Designing a network of public spaces


A growing network of public spaces has been developed to meet the physical, social, and economic needs of the residents of Kibera, one of Africa’s largest informal settlements. The interventions include a range of facilities such as an organic garden and vegetable stand, a playground, a park, an office, a multi-purpose gathering space, showers, a toilet block, and a day-care centre for single mothers. Additionally, a water tap fed by harvested rainwater has been installed to ensure access to clean water. These spaces aim to provide essential services to the community and create opportunities for social interaction and economic growth.

Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI)

Children aged 3-5, caregivers, community members

Scale of proximity:

Built environment component:
Open space, social infrastructure

Design insights

Participatory method for co-creating each public space site with local communities from inception to construction, connecting local assets with existent resources, while providing business and leadership training to help the community managing each completed site.

The sites are part of a long-term strategy for creating several improved public spaces that create a network connecting different areas of the settlement. Each intervention is a hub of cultural exchange, economic activity and environmental remediation.


Intervention Type
Scales of proximity
Design guide phases

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