Godown Art Center Streetscape

Concept Design for the streetscape adjacent to the future GoDown Arts Centre in Nairobi Industrial Area.

As part of the redevelopment of the GoDown Arts Centre, Kenya’s first major arts centre, we have been assigned to design the neighbouring streets Dundori and Dunga Road in the Nairobi Industrial Area. The primary goal of this design is to seamlessly integrate the cultural centre with the surrounding streets, creating flexible spaces, promoting non-vehicular movement, and increasing the amount of green space.

Streets play a crucial role in the overall public space network. They are shared public resources that need to cater to a wide range of activities, uses, and users. With the development of the new arts centre, the surrounding streets must adapt to changes in user behavior and better accommodate public use, particularly for walking and cycling.

Flexibility and multi-use are at the core of the design. This approach allows for a variety of uses and activities during different times of the day or days of the week. The design prioritizes pedestrian movement, with wide and unobstructed footpaths along the full length of the streets, connected to raised pedestrian crossings. Adequate space is also allocated for vendors, kiosks, public transport stops, drop-off zones, and bicycle parking, reducing the common encroachment of these activities onto walkways and pushing pedestrians into the carriage way.

To manage stormwater and introduce greenery, rain gardens are incorporated into the streetscape, complementing the tree planting efforts.

This project is part of the global HerCity program, an initiative by UN-Habitat aimed at actively engaging girls and young women in the planning and design process. More than 40 girls and young women actively participated in the project, providing their unique input and insights on their experiences of the streets and their suggestions to improve the spaces for the benefit of all.