CURI has continued to be engaged in the Mukuru SPA planning process funded by International Development Research Centre (IDRC) alongside partners Slum Dwellers International (SDI and SPARC), Akiba Mashinani Trust, University of California Berkley and County Government of Nairobi. This team, Housing, Commerce and Infrastructure constitute one of the 8 consortia previously formulated to take part in the planning of Mukuru.
The Housing, Commerce and Infrastructure Consortium held working sessions between 24th-30th May 2018 together with SDI Kenya and India. The focus of these sessions was to jumpstart the process of planning for Mukuru. The team agreed that the best way of starting this was to focus on roads and infrastructure networks as the major structuring elements.
Prof. Sajal, who works alongside SPARC in India reiterated the importance of taking a ‘’Conservative Surgery Approach’’ towards planning for Mukuru which basically translates to minimal displacement and minimal social cost. Another key principle that the team would apply is public health, safety and convenience as well as environmental vulnerability and hazard mitigation. The principle of mixed development is also key to slum upgrading and livelihoods.
The scope of the HCI Consortium moving forward was determined to have the following components; 1) A spatial Planning framework that begins with identifying the road network and hierarchy, 2) Commerce: Zoning and Supporting-for public uses and mixed development. Public uses ensure a healthy living environment (adequate street, open areas, safety); mixed development allows for compatible business activities including trade for employment alongside housing.
3) Zoning guidelines and building regulations for future development and 4) Land management and financing options.
These working sessions further focused on analysis of physical planning standards in Kenya and comparing them to those of India with a specific bias to those that affect informal settlements. The Kenyan standards lacked to a great extent and so the team also agreed that they would borrow some of the Indian standards but rationalize them to the Mukuru situation.
It is important to note that SDI and AMT have vastly carried out mobilization to help in community participatory processes that are scheduled to start in July 2018. They have also carried out enumeration and physical address systems in all but 2 segments of the settlement. All in all, the HCI working session was a total success. Below are some of the achievements;
1. Digitization of all road networks in Mukuru; to be used as the major structuring elements.
2. Analysis of existing National and County Plans to identify plans that may influence the SPA region in one way or the other.
3. We carried out a brief traffic survey at 10 junctions in the outer and inner parts of Mukuru to inform planning for the roads.
CURI remains committed and determined to be part of the team whose efforts will contribute to a historical achievement of planning for an SPA.
By, Barake Bosibori, CURI Secretariat