Kitui Learning Studio: Download the new report

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

In 2016, a collaborative studio project in Kitui (Kenya) was jointly implemented by university, non-governmental organization, community and municipal partners. The Kitui Learning Studio report captures the lessons emering from that project, and is now available for download.

The studio was implemented by the Centre of Urban Research and Innovations (CURI) at the University of Nairobi, and Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI)-Kenya. Funded was sourced from the Cities Alliance Catalytic Fund (CATF), with additional resources provided by SDI.

The purpose of the studio was scale-up previous studio collaborations organized by SDI and the Association of Africa Planning Schools (AAPS), by shifting the focus from the upgrading of individual informal settlements to a municipal-wide focus, in this case on the town of Kitui.

The studio report identifies a number of critical lessons around urban upgrading practice, and proposes a series of interventions to overcome the problems of institutional misalignment that hinder informal support and uprgading initiatives.

Click here to download the report.

The studio established that both planning and implementation of plans aimed at improving informal settlements and informal economic activities in Kitui have largely been ineffective. This is because previous attempts have been done at small scale, fragmented and highly selective in their focus, inadequate involvement of community members (beneficiaries), and their lack of integration with municipal management structures…

To facilitate and enhance engagement between the county and community, and development partners, private sector, this report proposes an implementation framework which entails strategy and the respective priority interventions…

Fundamentally, the studio established that numerous programmes and projects aimed at informal settlements upgrading have failed due to poor institutional integration…

The implementation of the studio was quite successful, with critical data and information generated, which offer a crucial basis for formulating interventions for urban informality in Kitui town. The studio, having been set-up as a learning platform for planning students, was instrumental in exposing students into practical participatory research and planning skills. At the same time, the studio acted as a tool for creating awareness among community members on the benefits of planning and demonstrated ways through which communities and government can constructively engage in planning for delivery of inclusive and sustainable development.

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