Sustainable Urbanism in Nyeri Town, Kenya
3 out of 10 people in mid-20th Century lived in urban centers, while today, half of the World’s population lives in urban areas. All developing regions, including Asia and Africa, will have more people living in urban areas than those in rural areas by 2030, with the tipping point in Eastern Africa anticipated slightly after 2050 (UNHABITAT, 2010). Locally, 1 out of every 3 Kenyans, live in an urban center and according to the vision 2030, the level of urbanization in Kenya would have reached 44.5% with this percentage set to reach 54% by the year 2030 - the world is inexorably becoming urban. Urban centers have long been considered as centers of innovation, industrialization, commerce, science and technology, and culture with urbanization being continuously touted as a positive and necessary force for transformation for the world’s nations. However, Kenya’s urban development; as evidenced by growth in unplanned settlements in urban areas, urban sprawl, peripherization, congestion coupled with property development in excess of the carrying capacity of available infrastructure; indicates failure of existing urban development strategies, as reported by (Kimani, M. and Musungu, T., 2010) As a counterweight to these negative possibilities, urban sustainability strategies have insistently been suggested at the international and national level as the best approach to guide the present and future growth of urban areas (Rodriguez, R.S and Bonilla A, ED, 2007). Sustainable urbanism is one such strategy for urban sustainability. This thesis studies the current state of urbanisation in Nyeri Town, against the elements of sustainable urbanism, converted into 5 sets of sustainable urbanism indicators (SUI) and makes observations and recommendations of strategies to steer Nyeri town into a sustainable urban future.
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