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, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has exposed critical gaps in the accessibility, flexibility, design, management and maintenance, connectivity and equitable distribution of public space in Nairobi. These need to be addressed incrementally in order to improve health equity across the city, help the city build-back better and future-proof itself and its citizens.
This report highlights the gaps in the distribution, accessibility and quality of public open spaces in Nairobi, and provides a starting point to develop an evidence-based strategy and policy for the protection, revitalization, creation, management and enjoyment of public spaces, and restoration of the city image as the ‘Green City in the Sun’. It covers distribution, types and typologies, and access and inclusivity at the city scale. It also shines light on activities and uses, landscape furniture and amenities, safety, diversity, and custodianship and management at the site scale.