Public open spaces in Nairobi had never been well-handled by the city itself. The importance of fixing old issues had become predominant in the design of new areas by the Nairobi City County. The creation of new public open spaces helped in this regard and in bringing the community together.
But where do those ideas come from?
Firstly, from the community itself. It is important to listen and keep listening to the issues rising in the community. By understanding the needs and wants of others we make sure that our solutions are effective and adapted to the situation. Speak, talk and share to create ideas!
Secondly, from the advice of other urban professionals, many of whom are IHS graduates. The alumni network grows stronger every year with professionals from different backgrounds and specialisations. These diverse skill sets help in getting new visions and ideas, always keeping us updated about new techniques and urban designs.
Finally, from the education I received while studying at IHS. The inspiration I gained to change my city is unquantifiable, as it went above and beyond my expectations. It helped me become a better urban professional in an ever changing and competitive world.
If I had one piece of advice to give as an IHS alumnus to the new batch of UMD students, it would be to achieve your goals. Be focused as one year in reality is a very short time and take advantage of every opportunity. And mostly talk and exchange with your fellow classmates, the most valuable knowledge you will acquire through those interactions.
About the author:
Sammy Shileche (UMD-10) graduated in 2014 at IHS with a specialisation in Urban Competitiveness and Resilience. He works as the posing director of the urban design department at the Nairobi City County since his appointment last year. He is currently working on the creation of new public open spaces in Nairobi to strengthen the local community development. His visit to IHS last week was short but much appreciated as he always kept in touch with IHS and especially with Cocky, to whom he is very thankful for her help.