Informalilty in the Social and Culture Life in the City Centre of Nairobi

John Onyango, Karim Hadjri

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We live in a world of advanced technology, stiff global competition and rapid transformation of all facets of life and as a result architecture has not been spared. These transformations affect the social relations, cultural consumption and political economy that have influenced the manner in which people perform in and out of space in the city centres. The residents have adopted strategies for negotiating through the spaces sanitized by authorities and other agents. The public spaces provide the background materials for informal urban practices that are sometimes deemed illegal yet are necessary for animating the city spaces. Cities market themselves ecstatically beyond the baroque with a more visible presence of the contending parties through trademarks, public relations invasively advertised in streets, monuments (signature buildings or projects), and language. This paper comes out of a research carried out in Nairobi in February and March 2007. It examined how the notions of globalisation are reflected in the life in the city centre; the impacts on the quality of life of users of the city centre and how informal urbanism has developed as copying strategy to deal with the transformations due to liberalization and globalization.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalUrban Design International
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

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