NAIROBI, Kenya, May 27 – The Nairobi County Government has unveiled a Sh500 million Integrated Urban Development Master Plan (NIUPLAN) which among key priority areas will be seeking to increase the road network in the city in a bid to open it up for investors.
City Hall’s Land, Physical Planning and Housing Executive Tom Odongo explained on Tuesday that in the plan which is expected to be presented to the Executive Committee by July this year, all major roads will be connected in a bid to unlock the gridlock which is currently being experienced especially within the Central Business District.
He indicated that the commuter railway network will also be developed in a bid to supplement the transport sector in addition to ensuring that schools are evenly distributed across the city and the water supply master plan is revised.
“What the master plan has done is to create growth nodes that will now take office activities that do not need to be located in the CBD,” he said.
“I can give you an example like a travel agent that purely operates online. They do not need to be in the CBD, they can even be in a residential location. There are so many businesses that do not need city centre locations, they would be able to pick locations in those growth nodes and then also dispersing employment into various areas,” he expounded.
Odongo expressed City Hall’s commitment to ensuring that the Master Plan is implemented in its entirety by involving both the public and private stakeholders especially in the use of land.
“As a planning authority, we are supposed to guide how you use your land, so we are not limited by what we own, we plan everything. We are not acquiring any property. Today, people rely on even the private sector to generate resources for development. We are not in the dispensation where the government is the developer. We are in the dispensation where the government is the enabler. And if you look at Vision 2030, they are very clear on those enablers,” he stated.
He further explained that other programmes in the master plan include the Eastlands Urban Renewal project, Dandora Sub-Centre Development, widening of Enterprise Road, the construction of the Northern Part of Circumferential Road C-2 and the development of the New Landfill site.
He stated that the proposed Master Plan will integrate all the existing Master Plans of various infrastructures within the city of Nairobi and its surrounding.
“The current land use in the CBD and the Upper Hill is of mixed use with predominantly institutional and some of the new office buildings for private companies. Karen-Langata area which is located in the South Western part of Nairobi still keeps low rise and low density residential profile with ample open space. On the other hand, housing development in and around Ruai is conducted by private developers without a clearly defined comprehensive development concept to become high density and low open space area,” he revealed.
The first Master Plan was developed in 1927 to capitalize on Nairobi’s strategic location as the hub of the Kenya Railway Line. The second Master Plan was implemented in 1948 with the aim of making Nairobi more attractive for industrial investment. The 1973 Master Plan was developed by the Kenyan Government, World Bank and United Nations in order to formulate a metropolitan growth strategy for the city.