Urban communities gain power to command planning

Invisible and neglected, ignored in urban spatial plans and under constant threat of forced evictions, disadvantaged urban communities in 131 informal settlements are now set to increasingly take control of their urban future and realize their right to the city.

Thanks to a joint initiative between the Civil Society Urban Development Platform (CSUDP), Pamoja Trust and University of Nairobi that have modelled a social planning approach – the Adaptive Settlements Planning Model (ASPM) enabling these communities to plan their settlements and negotiate for incorporation of their plans in Urban Integrated Development Plans (IUDP’s).

Through the adaptive settlement planning process, each community profiles and maps its settlement an important learning process that not only enables community members to enumerate themselves, identify and analyze problems they face but also document resources within the settlements and in the surrounding environment be they natural (rivers, quarries etc.), infrastructural (roads, power line, water trunk lines, sewer lines etc.), social (skills), economic (businesses and other income activities) or even cultural heritage that can be deployed for settlement improvement. Information regarding land tenure status, disaster risks etc. is also gathered.

All this information is entered into a database using the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM)2 creating a valuable tool for the next step in the settlement planning process – community visioning and strategy development. A base map is generated showing key settlement features and amenities. Armed with the knowledge of resources and amenities in their settlement, community members employ the Symbio-city Approach3 to prioritize problem-solving generating action plans for short, medium and long-term settlement improvement.

Through planning studios, the community vision and strategies are translated into a detailed settlement plan. Technical planning support seeks not to control the planning process but to offer sufficient guidance by asking the right questions that will enable the community members to find the answers themselves. This process plays an important role in putting the disadvantaged urban community on a map and in a plan within the wider context of the urban area. Interaction with relevant county government officials is maintained throughout the social planning process providing them with accurate data on the state of the settlement facilitating them to do their work of providing services and for long-term planning for sustainable development.

1KMC, Nakuru; Hill school, Uasin Gishu; Manyatta B – Kuoyo, Kisumu; Medina, Garissa; Chelanga, Mombasa; Kipsongo, Trans Nzoia; Kimangaru, Embu; Witemere, Njeri; Bondeni, Kitui; Shauri Yako, Meru; Masingo, Kakamega, Shauri Yako, Homabay, and Kwa Mangeri’, Machakos.
2STDM is a pro-poor land information management system developed by UN-HABITAT used in presenting tenure relationships and a suitable tool for building planning competence amongst the informal settlement dwellers.
3Symbio-city approach provides the community with tools to shape their settlement plan in accordance with the popular vision of the residents.

Download this file (ASPM Brochure Version 2.pdf)ASPM Brochure[ ]1672 kB
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