During the last four decades, Kenya has witnessed rapid urban growth rates of around 5%, which have seen the urban population rise from 8% at independence to 34% in 2011. It is projected that about 50% of the Kenyan population will be urbanized by the year 2030. Urban areas continue to play a critical role in national development; and contribute about 70% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Urban management in the country has in the past been conducted in the absence of a comprehensive policy framework.
The draft National Urban Development Policy is part of the Government’s efforts to implement the provisions on urban development contained in the Constitution, particularly in Article 176 and 184 dealing with devolution, classification and management of urban areas, including popular participation. It is also in line with Kenya Vision 2030 – Kenya’s development blue print that envisages transition of the country to middle income with majority of its population living in urban areas.