About us

Centre for Urban Research and Innovations (CURI), formerly Urban Innovations Program (UIP), is a think tank based at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning. The Centre seeks to create a forum for exploring innovative methodologies for enabling planners and professionals in the built environment to be more responsive and effective in addressing urban challenges in contemporary and future African urban settings.

This initiative began in the year 2007 as part of rethinking by urban planners on the relevance of current planning education and the effectiveness contemporary urban planning practice. The initial funding was provided by The Rockefeller Foundation. CURI is composed of a team of researchers who work towards seeking new and innovative approaches by which the planning school and faculty of built environment can better engage policy makers, communities, urban authorities, private sector and partners to foster greater awareness and appreciation of collaborative planned interventions to local urban challenges.

Mission and Objectives 

To promote capacity building through empowerment of urban communities for effective community participation; linking and networking with NGOS, government agencies and parastals working within informal settlements and municipalities through provision of technical assistance.The overall objective of CURI is to create a forum for exploring innovative methodologies for enabling professional planners and designers, civil societies, local communities, governments/government ministries and African planning schools to be more responsive and effective in addressing challenges in contemporary and future African urban settlements.

Strategic Objectives

  • Through research, to inform policy formulation on spatial & environmental planning, develop and test basic elements of urban planning methodologies and approaches.
  • In collaboration with stakeholders: Communities, NGOs, Government Ministries and Planning Schools, to create and formulate sustainable and achievable urban planning Policies.
  • To reach out and widely disseminate urban planning related information/share best practices and lessons through seminars, workshops, electronic media, training, exchange programs.
  • To promote revitalization of planning education and practice through curriculum review and Continuous Professional Development of planners and urban designers.


CURI is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. In the last four years, the Rockefeller Foundation has the Centre to develop and test innovative urban planning and design methodologies. Much of the focus has been on strengthening community participation in informal settlement upgrading and training urban planners and designers in the wider use and application of such methodologies. The University has received various grants which the Centre has used to establish itself as a local centre for knowledge production with regard to the urban realm through training, applied urban research, policy innovation and advocacy on sustainable urban development and management Core Principles

  • Collaborative Planning
  • Inter-disciplinary Research
  • Capacity Building
  • Participatory Planning Approach
  • Information Exchange