Kenya hosts international student design competition

Hot off the press: UN-Habitat, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Land, Housing & Urban Development: Urban Development Department, Kenya, recently launched an international student design competition for Kenya’s town development. The competition runs from January 2016 to May 2016, and selected submissions will be exhibited in Nairobi, Kenya in April 2016, and during the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador from 17 – 20, October 2016.

Kenya is leading many other countries on the African continent in designing new urban planning legislation and expertise since new powers were assigned to local governments with the 2010 Constitution. During 2012-15 support offered by notably UN Habitat and the World Bank had led to the creating of a range of new planning instruments, such as Integrated Strategic Urban Development Plans (ISUDPs) and Digital Topographical Mapping for select urban centers in Kenya. Each of the ISUDPs will include a whole suit of plans aimed at future urban growth and development: a structure plan, land-use plan, sectoral plans (e.g. infrastructure such as water and sanitation, transportation, etc. and environment management plans), select detailed action area plans, and capital investment plans. 

Now, with the international design challenge, students from around the world can take part in giving inspiration and urban design / spatial planning insights into the policy and process plans contained in the ISUDPs. Full guidelines of the competition rules and guidelines are available in the link below, but all teams will be paired with local Kenyan institutions and teams. 

Students get to choose from nine town/city development plans, each with a unique challenge. Source: UN Habitat project document (see download link below)

Students get to choose from nine town/city development plans, each with a unique challenge. Source: UN Habitat project document (see download link below)

The challenges are diverse and spread across a number of sites. Student can select challenges paired to the contextual and institutional analysis found in the project briefs. Such challenges include: creating pedestrian friendly spaces between a CBD and stadium, redeveloping a bus park into a retail mall, urban agriculture along a city river, revitalisation of a waterfront development, and planning for a second supportive CBD. 

Nine towns/ cities have been selected and profiled. These are Embu, Kitui, Machakos, Malindi, Mombasa, Naivasha, Nakuru, Nyeri, and Thika. 

What would be your urban design solution for the busy transport interchange in Nakuru? Source: Google Earth, in UN Habitat project document (see below)

What would be your urban design solution for the busy transport interchange in Nakuru? Source: Google Earth, in UN Habitat project document (see below)

Applicants can ask questions of the Secretariat until 23rd January 2016, and ongoing support is offered. Registration runs from 11th January to 1st February 2016 and the deadline is 12:00pm/24.00 hrs. on 1st February 2016 (Nairobi time). Teams will be accepted and announced on 8th February 2016n and the commencement of actual design work starts on the 12th February 2016. The outputs, maximum of two A0 design posters in landscape, is due by the deadline of 12:00pm/24.00 hrs. of 10th April 2016 (Nairobi time). 

Visit the UN Habitat project page and View/ download (32mb) the official advertisement