planning post-COVID.

Positive impacts brought by pandemic to the city

New concerns have been presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, compelling us to reconsider the manner in which we fabricate our urban areas. Without neglecting the idea of a city as a social community, the emergency has additionally allowed us a chance to rethink the connection between urban design and public health. Allowed us to re-examine the manner in which we plan urban areas. How urban areas are planned is crucial to the management of infectious diseases.

Following the imposition of social distance, lock-down and minimal human contact with nature at its peak of the pandemic proved to be a blessing of nature and the environment. It caused a huge drop in air and water pollution.

The pandemic also encouraged the emergence of the most essential businesses that we didn’t know we needed. In Kenya delivery of products surged since most people were quarantining from home, this made a lot of people get conversant with online shopping. While most of the population lost their jobs, a good number used the break to venture into new activities and explore several things that they are interested in. The pandemic fostered creativity because of the availability of time.

Some of the changes that should be considered includes

New mobility options:

In general, human mobility and transport networks that improve inter-and intra-urban connectivity are seen as the main factors leading to the spread of infectious diseases and their role in previous outbreaks of diseases. This is a strong indicator of the greater resilience of non-motorized transit systems to pandemics. Investing in such infrastructure not only helps to contain the strain of the virus but also improves access to services, and reduces demand on overcrowded transit systems in emergencies. To ensure social distancing, the management of bus stops and the transport sector must be rethought comprehensively. Kenya is embracing the use of Non-motorist transport.

Digital Infrastructure:

Techno-driven techniques i.e., tracking down infected people. has been effective in suppressing the virus, but has raised questions about data rights and accountability. During the pandemic, most of the institutions in Kenya embraced online learning while this disadvantaged some of the people that couldn’t have access to the internet. A lot of businesses also went online this created a lot of activities on the internet. With many of us now embracing online activities better digital infrastructure needs to be put in place to facilitate remote work where possible.

Access to essentials:

The coronavirus pandemic was a wake-up call for cities around the world to reconsider community development with health protection as a top priority.  Easier access to hospitals and public health systems makes regions of high density less vulnerable to pandemics. Designers’ focus should be directed to rediscovering and redesigning social and leisure places according to individual needs and to constructing them as pandemic-resilient, adaptive spaces.

Talk about Mental Health more:

In a country like Kenya with inadequate public health and crippled mental health services, and where the majority of the population lives on less than $1 a day threshold, mental health is essential to an effective response. Suicide and quarantine breakdown stories demonstrate that care for mental wellbeing needs to be incorporated at all levels of response.I deduced a while back on an article on how urban centers affect our mental health.

Making city infrastructure more flexible:

Embrace cashless economy:

Mechanisms to be incorporated that can drive Kenya to a cashless economy to aid in the prevention of the spread of the virus. Although this may have lots of Limitations since a large percentage of the population in Kenya lives on less than $1 a day. Some public transport currently discourages the use of M-Pesa for transactions because most of them incure losses due to Reversal of transactions.

Enabling more peripheral development, which would involve major changes in land use and zoning regulations. Other strategies in different sectors of the country must be established in order to improve the post-covid economy, including :

  • FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION. .                                                   

What are your thoughts on this?


Good-morning , good-evening or good-any-time you are reading this. I figure you can tell how energized I am. This post will be me just rumbling about things which will aid in my posting consistency and also help me in train my writing muscle.

My last blog post steered loads of discussions on the progressing development of the Nairobi Expressway. A great deal of you all connected and many remarking in my inbox. It is always nice to share insights with you and furthermore appreciated the calls that I got on individuals needing to add more to what I have written . I appreciate the entirety of the commitment I got.

Look at this as a safe space for your opinions. Your thoughts may change the world, don’t hesitate to connect with or perhaps be a visitor author here. I’m constantly intrigued by how easily overlooked details rouse us. I opened WordPress, with the point of composing a blog post that will force a conversation on how we will manage private vehicles since they’re the principle motivation behind why we have congestions on our streets. Furthermore, in the event that you are contradicting me simply attempt and mention an observable fact on any road you will be in. Check the quantity of private vehicles versus the PSV. Fun fact😂,I’m on traffic congestion while writing this.

I’ll actually expound on that,but not just yet. I’m patient enough to stand by till the time we are ready for that discussion. I had a discussion with my friends examining if pedestrian underpass would work in Kenya and the reactions were amazing , i’ll certainly connect them here to welcome every other person to join the discussion.

I am thinking underpasses for pedestrians is really a nice idea but mostly such kind of projects would require you to have in mind several aspects like safety, convenience, crossing time, accessibility, and personal security. Actually out of all those issues, safety comes first, coz it’s what’s going to guarantee whether or not people actually use the underpass.

In Nairobi for instance, most of these aspects are some of the issues we’re dealing with while moving along the streets, both during day time na usiku. Is it a great idea? Yes. But then am thinking most of the security issues will take time to address even with the inclusion of lighting. Say something like personal security, ukiwa CBD utaibiwa tu ata mchana and mostly there’s nothing people do or sometimes, can do. How safe are the pedestrian tunnels going to be and this mostly depends on the distance but am thinking it’s quite achievable.

Faith Kinyajui.

Yes it could be costly but less struggle to the public….There are some basic maintenance stuff we’re just supposed to be doing. Drainage isn’t a negotiation…ni something every civil engineer ama a contractor ama whoever constructs roads anajua anafaa kutengeza… it’s just supposed to be there. It doesn’t matter kama ni an underpass bridge ama fly over a proper drainage system is just out of the question of inclusivity as a red flag.

I believe security can be worked out too. All security measures can just be placed na kuwa followed at per. Europeans & Westerners have underpasses for non motorists na it’s a no brainer to them. Story ya machokoch inakuwa neglected but really as tough as it sounds hawafai kuwa tao in the first place leave alone using hizo places as shelters…. They’re budgeted for kwa county governments and Kidero mentioned it time yake…I believe NMS can handle them better than CG.

I have no objection for flyovers. It’s just that there’s a better solution out there and non limiting…Ni vile we’re stupidly poor at executing ideas fully…pole..My bad

Brian Mulanda

I know of it, but it’s a hideout for street kids, and its always defaced na human waste…

Anyway, an underpass while a good idea should incorporate safety & security of it’s users… This can be achieved by having it as wide as possible in such a manner that it accommodates adequate lighting… Another thing that the wide space brings about is for instance, small stalls can be constructed at either end of the underpass, this not only addresses the safety & security issue but also creates employment however meagre it seems…

Then, there’s the issue of aesthetics, let it be aesthetic to the public, those using it or not, murals can be done on either side of the walls, it addresses the issue I’d seen raised on sight seeing…
Underpasses work elsewhere in the world, I don’t see a reason as to why they can’t work here
Thing is, regular maintenance is required and that can be achieved…

Victor Kinyuti

Take a case of university highway ukiingia UoN, that’s an underpass bridge for pedestrians. One things, hakuna site seeing mtu akitumia underpass so it kinda would be boring though safety measures observed for pedestrians.Its true kenya hatujafika hapo but its an idea that can be adopted in future.

Joshua Mugi

Kenya’s infrastructure is not ready for underpasses. We should just focus on improving other aspects of infrastructure underpasses itakam watu wakiacha kuibiwa mchana kwa streets.

Kelvin Malongo

Those are just a few sampled. Join the conversation! What do you think?

Is Nairobi Express way a good idea

I’m excited to write about this coz this was one of my school papers that I enjoyed giving my opinion on. Now that I’m running this blog, I don’t see the reason why not to write about it here. First post this year I’ll be taking suggestions on what you want to be reading.

Allow me to summarize bits about the expressway. The State-backed multi-billion-shilling expressway that is to be developed would ease traffic along Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway, and Waiyaki Way. Construction began in October 2019 and the road is planned to be in operation by June next year.

The expressway will have four-lane and six-lane dual carriageways within the current median of Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway, and Waiyaki Way, as well as 10 interchanges. The segment from the Eastern and Southern by-passes would be a six-lane dual carriageway, while the section from the Southern Bypass to James Gichuru will be a four-lane dual carriageway.

The purpose of the project is to allow a relatively limited number of personal vehicles to move faster. The highway traffic forecast predicts that approximately 22,000 private motor vehicles will use the facility compared to over 500,000 planned passengers per day on Line 1 BRT. Motorists using the Nairobi Expressway under construction can prepare to pay toll charges as high as Sh1,798 for each journey.          

The worrying issues concerning the project:

  • Road designs and construction plans tend to have little concern for green spaces, yet green spaces are at the center of sustainable development.
  • The project requires a substantial acquisition of land, partially due to the need for large areas for toll plazas. This makes the project costly and will draw on funds that could otherwise be invested in much-needed sustainable transport alternatives for 80% of Nairobi’s walking and cycling residents.
  • The business model of the project promotes the use of private cars. This goes against the best practice in urban mobility of reducing the use of personal motor vehicles. It also goes against attempts to remedy existing inequality and to tackle local air pollution and climate change.

Other long-term impacts of road expansion are increased car travel, increased demand for parking (which is already limited), increased fuel consumption, vehicle exhaust pollution, and road accidents.

Many of these overhead urban highways have proved to attract more cars and lead to changes in adjacent use because of perceived ‘infrastructure improvements’ which results in more congestion. After finding they didn’t help alleviate the congestion of traffic, several cities that had set up overhead highways have finally taken them down.

Will the project have a positive impact on the common man? It would be curious to see how this toll policy works and how the public reacts, as the same thing happened in Johannesburg and the drivers actually refused to pay for what they did not pay for before – which contributed to significant financial difficulties for the national road agency and its ability to do their job.

Now here is the importance of public participation, I came across this tweet and it was a good idea however the main concern about the cycling path under the Expressway will be the security of cyclists. If the spaces won’t be used it will be claimed by the homeless for shelter or hawkers and small shops.

What are your thoughts on the ongoing construction of the Nairobi expressway?

Here are some of your thoughts from my insta stories.