Nakuru County will strive to become a city for all once awarded a city status, Governor Lee Kinyanjui has said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Governor Kinyanjui said Nakuru County will take deliberate steps to ensure it gets it right in terms of having an inclusive city from the start.
“Enforcement of planning regulations and incorporation of inclusivity in design, will make Nakuru a better place to live,” he said.
He said the ongoing World Urban Conference, whose theme is “Cities for All” is an eye opener for new cities coming up across third world countries. He said cities must incorporate in their planning all needs of residents including the young, old, disabled, women and children, rich or poor.
“This is achieved through deliberate planning in all aspects of city planning such as housing, preservation of public spaces, social amenities, public participation and respect for the environment. Through these initiatives, we can make our city a place to live, work and play,” he said.
During the conference, Nakuru County was recognized in the country report for the provision of affordable housing materials.
“We shall scale up our efforts and support the national agenda for provision of affordable housing,” said Governor Kinyanjui.
He said the choice of Malaysia as the host of the conference was no coincidence as it reflects a recognition of the enormous investment in the last decade to make Kuala Lumpur a model city of inclusivity.
The Governor said in the next 20 years, more than 30 percent of Kenya population will be living in cities and the only question we should answer as a country is what kind of cities they will be.
“Well planned cities offer alternative housing options and reduce pressure on land available for agriculture. It therefore becomes an indirect facilitator of food security. This makes the need for planning both urgent and important,” he said.
He said there is an opportunity for Kenya to realign planning for cities to reflect best global practices where residents are given the benefit of adequate housing and comfort of modern living through provision of public spaces like parks and recreational centres.