KPSP01 weaving cooperative

Kibera Public Space Project 01

KPSP01 in context

KPSP01 garden

KPSP01 playground

KPSP01 weaving cooperative

Kibera Public Space Project 01

Kibera Public Space Project 01

KPSP01 is the first site in the KPSP Network. Started in 2006, this multifunctional community hub was designed, built and programmed in partnership with residents. KPSP01 confirmed our theory that flexible, community-led public spaces could meet social, economic, and environmental needs, improving quality of life in the most challenging conditions.

Context

Original conditions at the site

KPSP01 is located at the border between Soweto East and Silanga villages in Kibera.

Due to regular flooding, the site was swampy and impassable on foot. It was deemed unbuildable and used as a dumping ground. The area was isolated and crime-ridden, posing a big safety concern for nearby residents.

Process

Community meeting in the office

Through a series of workshops, residents identified solutions to issues such as flooding, safety, poverty, and the lack of recreation opportunities for children, before prioritizing and synthesizing them into a single, integrated design.

The New Nairobi Dam Community (NNDC) group was established to manage site operations, programs and maintenance.

Solution

Children at the school based at KPSP01

KPSP01 includes a pavilion, office, garden, bridge, and gabions. A savings and loans program, women’s craft cooperative, and compost business are based there.

Each element is part of a system: the pavilion, for example, is rented out to a school and a church; its roof captures rainwater that helps grow sustainable produce and generate income.

Impact

NNDC members meeting at the site

Since its launch, KPSP01 has become a Kiberan landmark, opening new access routes through the settlement, inspiring other public space projects, and receiving international visitors.

KPSP01 continues to grow and serve the community, with new amenities added in 2014 under KPSP06 - despite the original playground sadly becoming victim to land-grabbing.