The GoDown Arts Centre Streetscape Design

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

As part of the redevelopment of the GoDown Arts Centre, the first major arts centre in Kenya, we have been assigned to design the neighboring streets Dundori and Dunga Road in the Nairobi Industrial Area. The design aims to seamlessly integrate the cultural center and the surrounding streets, creating flexible spaces, promoting and prioritizing non-vehicular movement, and increasing the amount of green space.

Streets are important components in the overall public space network. The streets are a shared public resource and must cater for a multitude of activities, uses, and users. With the new arts center being developed, the surrounding streets must cater for changes in user behavior and better accommodate public use, in particular walking and cycling.

Core to the design is flexibility and multi-use. This is to enable and accommodate a wider range of uses and activities during different hours of the day or different days of the week. The design gives priority to pedestrian movement with wide and unobstructed footpaths along the full length of the streets linked to raised pedestrian crossings. In addition, adequate space is allocated for vendors and kiosks, public transport stops, drop-off zones, and bicycle parking – activities which commonly encroach on walkways and pushing pedestrians into the carriage way. Rain gardens are introduced for stormwater management, also adding greenery to the streetscape in addition to tree planting.

The project is part of the global HerCity program, a UN-Habitat initiative, which aims to actively engage girls and young women in the planning and design process. More than 40 girls and young women have actively participated in the project, providing their unique input and insight into their experience of the streets as well as their suggestions on how to improve the spaces for the benefit of all.