Kenya, 14 January 2016 - UN-Habitat is launching a competition to promote collaboration between Kenya’s students and their peers elsewhere and to promote the importance of urban design. The competition is being organized in collaboration with Kenya’s Urban Development Department (UDD) and the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development. It is part of UN-Habitat's support to the Kenya Municipal Program under the broad framework of ‘Support to a Sustainable Urban Development Sector in Kenya’, which is funded by SIDA.
Given that the majority of Kenya’s urban centres have inadequate urban planning, compounded by informal developments and inadequate infrastructures, design will contribute significantly towards the overall transformation of these areas and to unlocking the towns’ full potential. Through this competition, UN-Habitat and UDD seek to create momentum for greater urban design application by demonstrating its value to sustainable development.
Students enrolled in a certified programme during the 2015/2016 academic year at Bachelors, Masters or Ph.D. levels from around the world are invited to participate. The competition is designed to involve international teams that will be formed by linking students from universities in Kenya with those from universities outside the country. It is envisaged that the teams will be inter-disciplinary with Urban Planners, Urban Designers, Architects, Landscape Architects, Urban Economists, Sociologists, Environmentalists and other relevant sectors.
The design competition is also intended to promote international inter-university collaboration as a platform for knowledge exchange and co-production of approaches to livable urban spaces in the context of diverse human settlements. The competition is expected to run between December 2015 and May 2016. UN-Habitat and UDD will exhibit a select number of the design proposals both in Nairobi, Kenya, in May, 2016, and during the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 – 20, October 2016.