The of downtown Nairobi was known for traffic jams, polluted air and streets clogged with parked cars.
In 2016, the Nairobi Placemaking Week event was created to celebrate public spaces and community-led activities that are revolutionizing their use and experience and the city at large.
Apart from raising awareness about the importance of public space and climate change, it intended to host cross-sector dialogue and promote all modes of sustainable transport. For example, with the remodelling or pedestrianisation of streets or the showcasing of successful BRT systems around the world.
It was organized by the @nairobicitycounty_government in partnership with the @unitednations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT), and with activities leaded by associations such as @criticalmassnairobi.
This car-free streets weeklong event was held in different locations each year:
– Dec 2016 (1,2): Full closure of Moktar Daddah Street as well as a temporary footpath extension and cycle lane along Muindi Mbingu Street
– Nov 2017 (3,4): Banda Street was transformed into a multi-functional Sports Street, a place for communal play and exercise
– Nov 2018 (5,6): Pedestrianization of Luthuli Avenue
– Oct 2021 (7,8): Resurrection of the nairobi river through art in City Hall Way
– Oct 2022 (9,10): Beautification of Hilton Square
All the transformation were accompanied by street food, pop-up shops, and public events. The ultimate objective was to enhance community building, foster social cohesion, strengthen urban safety and security and ultimately, promote urban vitality.
Photos by: @placemakingnbi