Accepted Paper:

Malindi waterfront as socio-ecological infrastructure.  


Alessandro Frigerio (Politecnico di Milano)

Paper short abstract:

The waterfront of Malindi (Kenya) is facing severe environmental issues, uncontrolled urbanization and privatization. The paper presents a competition entry, awarded by UNHABITAT, envisioning a shared design process for its redevelopment as resilient and inclusive socio-ecological infrastructure.

Paper long abstract:

In Malindi, uncontrolled urbanization favoured dynamics of privatization of the coastline, with a concurrent rapid growth of formal and informal settlements lacking proper infrastructure and collective spaces, as well as a hazardous pressure on the fragile ecosystem. In 2016, UNHABITAT, together with the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development of Kenya, organized an international competition to provide a sustainable scenario for the re-development of the city's waterfront. The paper presents the authors' proposal, awarded by the jury. The project envisions Malindi waterfront as socio-ecological infrastructure, with the aim of answering to the environmental challenges related to climate-change and natural hazard and, at the same time, providing an interactive platform for social inclusivity, economical enhancement and cultural empowerment. The proposal moves from a general strategy for the coastline and then investigates in detail the design of the area facing the town centre as main metropolitan interface. The design effort aims at providing an urban and architectural platform, based on local patterns, to be implemented over time with various in/formal interactions between spaces and agencies. Ecological and infrastructural issues are hybridized with economic interactive cycles (related to fishing, tourism, commerce) and non-economic drivers (intangible values and personal stories). The proposed patterns are samples of a possible multitude to be developed through participative processes with citizens and already active stakeholders. This shared process of agreement on priorities could be the base for the redefinition of this public space as public good, a potential way to improve the city resilience overcoming conflicts.

Panel P089
Contested waterfronts in Kenya, Cameroon and Côte d´Ivoire