East Africa is the world’s most rapidly urbanising region. The expanding ‘slums’, informal settlements, and low-income neighbourhoods often sit at the confluence of climate risk, poverty, political contention, and a lack of basic infrastructure provision. These neighbourhoods also hold vast potential to shape a new and viable urban future. In Kenya, residents and civil society organisations are organising and delivering basic services at the same time as major infrastructure investments take place across our cities. Incoming legislation and many current and planned “slum upgrades” emphasise investment in infrastructure but how should these systems be planned and designed to bring real change to city residents?
We believe that if infrastructure investments are inclusive of all voices and needs, and integrate physical, social, and ecological systems they can create just, resilient, and viable neighbourhoods and cities writ large.
To provoke thinking and action towards this goal we have convened a coalition of built environment practitioners, community activists, and researchers to create an Integrated and Inclusive Infrastructure Framework for Kenya (3IF). The development of the framework was funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RaEng), led by the Kounkuey Design Initiative, and supported by the University College London, the Architectural Association of Kenya, ARUP, and Akiba Mashinani Trust.