24 August 2016
WYG’s Nairobi team led by Dr Jennifer Tangney, Associate Director, partnered with the Centre for Urban Research and Innovation (CURI) at the University of Nairobi to host a seminar themed “Urbanisation, Economic Growth and Climate Resilience in Kenya, Challenges and Opportunities”.
Held last month, the seminar created a unique platform for the private sector, civil society, donors, academia and the government to come together and exchange views and experiences on how to ensure that planned urbanisation creates towns and cities that are dynamic centres for modern production, industry, services, education and government.
National Vision 2030 flagship projects in urban areas were appraised and steps to be taken in the future were outlined, not least the integration of climate change dynamics in social and economic plans for National and County planning frameworks and the engagement of citizens in planning at all levels, especially in light of the plight of urban dwellers within informal settings.
Sensitive to climate change impacts
Dr. Charles Reeve, Head of Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation in WYG’s Pretoria office and Technical Director on the DFID-funded Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF) in Southern Africa was a keynote presenter at the seminar. His presentation focussed on climate change and urbanisation, noting that Kenya was greatly affected by unpredictable changes and that urban areas have a high sensitivity to climate change impacts.
Dr Reeve commented that Africa needs a greater focus on climate change adaptation and climate resilient approaches and that the solutions for cities were to integrate climate sensitive methods within an integrated planning framework. He added that floods and droughts, which are indicators of climate change, had in the past reduced Kenya’s GDP and therefore called for mitigation to reduce exposure of climate change. He concluded with highlighting the opportunity presented by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Unprecedented urbanisation growth in Kenya
Other speakers at the seminar included:
The seminar was officially closed by the Dean of the School of Built Environment, University of Nairobi, Prof. Robert Rukwaro who reiterated the importance of building networks between the government and non-government actors to develop innovative and sustainable approaches to manage urban growth and development in Kenya and the region.
If you would like to find out more about the project work of our colleagues in Kenya, contact Dr Jennifer Tangney via E: firstname.lastname@example.org