19 March 2021


KENYA SymbioCity for sustainable urban development

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) and the Kenyan Council of Governors (COG) are starting up a multi-year programme focused on sustainable urban development in Kenya. The Kenya SymbioCity Programme will build the capacity of urban development stakeholders to guide Kenyan urban development in a more sustainable direction. The programme will be implemented as a joint partnership between SALAR and COG. SALAR will deliver the project through its subsidiary SKL International. A Project Implementing Unit will be established within COG which comprises project management and technical staff from COG and SKL International as well as seconded staff from the Urban Development Directorate (UDD).

SymbioCity Approach logo

Kenya SymbioCity Programme is based on the SymbioCity Approach methodology, which has been developed by SKL International on behalf of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR). The SymbioCity Approach supports cities in planning sustainably and identifying inclusive and innovative solutions to urban challenges through synergies between different urban systems. The approach is largely founded on practical experience and expertise from Swedish local governments.

The programme is established as a partnership between SALAR and the Kenyan Council of Governors. The Council of Governors (COG) is a newly established organisation consisting of governors of the country’s 47 counties. In the context of this programme, COG plays an active role of coordination with the national government and the local authorities, creating a dialogue between the counties.

The overall objective of the programme is to ensure that the relevant actors in Kenya will have the capacity and ability to take a leading role in sustainable urban development. In addition to COG, the main actors in the project are seven local counties, Urban Development Unit at the Home Office (Ministry of Interior) as well as local and international urban interventions with local focus.

The collaboration consists of four components:

  1. Development of COG organization, with a focus on urban issues, but also the organization’s general role as a representative association for issues at the local level.
  2. Urban development projects in seven pilot cities, based on the SymbioCity Approach and with an investment fund for implementation of innovative solutions.
  3. Networking with and learning from other urban initiatives in the country.
  4. Dissemination of pilot experiences to other counties, networking with Swedish municipalities and opportunities for private actors to take advantage of lessons learned from the pilots.

The main services to be provided include:

  • Identification, mobilisation and management of experts including experts in urban development, participative planning, water, waste, recycling
  • Policy dialogue, advice and analysis
  • Provision of technical assistance in areas relating to sustainable urban development
  • Support to the organisational development of the Council of Governors including training, study visits, mentoring and exchanges
  • Delivery of training, seminars and workshops
  • Project management including planning, budgeting, reporting and M&E

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SALAR International

SALAR International is a company, owned by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions. We focus on the development of well-functioning local and regional administrations.