UN-Habitat Assembly | Re-inventing Downtown Nairobi, One Street at a Time | The Youth Cafe

Luthuli Avenue Regeneration: A signature urban regeneration project

The streetscape design envisages Luthuli avenue as a safe, inclusive and vibrant retail corridor that not only provides a unique and quality environment for Nairobians and visitors but also provides creative features that promote the street as a public space and a driver for urban transformation.

As an engine for regeneration of east of Tom Mboya street, it is envisaged to be a catalyst for air quality action in the context of the wider climate action, a driver for economic revitalization and an exemplar of sustainable urban and built heritage regeneration. It is also envisaged to be

both a legacy project for the city and a signature project for both the city and UN-Habitat to showcase Nairobi’s leadership in implementing the ideas contained in the New Urban Agenda. This project will significantly contribute

to the ongoing Nairobi regeneration programme as well as the implementation of the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Plan (NIUPLAN). It will also contribute to Nairobi City’s monthly clean-up initiative

Activities and Salient design features

a) Responsive and functional landscaping: The design places special emphasis on improving the general aesthetic feel of Luthuli avenue and introducing street trees that promotes carbon free microclimate and ambience. east of Tom Mboya corridor.

b) Traffic calming: Diverse traffic-calming strategies including reducing the vehicular carriageway while enlarging the non-motorized space (pedestrian and bicycle), signalized intersections and raising pedestrian crossings have been incorporated to improve the safety of road users.

c)   Careful intersection treatment & signaling: The design introduces traffic lighting at 3 intersections to ensure easy and safe flow of human and vehicular traffic.

d) Pedestrian crossings including for Persons with Disabilities: The design has incorporated well-designed and adequately-distributed pedestrian crossings, and with tactile paving to aid the visually impaired.

e) Street furniture: The design introduces diverse street furniture including human-scale lighting, benches,

bike parking racks, waste bins, bollards and drinking fountains among others.

f)   Multifunctional street spaces: Through a time-based management strategy, the design rebalances the share of the street space towards a multifunctional design option that shifts towards a healthier and inclusive street. This includes, exhibition spaces, Parklets, Commercial spaces etc.

g) Through Pop Up Public Space Installation: This temporary installation will foster interaction with experts through dialogues and capacity building sessions such

as a street hackathon on energy solutions. Possible live streaming of key sessions from the UN-Habitat Assembly.


• A ripple effect catalyzing the regeneration of the urbancorridor, East of Tom Mboya street.

• Improved image of the city center with businesses coming back.

• Increased revenue for the city county due to increased turnover, new businesses opening.

• Improved urban safety and security, and road safety.

• Improved air quality.

• Improved community ownership of the project to support sustainability.

• Capacity building through a series of hackathons.

Luthuli Avenue is part of a larger pedestrian pathway that runs from River road and connects to Ambassador then to City Hall way, which links downtown to Upper Hill and Community. Additional emphasis is added at the National Archives incorporating an elevated plaza across Tom Mboya street. The plaza slows vehicular movement, accentuates the presence of the National Archives and provides the connection to City Hall Way (possible future Governor’s boulevard).

The gateway towards river road is an important element to the streetscape amenities. It is designed to be simple, welcoming and to announce a sense of arrival.


Reclaimed pavers provide a warmth and timeless look to the streetscape transforming the quality of the new space to a unique character.


All of the street lights are powered with energy efficient LED lighting.


Wide canopy to provide shade. As one of the first major infrastructure projects in downtown Nairobi, the Luthuli avenue streetscape is a signature project will be a catalyst for transformation of downtown area.