Next City Selects World Stage Speaker From Hundreds of Applicants

Next City is pleased to announce that Tatu Gatere, the Kenya country director of Kounkuey Design Initiative, has been selected to present on the World Stage at Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador.

Gatere’s proposal stood out in a pool of more than 200 distinguished applicants from more than 100 cities across six continents. Thanks to 120 Next City readers who donated toward this effort, we are able to fully fund her trip to Quito.

Drawing on her experiences working in the fast-growing city of Nairobi, the Kenyan architect will speak to an international audience about the value of human-centered design as a tool for sustainable urbanization.

“I would like to demonstrate the possibilities and importance of human centered design, multi-stakeholder participation, sectoral integration and scalable change as critical components in successful urban transformation projects in Nairobi,” Gatere wrote in her winning proposal.

“I’d like to see a more human-centered approach to the design of the urban landscape which would mean the growth and focus of design solutions that cater to everyday uses both formal and informal. Markets, or places to support informal trading, laundry, water and sanitation facilities, gathering spaces or areas of respite that suit the vibrant and often chaotic interfaces that occur naturally. Most of all, I’d like to see urban development prioritizing equal access to clean, healthy, safe, walkable and beautiful public spaces,” says Gatere about the future of Nairobi.

Gatere will be among dozens of urban thinkers featured on the World Stage during the UN-Habitat convening.

The World Stage will be the premier hub for conversation about the future of cities during Habitat III. A publicly accessible exhibition space and gallery produced by Next City, the World Stage is where international experts and urban leaders will gather to engage in dialogue about the UN’s New Urban Agenda and learn about the strides toward increased resilience and equality being made in cities around the world.

Next City is covering the road to Habitat III in Quito through reporting, op-eds and video. Our latest feature, “There’s a Message for City Planners in Cape Town Plumbing Poll,” explores how community-led data collection can drive urban reform.

The Kounkuey Design Initiative is a nonprofit design and community development organization that partners with underserved communities in the U.S., Africa and Latin America to physically transform communities and in the process, improve environmental, economic and social quality of life.

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