A University Partnership for Metropolitan Planning: Ruiru Kenya

All authors:
Touber, J., Sclar, E.
Host organisation: CoE New York, USA
Country: Kenya
Publication year: 2008
Published in:
From the book "Barefoot and Prada", Rome: Officina Edizoni, 2008
Research theme: Mobility and Access
partnership, Ruiru, Global South,
Book chapter
We are close to the mid point of a rapid expansion in the world's urban population. It is expected to continue for at least the next 50 years (United Nations Population Division, 2004). Despite the fact that over half of the global population lives in urban areas, our understanding of urban development is exceedingly limited. Making matters worse, this lack of understanding is not often recognized as a major challenge for the international development agenda. More specifically, contemporary urban planning practice and urban planning education lag significantly in posing solutions to the problems of sprawling cities in the Global South where urbanization runs far ahead of urban infrastructure and urban services. The Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD) at Columbia University's Earth Institute focuses its work on creating and applying cross-cutting urban knowledge to address the need for better urban planning and better training for urban planners. CSUD's work is mainly focused on the fast growing cities of the Global South. A principal focus of the Center's work has been directed toward Africa, as the African continent is the fastest urbanizing area in the world. Between 2000 and 2005 the average annual urban growth in Africa was 5% or almost 28% in five years (SWI Austria, 2006). Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, had a rate of urban growth that exceeded that of the continent as a whole. It is also the home to the University of Nairobi, which hosts the oldest urban planning department in Africa. The Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) is a dynamic department with dedicated professors. CSUD entered into a partnership with DURP in April 2005 to begin addressing the cross cutting challenges of creating an urban planning practice for the 21st century. In the sections that follow we will discuss our experience with this two university collaboration. This experience is at once anecdotal but it also highlights some important and more general points about the nature of North-South collaborations.
September 2021
Upcoming Events
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
v35      1 2 3 4 5
v36  6 7 8 9 10 11 12
v37  13 14 15 16 17 18 19
v38  20 21 22 23 24 25 26
v39  27 28 29 30      


VREF invites applications for research grants to support
projects to be implemented 2022 under the programme for “Mobility & Access in African Cities”.

Deadline: 15 September 2021

MOBILITY GRANT 2021- MAC-MG 2021PDF (pdf, 443.4 kB)

The VREF invites PhD students and advanced master students from Sub-Saharan African (SSA) universities to apply for a Mobility Grant (MG) to support a visit to another SSA university with up to SEK 25 000.


The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

CALL FOR NOMINATION FOR the Håkan Frisinger Award for Excellence in Transportation Research

The VREF invites universities located in Sweden to nominate candidates for The Håkan Frisinger Award (Håkan Frisingers pris till framstående transportforskare) and apply for a VREF Visiting Researcher Grant for the nominated candidate.

Closed on 2021-03-15.

Read more...PDF (pdf, 233.8 kB)

Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.

Call deadline: March 1, 2021 .


Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas


© Copyright VREF