The Kibera Public Space Project

Providing productive public spaces in informal settlements

Community design workshop
Food: Production
Culture: Gathering space
Public Space: Parks
Public Space: Playgrounds
Sanitation: Clothes washing

The Kounkuey Design Initiative is transforming a polluted river corridor into a network of 'Productive Public Spaces' in Kibera, one of the largest informal settlements in Africa. Interventions are based on demand from the community, and focus on using small pockets of open space along the river to address social, environmental, and economic challenges. By creating these spaces, the initiative is poised to positively impact the community.


The public spaces are both conceptualized and implemented by the community, and have successfully transformed previously underutilised and sometimes dangerous urban spaces into functional areas where residents can connect and engage in productive activities.

Social Impact

Kibera is densely populated, and lacks spaces for people to spend their leisure time and relax. Most households have insufficient access to basic infrastructure. The public spaces provide key amenities such as community buildings, water and sanitation facilities (e.g. laundry pads), green infrastructure, and open spaces for recreation and exercise. Community members are employed in the building of the infrastructure, enabling capacity building and the sharing of skills. Income-generating activities such as urban agriculture or the renting out of infrastructure are established before handing the project over to the community.

Environmental Impact

By maintaining public outdoor spaces and planting gardens, the project reduces pollution and promotes an appreciation for nature.

Success Factors
Founded in


Project type
Founded by

Kounkuey Design Initiative

Non-profit organisation
Founding Organisation Two

Second Organisation

Founding Organisation Three

Third Organisation

Non-profit organisation
Operated by

Kounkuey Design Initiative

Households reached
UN Sustainable Development Goal(s)
Last edited on:
May 10, 2023
Shared on:
May 10, 2023

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