Accepted paper:

An integrated approach to city development, air quality management and liveability in Nairobi


Marie Thynell (Peace and Development)

Paper short abstract:

To achieve city development, liveability and air quality management in Urban Africa, a multidisciplinary and integrated approach was formed. In the age of the Anthropocene, clean air in cities is seen as a litmus test of the viability of the SDG's.

Paper long abstract:

In the near future extraordinary economic and population growth is expected to transform urban Africa. The African continent is the last of the huge continents to rapidly urbanize. Modern mainstream development exacerbate environmental deterioration amid economic growth in cities. "New solutions are needed; cities are growing so quickly that plans developed even a decade ago are now obsolete" (Agyepong, Lancet SSA 2017). In Kenya 2013, air pollution was the fourth most important health/disease risk factor. The presentation focus on the exposure to hazardous pollution in low-income settlements in Nairobi where polluted air provokes non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular diseases). Vulnerable families are at risk and in particular air pollution poses a great threat to malnourished women and children due to their smaller physical size and developing bodies. Most sources of outdoor air pollution are beyond the control and demand urgent action by the authorities, at all levels. In the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan air quality is considered one of the most important obstacles impeding the development of a liveable, productive and sustainable city. To scrutinize the role of air quality as a driver of sustainable urban development, a multidisciplinary research agenda based on mixed methods was formed. It will identify and bridge critical knowledge gaps impeding the transition to liveable and sustainable African cities. We conclude that local capacity building and learning in collaboration with relevant institutions is required to confront uneven development and growing environmental, social and health challenges in Nairobi and other SSA cities.

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Social Anthropology
Multiple African anthropocenes: universal concepts, local manifestations