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Student workshop in Nairobi, Kenya
New New Towns: Africa
March 29 - April 7, 2014

INTI organized a week-long Student Workshop from March 29 - April 7 in Nairobi, Kenya as part of the New New Towns: Africa program. This workshop brought together students from several Dutch and Kenyan universities, including Human Geography students from the University of Amsterdam, Architecture students from NHTV Breda, Architectural History students from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Urban Planning students from the Technical University of Kenya as well as Tax Law and Real Estate students from the University of Nairobi. All of the students are working on research related to new, master-planned towns and cities around Nairobi. The diversity of the students’ backgrounds has proved complimentary and provides a good forum for constructive feedback.

Experts from a variety of fields were also invited to present and react to the students’ research proposals. These included Robert van Kats and Stephen Lewis from DASUDA; Naomi Hoogervorst from Placemakers; Local art historian and lecturer at TUK, Lydia Muthuma; Connie Smith, an anthropologist from University College London; Bernard Mugwima, Director of the Center for Urban Studies at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, as well as our host, Dr. Lawrence Esho, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Technical University of Kenya.

Later in the week, the students and supervisors met with a diverse group of stakeholders, including a Resident’s Association meeting at Kaloleni (a perfectly-reserved post-war garden city within Nairobi), a series of presentations at UN Habitat, a meeting with members of the Kounkuey Design Initiative and tour of their participatory projects in Kibera, and an interview with Brian Emmanuel Inganga, founder of Change Mtaani.

The event was organized and moderated by Rachel Keeton (Researcher and Program Manager) and Simone Rots (Managing Director) as a way to kick-start the Dutch students’ six weeks of fieldwork in Nairobi. There are plans to host the Kenyan students in the Netherlands later this year as a continuation of this exchange.