Wednesday, 31 January 2018 11:44

CoG leads in implementing New Urban Agenda in Counties

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On 15th and 16th January 2018, the Council of Governors through its Land, Planning and Urban Development Committee participated in the National Urban Forum that was held in Nairobi County. The forum brought together stakeholders in the urban sector to review and provide inputs to the already prepared Country Report on the Urban Agenda. The report will inform and guide Kenya’s participation in the 9th session of the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpar Malaysia to be held in March 2018. The theme for the 9th session is; Cities 2030, Cities for all; Implementing the new Urban Agenda. This will be the first global session to focus on implementation of the New Urban Agenda since its adoption in 2016.

The forum provided an opportunity for the participating stakeholder to understand the various projects that the government had initiated to ensure that the Agenda is implemented. Some of these projects are on national housing, solid waste management, slum upgrading, road construction and provision of alternative building materials. It was however noted that most of the projects are devolved functions and that County Governments should be undertaking. Therefore, it was agreed that for any subsequent programmes addressing matters of planning, housing and urban development in the counties, the county governments will be highly involved.

While making his remarks, H.E Ferdinand Waititu who is the Chairman, Land, Planning and Urban Development Committee of the Council of Governors and Governor Kiambu County insisted on the role of County Governments as key implementers of the new Urban Agenda. The Agenda calls for the provision of adequate, affordable, accessible, resource efficient, safe, resilient, well-connected, and well-located housing with special attention to the proximity factor and the strengthening of the spatial relationship with the rest of the urban fabric and the surrounding functional areas. He urged the two levels of Government to work in harmony in order to deliver this good agenda to the citizens in the Counties.

The dialogues in the National Urban forum were centered on an integrated territorial approach to sustainable development, cities for all and housing at the center and innovative governance for open and inclusive cities among others. The discussions are timely considering that virtually all Counties will become highly urbanized soon. It’s a high time for Counties to therefore take into consideration implementation of the New Urban Agenda to revitalize cities and urban areas to become the main tool for sustainable development. Consequently, County plans, policies and laws must translate into action so as to achieve this agenda.

Stakeholders and especially County Governments were encouraged to adopt the Integrated Territorial Approaches (ITAs) which is a pro-active implementation-oriented package of intervention. ITAs aim is to make room for new land use functions, rearrange land ownership and use and convert areas into new ways of functioning. With this new approach, it is essential to involve National and County Governments in development since most actions needed to achieve the SDGs are often local in nature such as social welfare policies and improved urban planning.

The Council will forge on to enhance positive collaboration between the National Government and the County Governments in sustainable urbanization in order to deliver Kenya as a regional, continental and global trend setter in this arena.

Read 142 times Last modified on Wednesday, 07 February 2018 12:35

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