Re-thinking urban upgrading – The urban NEXUS approach to promote green and inclusive settlements

Connective Cities / MILE-Learning Exchange & Practitioners’ Workshop in Durban, South Africa


Rapid urbanisation is an indisputable fact in Africa, and cities across the continent are increasingly driving national economies. Despite their growing role, many cities lack the institutions and instruments necessary to manage urbanisation in a sustainable way that includes their poorest residents. To counter traditional sectoral thinking and divided responsibilities and move towards a deeper, more systemic form of urban practice, an urban NEXUS approach for the design of sustainable urban development solutions is required. The approach guides stakeholders to identify and pursue possible synergies between sectors, jurisdictions, and technical domains, so as to increase institutional performance, optimize resource management, and service Quality.

The Workshop aims at further developing and applying the urban NEXUS approach in regard to the integration of social, economic and environmental dimensions in planning, management, and governance of slum upgrading programmes. Furthermore, it will address housing - land use - pro-poor economic development - environmental protection - citizen participation - education - risk reduction and look at existing good practices and emerging challenges to define innovative approaches that go beyond conventional urban practice.


Event Programme


Mr. Luyanda Mpahlwa, Design Space Africa
Urban upgrading in Sub-Saharan Africa

Mr. Schilling, City of Bremen
Urban upgrading in Germany / Urban renewal in Germany

Ms. Irina Velasco, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, Africa Secretariat
Urban NEXUS approach


Integrated planning for green and inclusive urban upgrading

Mr. James Njoroge Gitau, Kariobangi South Welfare and Slums Housing Association Nairobi, Kenya
Upgraded slum, Upgraded people: A case of Kariobangi South Slum in Nairobi Kenya

Mr. James Otiende, Nairobi City County Government, Kenya
Public participation in urban development

Mr. Daniel Chirundu, Kadoma City Council, Zimbabwe
Citizen Participation in Urban Renewal - A case of “Girls Hostel” in Rimuka Kadoma

Mr. Musa Shabane, Tongaat Hulett Developments City of Durban, South Africa
Socio-economic sustainability and innovation program – Cornubia Development

Mr. Matthias Herding, City of Düsseldorf, Germany
The Social City Düsseldorf |Flingern/Oberbilk. An urban development promotion programme

Mr. Aaron Masembura, Kadoma City Council, Zimbabwe
Upgrading social housing to remove social inequalities

Mr. Faizal Seedat, City of Durban, South Africa
Incremental Services to Informal Settlements Programme

Partnerships and financing models

Mrs. Emily Mohohlo & Mrs. Ana Estevao, South African Federation of the Urban & Rural Poor (FEDUP) – Shack/Slum Dwellers International South Africa
Building inclusive partnerships

Mr. Alex Mugambi, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
Inclusive solid waste management in informal settlements through collaboration of city county with local communities: A Case of Kibera Slum, Nairobi-Kenya

Mr. Joshua Maligwa, City of Rusape, Zimbabwe
Examining and understanding the need for PPP inurban renewal and growth

Mr. Fred Weber, City of Hagen, Germany
Integrated climate adaptation concept for the City of Hagen - reflecting partnership and financing

Green building and infrastructure

Mrs. Fadeya Ebrahin, City of Durban, South Africa
Showcasing integrated human infrastructure and green designs – The case of Cornubia in Northern Durban

Mr. Michael Leischner, City of Dortmund, Germany
Energy efficient renewal of urban areas in Dortmund

Connecting with nature

Mrs. Patricia K’Omudho, Nairobi City County Government, Nairobi, Kenya
Increasing and maintaining the City’s green cover

Mr. Christian Schilling, City of Bremen & Mrs. Eva Kirschenmann, Lucie-Flechtmann-Platz, Bremen, Germany
Urban gardening in Bremen, Germany


During the three days workshop, the practitioners presented good practices, participated in peer-to-peer advisory sessions tackling concrete challenges of urban upgrading in their home cities and developed action plans based on the Urban NEXUS Approach which aims at improved integration between actors, sectors and levels of urban development.

Key take-home messages are: 

i) Urban development is a dynamic process and therefore needs laws and policies that are flexible

ii) Citizens, especially urban upgrading beneficiaries, should become agents of change through stable partnerships instead of only taking part in short-term participatory measures

iii) The mainstreaming of innovative technologies, designs and delivery models for housing and basic services requires political will and community support, and 

iv) Communication between stakeholders should be improved to allow practitioners to identify NEXUS opportunities to enhance their projects´ performance


Connective Cities / MILE Learning Exchange & Practitioners’ Workshop
<link>Re-thinking urban upgrading - The urban NEXUS approach to promote green and inclusive settlements
21 - 23 June, 2016 in Durban, South Africa
[pdf, 30 pp., 5,5mb, English Version]




Exchange & Practitioners' Workshop in Durban, South Africa

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Categories: Good Urban Governance Integrated urban development Participation and urban planning Democracy and public participation The social city Documentation Connective Cities Local economic development Green Urban Economy
Regions: South Africa Durban Africa


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