The future of urban renewal  - a case study of Ngara as a creative hub and model for other cities

This interactive event, featuring a blend of talks and workshops, was organised by the Service Design Days in collaboration with Marathon XP on November 10 2023.


Nestled in the vibrant city of Nairobi, Ngara serves as a microcosm of urban dynamics. Despite historical challenges such as congestion and safety concerns, its strategic location and diverse character make it a compelling focal point for revitalisation efforts. The ongoing transformation of Ngara aligns with Nairobi's broader vision for sustainable and inclusive urban development, serving as a potential model for the city's future growth and renewal.

Ngara stands as a crucible of transformation. Within these urban areas, designers confront a unique blend of challenges and opportunities. In this context, designers and other creative thinkers can assume a pivotal role, tasked with envisioning solutions that not only mitigate conflict but also harness its transformative potential. Delving into the intricate landscape of Ngara as a case study for conflictive urban areas can reveal the vital role of designers in navigating their complexities.

How can participatory design reshape the neighbourhood of Ngara? What strategies can effectively engage the local community for their buy-in and support? How can collaboration with local government and policymakers be optimised to ensure long-term project support? And, crucially, how do we nurture an ecosystem where creatives can collaborate, innovate, and thrive?

The event aims to unite designers, researchers, urban planners, policymakers, artists, and creatives through engaging discussions and brainstorming sessions. Together, we will explore the challenges and propose interventions that propel this transformative project forward.


11:15 - 12:30

Workshop by Ich Gichuki, Session 1 - Deep understanding of the system

12:30 - 13:00

Short break & refreshments

13:00 - 14:15

Workshop by Lynnet Kamau, Session 2 - Identifying opportunities for impact


Location & travel

This Service Design Days Satellite event will be held at Shah House, the inaugural facility in a sequence of colonial-era buildings dating back decades. These buildings are being reclaimed and revitalised as part of the ongoing Ngara renewal project.


Shah House (next to Sarakasi Dome)
PRFG+7QW, Ngara Road

(view on Google maps)

By public transport / ride sharing
From the central business district, take a matatu for route number 9 and request to alight at Sarakasi Dome. If using ride sharing services, set Sarakasi Dome as your drop-off location. From there, proceed towards Ngara Road. Look for a sign indicating Shah House. Enter the black gate just after the sign and follow the corridor to the yellow door, which serves as the entrance to your destination.

By car

For those driving, secure parking will be provided at the Sarakasi Dome parking area. A parking attendant will guide you from there to Shah House.