REGENERATION

Inside the Sh28 billion 'Railway City' plan to expand Nairobi's CBD

The project covers the area between Haile Sellasie Avenue, Uhuru Highway and Bunyala road.

In Summary

• The development would see Wakulima Market turned into a park while Africa's largest coffee mill at KPCU would be rehabilitated into a 'Kenyan Coffee Center' similar to Terrarosa Yangpyeong in South Korea.

• Towards Landimawe and Industrial Area, the plan is to establish a residential area of around 28,000 people with "Mid, Affordable and Social housing" with a school and a small park.

The Proposed Nairobi Railway City
The Proposed Nairobi Railway City

The government on Saturday released the much-awaited Nairobi Railway City masterplan aimed at expanding the Central Business District.

The implementation of the project is estimated to take a total of 20 years at a cost of Sh27.91 billion with the first phase (development) taking place between 2020 and 2030.

Railway infrastructure and water supply will take the bulk of the costs at Sh17.5 billion and Sh3.9 billion respectively.

 

The iconic multi-modal urban development project will be situated within 425-acres, of which 292 acres is owned by the Kenya Railways and currently serving as the Nairobi Railway Station.

 

"Railway City Masterplan is ready. This will most certainly change the face of Nairobi. I will appreciate your comments before we embark on its implementation. This will define the new CBD," Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga posted on his Twitter account.

The project which is part of the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Plan is also aimed at expanding the capital's Central Business District as currently set up.

The project covers the area between Haile Sellasie Avenue, Uhuru Highway and Bunyala road.

The proposed New Railway Station
The proposed New Railway Station

According to Kenya Railways, the proposed primary planning area is situated within the site containing the Nairobi Central Railway Station, the marshalling yard and the Kenya Railways Pension Scheme Land (Landimawe Estate).

It also stretches to the locomotive and wagons workshops and the section of Nairobi’s Industrial Area that borders the southern boundary of the Nairobi Railway Station.

The development would see Wakulima Market turned into a park while Africa's largest coffee mill at KPCU would be rehabilitated into a 'Kenyan Coffee Center' similar to Terrarosa Yangpyeong in South Korea.

 

The plan includes the building of a new railway station that allows for the integration of BRT and other public transport modes.

"New central station is designed to be multi-modal hub in CBD ensure the seamless connection among Commuter rail, 3BRTs, Airport Limousine, City bus, and NMT like Bicycle. Truly urban gateway in Nairobi," the master-plan states.

The Technical University of Kenya which falls in the zone would also be turned into a Techno Research and Development Institute, according to the plan.

The area towards Bunyala Road will be dedicated to Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) facilities.

Towards Landimawe and Industrial Area, the plan is to establish a residential area of around 28,000 people with "Mid, Affordable and Social housing" with a school and a small park.

The new 'city' will also have its own police station, fire station and a disaster response center.

There will also be an underground tank to collect rainwater for supply within the proposed development. 

According to the Kenya Railways website, the strategic location of the Nairobi Station area also positions it perfectly to be an iconic nerve centre for the Nairobi Multimodal Transport System.

This is with the plan to establish a world-class new central station incorporating mixed-use commercial developments, hotels and intermodal facilities.

Nairobi has been struggling to regenerate itself to deal with congestion that has seen people spend hours in traffic.

It is estimated that there are about four million people in Nairobi during the day with close to 25 per cent coming from neighbouring counties of Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos.

There is an inter-governmental team - the Nairobi Regeneration Taskforce - that has been working to get immediate solutions for congestions, public transport and garbage.

This team has however not been doing much due to the lack of funds despite having hit the ground running last year.

"The reason Nairobi is chaotic is that we allowed it to grow in an unplanned way. It will take aeons to fix this. So while I understand Kenyans want results, let’s not dismiss the aspect of planning," Hinga posted on Twitter.

Classification
Classification