A team of students from the Technical University of Kenya, WITS University (South Africa) KU Leuven (Belgium) held a two week field study looking at Land Transformations, Forests and other Ecosystems in Ndenderu, Kikuyu and Ongata Rongai. The research study inquires on the contemporary design agenda for water and forest urbanism in these diverse landscapes that face rapid development.

The students looked into the direct and indirect effects between these resources and urban development. Recognizing that urban development is growing in these areas west of Nairobi, they aim at inquiring into how nature (and the natural landscape) can be ‘re-balanced’ with urbanism (primarily human systems). They spent 10 days in the field and developed 27 research questions that create an opportunity for inquiry into challenges of contemporary agenda of urbanism.

The students were able to learn from each other as well as from the local communities, who were more than willing to share information.

The students intend to now move from analysis and investigation into design. Their work was presented in the form of plan and section diagrams, process Diagrams and Collages based on the Productive Landscapes, Consumptive Landscapes and Typology. They showcased the initial output of their work at an exhibition at the Railway Museum and were able to engage with professionals from different organizations including UN Habitat, Planning Systems and Naipolitans.

Image from Field Study Exhibition.

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