Urban Thika

UN-Habitat Competition (Second Runner-up)

The proposal envisions the Thika site to be a green, well-connected, a financial and commercial hub that complements the main CBD and strengthens local economic development; providing diverse opportunities for businesses; supplies housing for all social classes; and appealing public spaces for social cohesion.

Essentially, the proposal focuses on three aspects of daily life: working, living, and playing by developing different components for compact urban structures, resulting in an attractive and compact CBD, with state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure for mixed-use spaces that aim to attract investments.

Basically, it is an acupunctural intervention approach, where it discusses diversity has a sense of scale and promotes connectivity to the existing urban fabric. Part of the policy recommendation is the notion of staged public events and cultural activities initiated and promoted by local government for collective memory promotion, attachment, the pride of space and social cohesion in a diverse community.

The new CBD is positioned to existing residential areas, which are incorporated into the development and therefore take business and work opportunity to the people. The emphasis on the residential component of the new CBD complements the existing CBD which lacks residential, emphasising the residential component and ensures a city that is active 24 hours; this allows for economic activity through the day and creates a more livable environment.

Actions Integration
The proposal aims to integrate the dynamics by mixing uses, therefore three main actions to interact are framed (working, living, playing).

Actions Integration

Dynamic Combinations
The colour-coded map below shows that 40% of the yellow area is served for working, living, and playing. Followed by 35% of the blue area which is mainly for living and playing. Lastly, 25% of the brown area is served for mainly playing, then working and living.

Dynamic Combinations

Restoring Wetlands
Drainage systems and water networks for environmental management “Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems” (SUDS) are designed around three objectives:

  • Control the quantity of runoff from a development
  • Improve the water quality of runoff,
  • Enhance the nature conservation
  • Landscape and amenity value of the site and its surroundings all stormwater.

– Wastewater treatment facilities
– Water ponds or basins around clusters to temporarily retain, filtrate, infiltrate and control urban storm waters to prevent flooding

Restoring Wetlands

Co-creation of Public Space
When people take ownership of the space, management and maintenance are improve trough share responsibilities. From a municipal programme perspective, there should be a collective memory promotion through events and cultural activities.

By co-creating the space the people in Thika feel more attached, creates social cohesion in response to the diversity of the area, making it safer.

– Incremental co-creation of public spaces
– Diverse interaction in public spaces

– Community centres are located next to parks, plazas, and green spaces in order to integrate activities from the community
– Parks
– Community gardens in plots around
– Plazas

Co-creation of Public Space

Mobility Alternatives
– Disincentives the use of private cars by introducing different options of transportation

– Walk, bike, public transport, car sharing
– Increase the quality of side walks
– Increase the number of bike lanes and improve the connections with relevant points in the city
– Rental bike system as a complement for the other transportation systems
– The bus with a direct connection to Nairobi and Thika┬┤s main CBD
– Parking facilities for private cars are located next to mix use zones and integrated with rental bike system
– Rotary carousel parking strategy is implemented for the parking facilities

– Rewards from companies to employees for using carbon-free transportation systems
– More productive hours, by avoiding traffic congestion and saving commute hours
– Active population with less stress
– Less polluted environment

Mobility Alternatives

Gradual Development
The position of the CBD encloses position to the existing markets and incorporation of small-scale commerce alternative to the existing CBD.

The location of the CBD along the route of access, new transport opportunities intervention creates easy access for people to access these dynamics.

The new CBD fits a creative spine through Thika The proposal aims to integrate the dynamics by mixing uses, therefore three main actions to enjoy the space are framed (working, living, playing).

Gradual Development

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