High quality and pleasant public spaces are central to the realization of a world-class working, living, and business environment. They provide a good quality of life for residents and visitors alike, attracting investments, and skilled personnel. Nairobi was for a long time affectionately referred to as the ‘Green City in the Sun’. It prided itself as a city with a vast network of green and public spaces, where nature and concrete blended seamlessly. Despite the invaluable and often unparalleled role that public spaces play in a city, particularly in city centers and residential neighborhoods, they are often threatened by urban development pressures, and as land continues to become scarcer, public spaces become soft targets for infill development.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, public space has emerged as a critical lifeline for cities and their residents. It has proven to be a timeless risk-reducing infrastructure, an essential urban service, and an infrastructure of opportunity especially in times of crisis. In the same context, however, the pandemic has exposed critical gaps insofar as accessibility, flexibility, design, management and maintenance, connectivity, and equitable distribution of public space in cities is concerned. These need to be addressed incrementally in order to improve health equity and future-proof the city. Without adequate knowledge of the public space ecosystem and their current state, the city may not be able to adequately address the multiplicity of risks and challenges it is facing.
It is against this background that this webinar seeks to present the findings of the comprehensive inventory and assessment of public spaces, 2020 draft which was carried out by UN-Habitat and partners in order to take stock of existing assets and understanding gaps. The webinar is co-organized by UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Daima Green Spaces consortium and partners.
The proposed webinar is envisaged to bring together local and national government, learning, and implementing partners across the public and private sectors, academia, civil society organizations, youth organizations, and development partners. The event will also provide an opportunity to provide feedback, reflections, and inputs from actors, and provide a reference point for an evidence-based framework for the protection, revitalization, and management of existing public spaces, reclamation of lost ones, and creation of new ones, especially where they are needed the most.
Names and Titles of Speakers
Hon. Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary, Min. of Env. & Forestry;Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director UN-Habitat; Mr. Charles Gachanga - Co-Founder and C.E.O, Dandora Transformation League;Dr. Cornelia Ochola - Child Health and Wellbeing Expert;Mr. Daniel Onyango - Founder, Hoperaisers Youth Initiative ; Miss. Ellyanne Wanjiku Githae - An artist and Climate change ambassador;Mr. Reginald Okumu – Commissioner, National Lands Commission;Arch. Emma Miloyo, Convener, the Nairobi Forum - Moderator