Case Study: Lamu Old Town
- 277 Downloads
This chapter discusses the urban challenges experienced by Lamu Old Town, a World Heritage site in Kenya. The paper reviews the interventions being undertaken jointly by Government of Kenya, the National Museums of Kenya, the County Government of Lamu and its predecessor the County Council of Lamu in trying to safeguard the Outstanding Universal Value while also enhancing the attributes and functionality of the historic old town as it struggles to meet the challenges associated with urban growth and development. The chapter highlights the potential of Historic Urban Landscape tools in enhancing the future development of the town.
Lamu Old Town is regarded as the oldest and best preserved of the Swahili settlements in East Africa, and it still retains its traditional character and functions. The town received national recognition in 1986 and was subsequently inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2001. Over the last 10 years, Lamu Town has experienced an inordinate population increase resulting from an influx of immigrant job seekers. The ensuing high demand for housing has resulted in the development of informal settlements around the old town, which now impacts negatively on the character and attributes of the town. Mega infrastructural developments earmarked for development within the precincts of the adjacent mainland coastline also pose a threat to the integrity of the old town.
Previous partnerships on the implementation of the UNESCO supported programmes on Historic Urban Landscapes have enabled site managers to argue for the integration of conservation initiatives into the broader development agenda of the county government. In order to enhance the quality of life within the town for both visitors and residents, the County Government of Lamu (CGL) has initiated a number of ongoing infrastructural improvement projects. The projects include paving of open public spaces, pedestrian walkways and provision of street lights.
KeywordsUrbanization Historic centres Development Governance Planning
- Callenberg, M. (2016). Gothenburg, hidden stories and urban values Chalmers University.Google Scholar
- Directorate of Antiquities Sites and Monuments. (2000). Lamu nomination Dossier. Nairobi, National Museums of Kenya.Google Scholar
- Directorate of Physical Planning. (1978). Report of the workshop/conference on conservation of historic towns and monuments. Nairobi Government of Kenya.Google Scholar
- Directorate of Urban and Rural Planning (DoURP). (2014). Enabling transformation of Zanzibar: National spatial development strategy. Zanzibar.Google Scholar
- Ghaidan, U. (1976). Lamu: A study in conservation. Nairobi: The East African Literature Bureau.Google Scholar
- K-SUP. (2014). Report on informal settlements upgrading in Lamu Technical Partnership between the National and County Government.Google Scholar
- Lamu County. (2013a). Nairobi, County integrated development plan-CIDP) Government Printer.Google Scholar
- Lamu County. (2013b). First County integrated development plan. Google Scholar
- LWHSCO. (2003). State of conservation report Lamu WHS. Lamu: National Museums of Kenya.Google Scholar
- LWHSCO. (2011). Lamu HUL workshop report. Lamu: National Museums of Kenya.Google Scholar
- LWHSCO. (2012). Final report on training and mapping of public open spaces exercise. Lamu: NMK.Google Scholar
- Maleche, Z. (2000). Profile Nairobi. Profile University of Nairobi. Retrieved from://profiles.uonbi.ac.ke/zachariahmaleche/files/cv_maleche.pdf.Google Scholar
- Siravo, F., & Pulver, A. (1986). Planning Lamu: Conservation of an East African seaport. Nairobi: The National Museums of Kenya.Google Scholar
- UNESCO. (2013). Paris, report on the historic urban landscape workshops and field activities on the Swahili coast in East Africa 2011–2012.Google Scholar
- Un-Habitat. (2015). Report on capacity building for county governments under the Kenya municipal programme. Google Scholar