Over the last decade as part of the implementation of the principles adopted in the New Constitution of Kenya, UN-Habitat and the Government of Kenya have worked closely with County Governments in enhancing their institutional capacities for planning, financing, and legal mechanisms that has enabled them to shape urban growth within their counties. As devolution roots continue to deepen socially, sustainable development concepts are becoming imperative in helping communities to work together to achieve common goals, while at the same time meeting individual needs The Guidebook brings together legal and technical expertise in formulating ideas and tools for strengthening development mechanisms for managing urban development.
The purpose of the Guidebook is to strengthen the ability of County Governments in Kenya to utilize existing legislation and provide key insights in the coordination of spatial planning policies. These policies define location and character of development and the economic regulation of resources necessary to deliver value for money. It identifies physical and land use policy, operational and regulatory issues and incorporates financing strategies to implement them.
The movement of people from rural settings to city living requires a fundamental change from household management to citywide management of resources, housing, transportation, environmental impact, infrastructure provision, and service provision. Individual families in urban settings cannot rely on “Mother Earth” to supply and replenish their use of natural resources – food, water, waste disposal, and materials for building.
Sub-national governments therefore, need to address not only specific planning issues, but most importantly, to use planning as a tool that focuses on the urban context itself. Urban planning processes inherently create the conditions of a city’s social dynamics, its spatial design, and its cultural heritage. In a nutshell, local good governance must promote and practice sustainable resource use, regulate the demand and supply of land, provide appropriate infrastructure, attract suitable investment and encourage partnerships.