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Urban Subsistence, Urban-Rural Links and Social Mutations in the City: Burundian and Kenyan Cases at a Glance
Mr. Jackson Kago, the Chairman, Department of Spatial Planning and Urban Management attending a workshop at The French Research Institute in Africa (IFRA) between 13th - 14th December 2018 at IFRA Nairobi titled: Urban Subsistence, Urban-Rural Links and Social Mutations in the City: Burundian and Kenyan Cases at a Glance

Bachelor of Science in Spatial Planning


Spatial planning refers to the methods used by any planning authority to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scales. Discrete professional disciplines which involve spatial planning include land use, urban, regional, transport and environmental planning. Other related areas are also important, including economic and community planning. Spatial planning takes place on local, regional, national and inter-national levels and often result in the creation of a spatial plan.

Undergraduate training in spatial planning leads to the professional practice referred to as Physical planning or just planning. A Practising Physical planner is referred to as a Planner. Planning is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient and attractive places for present and future generations. Planning enables civic leaders, businesses, and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people's lives. Good planning helps create communities that offer better choices for where and how people live. Planning helps communities to envision their future. It helps them find the right balance of new development and essential services, environmental protection, and innovative change. 


During the last four decades, Kenya has witnessed rapid urban growth rates of around 5%, which have seen the urban population rise from 8% at independence to 34% currently. It is projected that about 50% of the Kenyan population will be urbanized by the year 2030.  About 70% of those residing in urban areas live in informal settlements lacking basic infrastructure and services, a situation that is likely to deteriorate in the absence of innovative planning solutions and adequate investment in infrastructure and services.



To develop creative and dynamic planning professionals through training and research in spatial planning for sustainable development that is conscious of environmental protection, innovative change and the improvement of societal welfare.


Develop well trained planners able develop innovative solutions to planning and environmental problems.


The programme seeks to ensure that its goals are in line with the requirements of professional bodies affiliated with the profession. This will ensure that its graduates are accredited and recognized within the different organizations.

Objectives: The Expected Learning Outcomes Of The Programme

The bachelor’s programme in spatial planning seeks to develop creative and innovative professionals that demonstrate competence in practice, research and academics. The programme will:

  • Develop specialized skills in urban/city planning, regional/county planning, infrastructure planning, urban governance and management and urban economic development.
  • Develop specialized skills in planning and management of urban systems, infrastructure planning, commercial/industrial environmental planning and management, natural resources management, and institutional planning & management.
  • Develop specialized ICT skills in planning applications through hand on, practical and experiential learning using modern and innovative skills and  technologies
  • Develop a strong and dynamic research capacity that will spearhead topical issues in spatial planning and urbanization. Such topical issues will include urban forms and functions, sustainable urban communities, informal settlements, informality of urban economies, urban governance and management, county/planning and governance, infrastructure and service delivery, urbanization and climate change adaptation, innovative environmental planning of urban and economic systems.
  • Train planners  that are
    • ʻenablingʼ rather than control-focused;
    • able to do creative problem solving rather than just applying the rules; 
    • are more flexible; more empathetic and open to (cultural/economic) differences.
  • Endeavour to build partnerships with stakeholders for continuous peer to peer review of content, delivery, practice, research and collaborations for the advancement of planning education, research and dissemination through active networking within and outside of Kenya.


The Kenya Institute of Planners (KIP) is the professional body that articulates the goals of physical/ spatial/land-use planners in Kenya. The Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) has a planning chapter that caters for Architect planners.  The registration and licensing for planners in Kenya is conducted by the Physical Planners Registration Board (PPRB). The board is mandated through the Physical Planners Registration Act, (Cap no.3 of 1996) to regulate the training and practice of the planning profession.


Graduates from programs in this department will be employed in both the public and private sector as physical planners, spatial analysts, land-use planners, urban planners, project managers among others in national and county governments. The national urban development authority NEMA will find skills of spatial planners crucial for development control to ensure sustainable development. Other opportunities for work exist in private consultancy after professional registration and licensing by the PPRB.

Entry Requirements


The minimum university entry mean grade of C+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education and have a minimum grade C+ in the following subjects:
i. Group I: Mathematics
ii. Group I: English/Kiswahili
iii. Group II: Biology/Chemistry/Physics and one other subject from any of the following groups:
iv. Group III: History and Government, Geography, Christian Religious Education/ Islamic Religious Education/Hindu Religious Education
v. Group IV: Home Science, Art and Design, Agriculture, Woodwork, Metalwork, Building Construction, Power Mechanics, Electricity, Drawing and Design, Aviation Technology, Computer Studies
vi. Group V: French, German, Arabic, Kenyan Sign Language, Music, Business Studies.
At least two principle passes in Mathematics or economics and any of the following subjects: Geography, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, History and credit pass in English language at KCE or equivalent examination. OR Approved Diploma recognised by Kenyatta University Senate in land surveying, cartography, GIS/RS, building construction, architecture, applied sciences or related fields with a credit pass may be admitted.


Last Updated on Friday, 31 March 2017 07:54

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