Nairobi Water Infrastructure

Informal settlement water infrastructures in Kibera

Nairobi Water Infrastructure


  • Courtney Crosson, Assistant Professor of Architecture
  • ARC410e Students of Architecture

Community Partners and Consultants

Project Details

Where: Tucson, Arizona

When: January 2022 - May 2022

Project Overview

Over 60% of Kenyans live in informal settlements in Nairobi and this number is expected to increase in the coming decades. This studio worked in the Nairobi settlement of Kibera (often referred to as the largest slum in sub-Saharan Africa) where the studio instructor has conducted ongoing research since 2004. Students investigated current resource (energy, water, waste, security) provision realities and then locate sites to address these concerns via design solutions with a focus on health outcomes for inhabitants. The designs are site specific, but also act as a prototype for solutions throughout informal settlements in Nairobi. Map Kibera provided the currently available, community-sourced, comprehensive GIS mapping of the ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ energy, water, waste, security, and health resources in Kibera as well as other past and current research to support student designs.  A wide array of readings as well as guest lectures from Kibera community partners were employed at the beginning of the semester to provide students with an understanding of the built, environmental, social, cultural contexts for their designs.  Consistent critique was provided throughout the semester from the community partners Kounkuey Design Initiative and Map Kibera.

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