Urban planning crises to be tackled

September 23, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – Concerted efforts are required in confronting the challenges that impede urban planning reforms, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.

Mr Musyoka said planners of urban areas have a noble duty to create cities and regions that guarantee utmost dignity, social and economic equity, environmental sustainability and social fulfillment.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the 46th International Isocarp congress at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Mr Musyoka said business cannot succeed in a society that fails.

"In this regard, glaring dichotomy in wealth distribution is a red flag and prerequisite to chaos especially in urban centres that must be addressed with urgency to avoid anarchy,’’ said Mr Musyoka.

He urged the participants to take responsibility with commensurate intellectual rigor, passion, patriotism, professionalism and self-assuredness when they go back to their respective regions.

He urged the planners to specifically train their eyes on the less fortunate in ‘our midst’, for poverty has a tendency of undermining good intent and initiatives.

"You have the ability to evolve matrices that correct the existing imbalances between regional growth and development at the regional and international levels,’’ he said.

The VP said within individual countries, spatial planning should take the lead in helping development planners to come up with initiatives that would ensure no part of a given territory is dispossessed or disempowered.

The Vice President said Kenyans now stand on the threshold of a new order following the passing of the new constitution in which their destiny will be transformed forever.

"However, we are also aware that the desired transformations will not just happen unless our development policies are realigned to reflect the needs of the new order,’’ he said.

He said spatial planning contained in the new constitution is now an integral part of Kenya’s long-term development agenda.

Nairobi Metropolitan Development minister Njeru Githae emphasised the need for governments to put in place structures to cope with urbanization.

Lands Minister James Orengo and President of Isocarp Ismael Fernandes Meija also spoke at the event.


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