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‘Our Changes’? Visions of the future in Nairobi

Smith, C; (2017) ‘Our Changes’? Visions of the future in Nairobi. Urban Planning , 2 (1) pp. 31-40. 10.17645/up.v2i1.834. Green open access

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In Kenya, the Vision 2030 masterplan is radically reimagining Nairobi as a ‘world class’ city of the future. This has generated dramatic digital imagery of satellite cities, skyscrapers and shopping malls. For tenants in rundown public housing, these glossy yet speculative visions are enticing, but also provoke anxieties of exclusion. Yet so far, little has materially manifested. This article explores the effects these future vistas produce in the present, in the gap between the urban plan and its implementation. It argues that the spectacle of official planning has generated anticipatory actions, as Nairobians’ engage with the future promised by such schemes. These actions are characterised by dissonant temporal experiences, in which local residents experience the future city as both near at hand and forever out of reach.

Type: Article
Title: ‘Our Changes’? Visions of the future in Nairobi
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.17645/up.v2i1.834
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/up.v2i1.834
Additional information: © 2017 by the author; licensee Cogitatio (Lisbon, Portugal). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribu- tion 4.0 International License (CC BY).
Keywords: Kenya; megaprojects; Nairobi; temporality; urban planning; visual culture
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP: Research
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP: Research > Library Services
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1561437
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