Researchers at the School of Architecture and Building Sciences will benefit from the City Government of Nairobi which will now allow the University to use City facilities to advance sustainable urban planning research and development. The window of opportunity was made possible following an agreement, sealed Thursday February 6, 2014 that will enable the two organizations, JKUAT and Nairobi City County to closely work together to promote modern urban planning practices crucial in empowering City residents.
Speaking at a brief ceremony held at City Hall, Nairobi, Governor Dr. Evans Kidero of Nairobi County applauded the University for taking the bold initiative to collaborate with his county government saying it would be instrumental in unlocking some of the City’s untapped development potential. Dr Kidero used the occasion to talk on the importance of Nairobi which he said was not only a notable city in the world but was as well a leading industrial and communication hub in east and central Africa. The status of the City of Nairobi according to Dr. Kidero required those in charge and urban planners in particular to be abreast with emerging urban planning trends.
The Governor noted the City had embarked on massive planning and development projects that he said will require the construction of housing and related infrastructure to replace the dilapidating estates mainly in the Eastland’s of Nairobi and invited JKUAT researchers to bid for the anticipated consultancy services.
Prof. Mabel Imbuga, the vice chancellor, told the Governor, JKUAT was keen to support the City of Nairobi development agenda. The vice chancellor said JKUAT was host to the UN-Habitat fronted Centre for Urban Studies focusing on research and graduate training in urban studies saying the City of Nairobi had a lot to benefit from the JKUAT-Habitat initiative.
The centre planned to admit its pioneering graduate students in May 2014, was according to the vice chancellor ‘expected to be trendsetter and think tank in research and academia would provide practical and sustainable development interventions for cities of today and the future’. The vice chancellor observed JKUAT had put in place mechanisms that allowed industry practitioners to be engaged as adjunct lecturers in the university. She invited County of Nairobi technical staffers to take advantage of the opportunities.
Additionally, the partnership will open new avenues that would enable JKUAT to participate in Nairobi City County urban development related process and projects while contributing to capacity development of County personnel. The County will provide its facilities for faculty and students attachment.