Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat has initiated a wide stakeholder dialogue on innovative and successful ways that Kenya can adopt to develop structured and sustainable cities.
Stakeholders drawn from government, private sector, academia, professional institutions and international development organisations were invited to a one-day Urbanisation and Housing Workshop on Kenya’s new cities, to identify key areas of intervention by Government to advance the new cities that effectively address the urbanisation agenda.
“There is need to support the new cities in achieving structured urbanisation that effectively and sustainably contributes to the economy and an accelerated achievement of the aspirations of Vision 2030,” said Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat Director General Dr Julius Muia.
The workshop is aligned with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda of providing affordable housing for all Kenyans by 2022.
This goal will be achieved by constructing at least 500,000 affordable houses employing new technology, low cost financing and promoting large-scale investment in low-cost housing.
Dr Muia said the forum also sought to address issues of climate change mainstreaming and providing a guide towards an action plan for the Secretariat and stakeholders to take the agenda forward.
A World Bank report, Kenya Urbanization Review 2016, states that Kenya’s level of urbanisation is low with 27 per cent of the population living in urban areas and the annual rate of increase in urbanisation rated at 4.15 per cent.
International trends, changes in local demographics and other indicators suggest that Kenya is catching up in urbanisation which can be attributed to implementation of flagship Vision 2030 projects such as LAPSSET corridor and Konza Technopolis City.
“The planned new cities are addressing this challenge by ensuring all categories of Kenyans have been catered for within the “mixed use” development concept. Properly planned urbanisation has many potential benefits to Kenya’s citizens by way of improved living standards,” said Muia.
Vision 2030 recognises urbanisation and the management of urban areas as important anchors for sustainable growth.
“Vision 2030 identifies planning for the existing urban areas as an important basis upon which development is to happen and specifically identifies the planning and provision of infrastructure and services such as power, housing and waste management as important aspects in urbanisation,” said Muia.
The National Spatial Plan, a flagship project of Vision 2030, will see development of new cities through public and private sector initiatives. Further, on-going major infrastructure services such as the SGR, road Bypasses, LAPSSET corridor, green airport, management structures of various categories of urban areas as provided for in the Urban Areas and Cities Act 2011 were also discussed.
Other important areas discussed during the event were policies and regulations to provide a balance between food security and urbanisation, provision of physical and social infrastructure that support urban growth such as housing, services and utilities.