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Permanence and Adaptation: Water Infrastructure as Educational Spine in Mathare, Nairobi

Part 2 Project 2012
Afra Van ‘T Land
University of Cambridge, UK
As Nairobi’s population continues to grow at a rate of 4% per annum, informally occupied neighbourhoods, which accommodate over 60% of the city’s residents, are densifying rapidly, with some areas now housing 5,000 people per hectare. The importance of securing public facilities and space becomes increasingly apparent, as such high densities exacerbate problems of inadequate urban infrastructure, and as this informal city fabric gains permanency.

This project explores how a staged infrastructural development can provide a basis for positive future growth, and through a combined and localized water/waste strategy can begin to designate, suggest and protect public space, upon which people can continue to build. Using the expansion and formalisation of three existing non-formal primary schools as an opportunity for improving sanitation, access and educational space, it also encourages collaboration between local government and community-based organisations. The project strives to embody and build on the vibrant, efficient and adaptive context of Mathare Valley, with the potential to act as social and environmental infrastructure for wider community use.

Afra Van ‘T Land


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