#CityShapers – a month-long social media campaign brings attention to the role of citizens in shaping our cities, where Nairobians take responsibility for managing their public spaces and shaping them.
Public Space Network (PSN) has launched #CityShapers – a month-long social media campaign bringing attention to the role of citizens in shaping our cities. More importantly, the campaign aims to introduce the new brand #CityShapers for the grassroot based projects of PSN, where Nairobians take responsibility for managing their public spaces and shaping them in line with their needs.
Throughout September, we’ve had the opportunity to listen to inspiring stories of Nairobians who have decided to transform their neighbourhoods to become cleaner, greener and safer places. From Kibera to Kayole, from Upper Hill to Westlands, we can find people mobilizing their communities to make a change and to create more human-centered neighbourhoods, where we can safely walk or cycle, where our children can play with their peers in outdoor playgrounds, where we can meet our friends in outdoor spaces without having to go to a café.
Some of these CityShapers have already implemented impressive transformations, some of them are shaping our city through their behaviour, some of them have a vision that they just start thinking about implementing. But all of them are a great inspiration to all of us: we all can become active citizens shaping Nairobi we want.
At the end of the campaign, PSN invites all Nairobians to join the movement and to transform together Turkana Lane in Central Business District on Saturday, 29 September 2018. Turkana lane is a fully pedestrian lane that connects Nairobi Bus Station with Race Course Road in downtown Nairobi. It is a very busy place with pedestrians in transit, street vendors and different workers operating in and around Nairobi Bus Station. It is also drab, dirty, uninviting and embodies Nairobi’s decaying and neglected infrastructure. Their goal is to turn Turkana Lane into what we desire of every public space in Nairobi.
That the users interact with space while feeling safe, the space evokes vibrancy from the explosion of colours that they will introduce and ultimately a sense of connection, pride and dignity for being a part of the space and being a Nairobian. Some of the planned activities include cleaning, painting walls and building dustbins and benches from locally available material.
Most importantly, PSN focuses on maintenance of rehabilitated spaces and will be working with businesses in the area and other stakeholders to maintain over the long term the improvements made.
PSN seeks to facilitate long-term partnerships that create sustainable public spaces as well as job opportunities. They believe the ability to access quality public spaces is integral to creating a safer, healthier and more vibrant community for our residents, leading to an improved quality of life for all. Through PSN’s members and resources, they aim to create an enabling environment that will equip communities to come together to regenerate and maintain their public spaces. By empowering communities to transform their neighborhood they promote greater social cohesion, produce economic benefits, and improve the health and safety of residents and visitors alike.