ASAP-East Africa Team at the United Nations – Habitats World Urban Forum
Francis Pope (Principle Investigator) and a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham, including Rhiannon Blake, and the African Centre for Technology Studies, ACTS (Nairobi, Kenya) attended the United Nations-Habitat World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, representing the ‘A Systems Approach to Air Pollution (ASAP) East Africa' project.
The conference saw 22,000 participants from 165 countries debate implementation steps and ideas of how to work collectively to build the ‘Cities 2030’ campaign. The team were invited to host a panel discussion, focused on a set of scenarios depicting how Nairobi’s air pollution will look by 2030.
The city’s population is set to at least double in the next 12 years, with an increasing population and rapid urbanisation, air pollution could pose a much higher health risk, like what Delhi is currently experiencing.
- The scenarios outlined a negative approach, where air pollution will increase at a rate higher than the predicted global average leading to serious health impact for all, not just the most vulnerable communities.
- The status quo scenario presented follows a ‘business as usual’ approach, where with limited changes to infrastructure and transport, air pollution would follow the global projection.
- The final scenario is an optimistic approach, where large scale changes in all high level drivers such as politics, the economy and urban planning can reduce the risk the city faces whilst it expands and develops.
There was a very positive turn out for the event, with engaged audience members and thought provoking discussions. The World Urban Forum also presented a good opportunity to forge connections with nongovernmental, civil society and governmental representatives that can expand the ASAP-East Africa project’s stakeholder engagement.