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Nairobi, 5 Aug 13

Nairobi City, Kenya © Julius Mwelu / UN-Habitat

The Deputy Governor for Nairobi, Jonathan Mueke, has called for participation of citizens in the creation of the Integrated Urban Development Masterplan for the city.

He made the call to a packed auditorium of Nairobi City County representatives, university teachers and students, architects, planners, representatives of residents associations and members of the general public at the public sensitization workshop for the Masterplan held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies.

During his opening address, Mr Mueke stated that there would be 52 similar workshops to sensitize people on the process taking place and to encourage them to have a say in what Nairobi will look like in the future.

“The journey towards a prosperous city needs a people-centred strategy,” he said. “We cannot afford to let urban development take the unplanned patterns of the past”. He emphasized that the proposed Masterplan – supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) – had been established to enhance public understanding and encourage participation in the process and called on all City Changers to step up and contribute.

Also speaking at the opening, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr Joan Clos, said “When there is no design, city growth is spontaneous and this creates slums. It does not yield the benefits of a well-designed city”.

He concluded by saying that Nairobi had many benefits, such as its perfect location, agreeable climate and natural beauty, as well as advanced infrastructure, that gives it potential to be a regional hub for East Africa. “To achieve that,” he added, “you need a collective plan.”

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