Kamukunji Grounds, Nairobi

Proposal for a public space.

We are investigating the ephemeral nature of public spaces in poor informal settlements with the ambition to secure a permanent public arena for the inhabitants of Kibera. The challenge lies in keeping the manifold activities and possibilities sprung up from the existing informal macrocosm and facilitating a physical and durable framework, without restricting the potential for further multi-use of the open space. The public space is an essential part of infrastructure – the open space is perhaps even more important in informal settlements than in formal settlements. In poor informal settlements the inhabitants are living in very tight conditions where many people share the same space of living. The outdoor space, the public space hence becomes a more important providing the environment for the daily activities. Due to the high density of population in informal settlements the pressure on open unoccupied land becomes immense. The open spaces, informal squares, open air social meeting places have to be guarded not to become swallowed by the carpet of metal sheds.

Dagfinn Sagen, Helge Lunder, Minna Riska