EFFECTIVENESS OF URBAN PLANNING AND BUILDING DESIGN POLICIES IN CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION FOR NAIROBI CITY
Urban policies play a major role in shaping future trends and concentration of population, socio-economic activities and infrastructure in cities. As a result, as the world population become more urbanized, spatial planning efforts in respect to climate change will require special focus from urban planners, environmentalists, city managers among other stakeholders. Nairobi city has been faced with many climate change related impacts ranging from an increase in extreme weather events such as hotter temperatures and flooding resulting to public health issues. These impacts threaten to increase vulnerability, destroy economic gains and hinder social and economic development in the city. An extensive review of existing national policies related to urban planning, environmental designs and protection as well as building by-laws and climate change was undertaken against a protocol of international best practices on climate change management. The study found that different planning components were addressed by different policy documents reviewed; even though the relative coverage rate were low for different policies most of them were well detailed. Although Nairobi city continues to suffer from environmental quality, unregulated land use conversion without recourse on existing laws; unapproved and poorly constructed buildings, the study found that the existing policies can potentially address the immediate climate-related needs for Nairobi city and consequently, improve its resilience to climate change impacts if implementation of the existing policies is strengthened by relevant government bodies and other stakeholders.