University of Nairobi, Kenya
The University of Nairobi in partnership with Nairobi County have joined efforts to advance sustainability using the EPIC model. Nairobi County is experiencing rapid population explosion, coupled with road expansion and increase in motorization. This current state of affairs does not reflect prioritization of non-motorized transport, particularly, walking. Therefore, residents of Nairobi face a real challenge navigating the crowded streets with hardly any proper infrastructure securing their safety, ease of access, dignity and enjoyment of their surroundings.
It is against this backdrop that the County has singled out walkability as a major priority towards achieving a low-carbon development pathway. Luthuli Avenue and Gedi Street have been selected as pilot projects for the EPIC model. The County seeks to transform these streets into walkable zones for pedestrians, encourage stay, green spaces, improve air quality and increase revenues for businesses along the streets.
Through the EPIC model, the University of Nairobi seeks to involve diverse faculties and departments to work on the pilot project with the County staff. For example, Architecture, Planning and Engineering to address technical, design and structural issues, the Faculty of Law and Department of Geography to address regulatory frameworks on land use, the Faculty of Education and Department Sociology to engage in public response and participation as well as stakeholder engagement.
Fun Facts about EPIC Nairobi
In their first year EPIC Nairobi facilitated an interesting project to support Nairobi county. They created a design competition using the popular video game, Minecraft to develop design principles to help students engage in minimum design for street safety. They are providing a hackathon/placemaking design lab, digital story-telling through YouTube, dialogues about urban design in Nairobi, and social media posting regarding various themes.
EPIC Nairobi also complements their project by working with a non-profit collective called the Public Space Network. The initiative brings together private, public and civil society sectors to support
communities to create the kind of public spaces they desire and deserve. They believe that the real
and sustainable change happens not from executive fiat by either county or the national
government, but by communities choosing to create a new public space experience for themselves.
Here’s a short 2 min video of the Changing Faces Competition that you can share with the group. Check out their video below.
Public or Private Institution | Public
Number of students at institution | 98,713