University of Nairobi (UoN) and UN-Habitat jointly and in collaboration with African countries and centres of excellence propose the establishment of the Centre for Urban-Rural Linkages in Africa (CURLA) at the University of Nairobi. The Centre, which will be affiliated to the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP), has been conceptualized from implementing Covid-19 Impacts on Transportation of Food and Related Commodities in the Urban-Rural Nexus (COVID-19 ITFCURN) Project in Kenya, Cameroon, Niger State (Nigeria), Senegal and Zimbabwe. Article VI (f) of Agreement of Collaboration (AOC) for the project between University of Nairobi and UN-Habitat.

Pilot Project

The project which piloted research, capacity building, academic support for students and policy reviews through the lenses of urban-rural linkages in the five countries focused on bringing urban and rural relations to bear more directly on urban and (rural) territorial planning and development from multi-spatial, multisector and multi-stakeholder perspectives. The context of piloting is sustainable development goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda (Habitat III), Urban and Rural Linkages Guiding Principles (URLGP) and International Guidelines for Urban and Territorial Planning (IGUTP); and the Africa Agenda 63 in its role as the contemporary track for sustainable development in African countries.

Contribution to the Society

The establishment of the proposed Centre at the University of Nairobi places a pivotal responsibility in the University and in deed Kenya; for the realization a critical aspect of sustainable development in the Africa region. Research and policy work at the Centre will contribute to the search for solutions in confronting the challenges in urbanization and human settlements. In hosting the Centre, UON/DURP will upscale the involvement of the University of Nairobi in generating contemporary information on urban-rural relations in Africa that multilateral agencies, national government and local authorities can use in policy making, strategy and action. In the past, UON/DURP actively participated in the implementation of Localizing Agenda (LA) 21 programme of the UN-Habitat from 1996 to 2000 and multi-stakeholder capacity built, experiences gained and lessons learnt from the programme and other collaboration activities provides a foundational basis for hosting CURLA.

Unlimited Opportunity

Hosting of the proposed Centre at the University in itself presents an unlimited opportunities to researchers and students across disciplines, as well as possibilities of contributing to the international centre of excellence standing of the University through outreach programmes in capacity building and policy work. The University will also contribute to shifting the paradigm towards better synergized urban-rural mutual relations for better spatial, territorial, sectoral and governance urban-rural linkages (URL) and Sustainable development goals (SDGs) tracked development.