Kenya’s Urban Development in the 21st Century: The Call for Innovative Initiatives from Local Authorities

In municipal councils in Kenya, urban environment development plans are drawn up but not followed through. In rural councils, environment development plans are not made at all and therefore development comes about in a haphazard manner. Community development efforts led by local government are minimal and have little impact. Local government, within the new framework of devolved management in Kenya, has the capacity to re-invent itself so as to play a leading role in the development of living space for the country’s citizens.The new Constitution of Kenya (2010) calls for devolution of
government. The implementation of this devolution principle will be a learning progress with built-in financial and human capital hurdles, not to mention legal challenges. Devolution will place local
government afresh in a spot where it can prove itself as development agent at local community levels. A new style of local government will make it possible to overhaul traditional management within two
areas of development, namely physical development and community development. It is likely that Kenyan towns and cities will be awakened to be more active players in the bid to improve the quality
of life of their inhabitants and to attract investment.