Lecture and Discussion on Megacity Sustainability – December 5, 2011

CSUD, the Institute for Latin American Studies (ILAS), and others are pleased to invite you to attend a lecture and discussion on December 5 with Carlos Leite on “Megacity Sustainability Indicators: Formal and Informal Urban Development in the Emerging-Market City of Sao Paulo.”  Click here for more information.

CSUD Graduate Student Team Completes Analysis of Governance Over Land in Cairo, Produce Collaborative Website with Egyptian Scholars and Activists – August 24, 2011

A team of graduate students led by CSUD Associate Research Scholar Jacqueline Klopp completed analysis of systems of governance over land in Cairo, Egypt.

An article summarizing their findings is available on the CSUD website: Land, Legitimacy and Governance in Contemporary Cairo.  Full findings and report will be presented and available at a conference hosted by the Institute for Research and Debate on Governance, a sponsor of the project this winter.

The team is pleased to announce the launch of a collaboration between the Columbia team and activists and scholars in Cairo.  The site provides a forum for information and debate on the urban future of Cairo.

CSUD Director Sclar gives Guest Lectures in China – July 2011

Elliott Sclar, Director of the Center for Sustainable Urban Development at the Earth Institute, has recently returned from China where he was designated as a guest professor of Wuhan University and delivered a university wide lecture. He also delivered a lecture at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing and met with the head of the National Academy of Training Mayors.

CSUD and the Land Development and Governance Institute hosted Write-shop on Planning and Transportation in Kenya’s New County System – June 29, 2011

CSUD and the Land Development and Governance Institute (LDGI) of Kenya hosted a write-shop on June 28th in Nairobi to discuss changes in transportation and land-use planning under Kenya’s new Constitution. Professor Jeremiah Ayonga of Moi University School of Environmental Studies facilitated an expert panel consisting of Mrs. Rosemary Wachira, former Director of Physical Planning, Ministry of Lands; Professor Johnstone Kiamba, Kenya Institute of Planners – Chairman, LDGI – Director, Advocate of the High Court of Kenya; and Mr. Edwins Mukabanah, Managing Director – Kenya Bus Services, Chairperson – Operators Commission International Association of Public Transport; and Mr. Mwenda Makathimo, Land Economist, LDGI – Director.  Participants worked together to answer questions concerning what Kenya’s new planning system should look like under the new county governance system and how responsibilities will be shared between the central and county governments, as well as how transportation planning can be integrated into land-use planning, especially when plans and projects often transverse county boundaries. The day’s discussions resulted in a policy report that was shared with the task force on devolution in Kenya, which is recommending how the changes in the country’s new Constitution will be implemented. For a copy of the report, please contact CSUD.

2010 Land Use Data Now Available for Nairobi GIS Maps

Thanks to our partners at the University of Nairobi, Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP), we are proud to make 2010 land use data available for download for CSUD’s Nairobi GIS maps and database! Rapid developments and changes throughout core Nairobi mean that land use information changes, often very quickly. CSUD and DURP hope that by providing up-to-date land use data, research and analysis of core Nairobi will be more accurate, relevant, and useful.  Read more about the Nairobi GIS maps.

VREF Center of Excellence Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya is a success

CSUD hosted the 2010 Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) Center of Excellence (CoE) Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya on December 14-16, 2010.  With a special focus on the Nairobi Metropolitan Region and future urban transport, the workshop was a gathering of international experts on transportation and land use issues  and local policymakers, researchers, civil society and business organizations.  Read the press release.

CSUD to host VREF Center of Excellence Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya in December

CSUD will be hosting the 2010 Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) Center of Excellence (CoE) Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya on December 14-16, 2010. CSUD will welcome the seven other VREF CoEs, all of which concentrate their research and education missions on future urban transport. The CoE Workshop is intended to be a time for the CoEs to discuss the larger challenges of future urban transport and the role of the CoEs in meeting that challenge. The CoEs will share their ongoing work with one another as well as beginning collaborations on future ventures.  Read the press release.

CSUD donates GPS units to DURP, University of Nairobi

On December 9, 2010, CSUD donated five Global Position System tracking units to the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of the Built Environment, University of Nairobi. The gift is a gesture of CSUD’s commitment to capacity building, education and research at DURP and of CSUD and DURP’s dedication to continuing their collaborative work, which began in 2005 and has strengthened significantly since then.

CSUD’s Nicole Volavka-Close presents at International Conference on Urban Health

Nicole Volavka-Close, associate director of the Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD) gave an oral presentation at the October 27-29 International Conference on Urban Health called “The Public Health Benefits of Addressing Urban Pollution through Land Use and Transport Planning in Nairobi, Kenya.”  This presentation stems from the work that CSUD, in collaboration with Professor Patrick Kinney from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and Professor Michael Gatari from the University of Nairobi’s Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology, is conducting in Nairobi. As part of this collaborative effort, CSUD hosted Dr. Gatari’s visit from Nairobi during the health conference, where he presented findings on Nairobi air quality at a workshop led by Professor Kinney on maximizing health and climate co-benefits in urban planning.

CSUD’s Klopp presents paper at annual conference of the Network Association of European Researchers on Urbanization in the South

In Brussels, Belgium, on October 29th 2010, CSUD Associate Research Scholar Jacqueline Klopp presented the paper “Globalization and the Urban Studio: Evaluating an Inter-University Studio Collaboration in Nairobi” at the annual conference of the Network Association of European Researchers on Urbanization in the South. The paper, co-authored with Jonathan Chanin, Peter Ngau and Elliott Sclar, fit perfectly into the conference theme of “Assessing and Exploring the State of Urban Knowledge; Its Production, Use, and Dissemination in Cities of the South”.

CSUD and DURP host roundtable discussion on Nairobi GIS maps and public access

On September 15, 2010, CSUD and the University of Nairobi, Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) hosted a roundtable discussion in Nairobi to introduce newly-created land use spatial data for core Nairobi, which is being made available in an online wikispace. The purpose of the event was to introduce the GIS maps and spatial data, explain the process by which the maps and the wikispace were created, and get feedback from partners on the maps and the methodology behind their creation. Sarah Williams, Columbia University Spatial Information Design Lab, and Edwin Wamukaya, DURP, delivered presentations that explained how the maps were created. In addition, the event provided an opportunity for experts in the field to discuss strategies of dissemination and best uses for spatial data more generally.

43 people attended the event, most of whom were DURP students eager to learn more about this newly-available data. Open Street Map/Map Kibera also had a large presence; many of the Kibera-based mappers attended, curious about other mapping methodologies. Other groups in attendance included I-Pasha Information Network, Pamoja Trust, and the New America Foundation.  Learn more about the GIS maps and wikispace.

CSUD welcomes visiting scholar Margaret Ngayu of the University of Nairobi

CSUD is pleased to welcome visiting scholar Margaret Ngayu, lecturer at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, to Columbia University. During her two week stay in late July and early August Ms. Ngayu will be furthering her documentation of survey work done in Ruiru, Kenya on community groups. Ms. Ngayu will also evaluate how the community group directory can serve as a baseline study to evaluate work in disseminating and supporting action around the Municipality of Ruiru’s local physical development plan as a means to improve land use. Since 2005, through studios, workshops and other long term project work CSUD and DURP have partnered with the Municipal Council of Ruiru on the creation and implementation of Ruiru’s local physical development plan.

Center for Sustainable Urban Development’s consortium team is first runner up in Nairobi International Planning Competition

On April 8, 2010, at an awards ceremony in Nairoibi, Kenya hosted by Kenya’s Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development, an international consortium team, including the Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD) at the Earth Institute, was selected as first runner up in Nairobi’s first ever International Planning Competition.  Read the press release.

CSUD paper highlighted in Kenyan newspaper The Standard

On January 10, 2010, a paper written by Jennifer Graeff, Project Coordinator for CSUD’s Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) project in Nairobi, Kenya, was referenced in two articles in the Kenyan newspaper The Standard, in regards to the recent public transportation strikes in Nairobi. The articles focus on the current crisis in Nairobi’s transportation system and cite Graeff’s paper, “The Organization, Issues and the Future Role of the Matatu Industry in Nairobi, Kenya,” which analyzes the history, current organization and the future role of the city’s matatu industry. The matatu industry is the privately owned and operated informal paratransit industry in Kenya that provides service to millions of people a day and is the backbone of the motorized transportation system in Nairobi. Read the article.  Read a supplementary article

CSUD participates in workshops to finalize a Proposal to Develop a Spatial Planning Concept for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region

From January 7-14, 2010, CSUD’s Director, Professor Elliott Sclar; Assistant Professor, Jacqueline Klopp; and Associate Director, Nicole Volavka-Close, took part in a week-long workshop at Belgium’s Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) as part of an international consortium to finalize a Proposal to Develop a Spatial Planning Concept for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region. The consortium, comprised of the Center for Urban and Regional Planning (Nairobi), University of Nairobi’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning, KUL and CSUD, is one of eight which has been short-listed in an international competition held by the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development. This is the first competition of its kind in Kenya and the winning team will go on to develop a plan for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region.