Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Collaborative Slum Mapping for Political Power in Nairobi

National Public Radio (NPR) is running a feature story today on the work of our collaborative between Slum Dwellers International (SDI), Muungano Support Trust, the University of Nairobi, and our team at the University of California, Berkeley.  The story nicely describes the importance of mapping as a process of recognition and increasing political power for slum dwellers.  The water project mentioned in this story emerged, in part, from community planning that our team facilitated.  I provided some examples of maps for the NPR story which can be listened-to or read here:
Both of the maps that appear in the NPR story were generated by our collaborative that includes slum dwellers from Mathare in Nairobi, our NGO and University partners, and UC Berkeley students from the Departments of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) and School of Public Health.  
One of our maps of the Mathare slum in Nairobi published by NPR today
Since 2008, I have lead a team of UC Berkeley students and researchers to support data gathering, map making, planning and advocacy to improve the lives and living conditions of Kenya's urban slum dwellers.  The reflections and insights from the tens of students that have participated in my Nairobi Studio can be found on the blog, http://nairobistudio.blogspot.com


Much of the material we have generated in collaboration with our Kenyan partners, including maps, detailed survey data, and planning and design proposals to improve infrastructure, housing, economic opportunities, health and environmental conditions in Mathare and other slums in Nairobi can be found on the web site of the Center for Global Healthy Cities at UC Berkeley.



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