Urban Mobility and Public Space Assessment Co-ordinator

Issue Date 24 Aug 2015 Closing Date 31 Aug 2015
Grade CONSULTANT Post Duration
Duty Station Nairobi Organizational Unit Urban Planning and Design
Job Opening

The urban space needs to be rethought in order to optimize flow of traffic, but also to increase and encourage the use of non-motorized transport, such as pedestrian movement or cycling. Streets need to be adapted, with walkways, crossings, and cycling lanes. Transport junctions need to be established to create connection points between different transport modes, thus facilitating access to and extending the range of a public transport system, on both the macro level – the city, the region and beyond – and micro level – the neighbourhood.

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                                                                                                           Issued on: 24 August 2015




Nairobi, Kenya


Urban Mobility and Public Space Assessment Co-ordinator


6 months


31 August 2015



 “Public spaces are key element of individual and social well-being, the places of a community’s collective life, expressions of the diversity of their common, natural and cultural richness and a foundation of their identity”. Charter of Public Space, Rome, 2013

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. UN-Habitat has the mandate to work with public space, to promote local authorities and governments “to use public space for inclusion, economic improvement, culture, and environmental resilience in cities”, to “facilitate and implement exchange, cooperation and research between partners working in this field”, “to develop a policy approach on the role that public spaces play in meeting the challenges of our rapidly urbanizing world, to disseminate that policy and its results widely and to develop a plan for ensuring its application internationally”. Governing Council Resolution 23/4, April 2011

In many cities, especially in developing countries, streets, squares, and parks, especially in the informal city, are often chaotic, poorly planned and maintained -- if they exist at all. Cities that improve the quality of life for its citizens experience higher levels of prosperity. Cities that strive towards social equity by improving overall access to the urban commons and public goods and preventing private appropriation of the same are more likely to be more sustainable in the long-run.  Cities that re‐evaluate their notion of the ‘public’ and thereby provide green areas, parks, recreation facilities and other public spaces demonstrate a commitment to improved quality of life, and by improving and sustaining the use of public space, cities enhance community cohesion, civic identity, and quality of life. Public spaces and streets are, and must be seen as, multi-functional areas for social interaction, economic exchange and cultural expression among a wide diversity of participants. It is for planning to organise for these public spaces, and for design to encourage their use, in the process enhancing a sense of identity and belonging. Safety and security are important dimensions to be considered in any such design, together with vital underground infrastructure (water, energy and communications). Important conditions for such planning to be successful are the contextual existence of adequate governance and management arrangements, as well as viable mechanisms to redirect part of value gains into the running of better public space.

Despite the importance of public space, it has seldom been given the attention it deserves and, more importantly, in policy and action at the local level. As a result, UN-Habitat launched the Public Space Programme and embarked upon influencing the improvement of public spaces across the world by the end of 2016. Projects are already underway in Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Somalia, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Haiti, Peru, Argentina and Colombia. Global Programme on Public Space includes, as focus areas and activities, knowledge management; networking and partnerships; technical cooperation, pilot projects and capacity development with particular interest in the uses of collaborative tools for participatory planning and design of public spaces.

Addressing the mobility challenge calls for a paradigm shift in urban planning, encouraging compact cities and mixed-land use as a way to increase accessibility and to reduce the need for transportation altogether. Understanding that the purpose of mobility is to gain access to destinations, activities, services and goods, urban planning should therefore be resident-centered, so that functional endpoints – the reasons for travel – are as close as possible to each other, in effect reducing distances and transportation needs.
Thus, urban planning and design should focus on how to bring people and places together, by creating cities that value accessibility, rather than merely adding urban transport infrastructure to increase the movement of people or goods. Simply put, city residents should be able to address their needs using as little travel as possible.
Likewise, the current global bias towards private motor vehicles needs to change in favour of more sustainable mobility concepts, such as public transport systems that have high passenger capacity and area coverage and are low in energy use and carbon emissions. To cut reliance on private motorized transport, cities need to develop attractive, accessible, and affordable public transport systems that are within geographical and financial reach of all residents, especially the urban poor.
Because most trips involve a combination of several modes of transport, cities need to provide multi-modal transport systems and address modal integration as a major component of any urban mobility strategy. For example, high-capacity public transport systems  – metro, light rail, or bus rapid transit (BRT) – need to be integrated with other forms of public transport that serve as feeder services to ensure full utilization of their conveyance capacity. Emphasis is therefore to be placed on “last mile access,” to allow residents easy access to the public transport system.
The urban space needs to be rethought in order to optimize flow of traffic, but also to increase and encourage the use of non-motorized transport, such as pedestrian movement or cycling. Streets need to be adapted, with walkways, crossings, and cycling lanes. Transport junctions need to be established to create connection points between different transport modes, thus facilitating access to and extending the range of a public transport system, on both the macro level – the city, the region and beyond – and micro level – the neighbourhood.
The proposed consultancy will support two components:

  • The development of a public space assessment tool which will be piloted in Nairobi, Kenya and possibly also other cities such as Addis Abeba and Johannesburg. The tool will look at the following elements to be able to gauge the issues around public space in the city : 
  • Quantity: amount of public space
  • Distribution: spatial balance
  • Accessibility: to open space
  • Network: system of public spaces
  • Quality: main design features and management: Accessibility, Use and Comfort, Facilities, Green coverage, Maintenance
  • Supporting the BRT and LRT programmes in Addis Abeba Ethiopia by enhancing the stations and exchanges as public spaces. 


The consultant will be responsible for providing support to 2 main components, as follows: 
Task 1. Public Space assessment tool (Estimated 80% of total assignment)
The objective of this component is to support the developing and piloting a public space tool for assessing the distribution, quantity, quality and accessibility to public space and also the network of public space.  The action includes:

  • Overall management of the public space assessment pilots in Nairobi and Addis Abeba
  • Developing and refining the app for collecting data on public space.
  • Developing the user manual for the app
  • Developing the training module and conducting the training of the data collectors
  • Making the needed logistic arrangements for the trainings, community validation workshops, amongst others.
  • Co-ordinating the data collection teams, providing quality assurance and ensuring the data gathered is of good quality
  • Providing expertise in analyzing the data gathered
  • Liaising with the GIS departments at Local Government (Nairobi, Addis and Johannesburg) in analyzing the data gathered and producing the maps required to start developing the city-wide strategy on safe public spaces
  • Documenting the process, producing the toolkits and reporting as appropriate.

Task 2. Urban Mobility and public space (20%)
The objective under this component is to support the BRT and LRT programmes in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia by enhancing the stations and exchanges as public spaces. This will include:

  • Developing a set of principles to guide the public space interventions around transportation hubs/stations.
  • Contributing to and supporting the planned sensitization workshop for City of Addis Abeba on public space in general and integrating public space principles in urban mobility programmes


Professionalism: Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Good research, analytical and problem-solving skills. Conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Communication: Excellent and effective written and oral skills; ability to persuade people with varying points of view and to present information in a concise and accurate manner, ability to clearly communicate links between the organizations. Planning and Organizing: Proven ability to plan, coordinate and monitor own work and that of others. Ability to work under pressure and uses time efficiently. Identifies priority activities and assignments, adjust priorities as required. Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by valuing others ideas and expertise and is willing to learn from others.



Advanced University degree (masters Level) in spatial planning, environmental planning, urban design, town planning, architecture, landscape architecture or equivalent academic degree.  


5 years of professional practical experience in related field


Fluency (reading, writing and speaking) in English is required


Good understanding of public space, sustainable development and the associated responsibilities at municipal and national level; 
  • Experience with innovative participatory planning approaches and IT techniques;
  • Good knowledge and understanding of community engagement processes and practices within the field of urban and spatial planning. International experience would be an advantage;
  • Capable of working in a team and undertaking initiative to ensure smooth relations and open communication within the team and with partners, incl. local level, youth groups, business community, etc.;
  • Good analytical, solution oriented and creative skills;
  • Computer skill is a requirement


Payments will be based on deliverables over the consultancy period. There are set remuneration rates for consultancies. The rate is determined by functions performed and experience of the consultant. The fees will be paid as per agreement.



Applications should include:
•    Cover memo (maximum 1 page)
•    CV in the PHP format, accessible through the INSPIRA website ( Please note, if using INSPIRA for the first time, you need to register in order to activate your account, which will allow you to log in and create a personal History Profile. 
•    The PHP should be attached to the application as a PDF file. 
•    Summary CV (maximum 2 pages), indicating the following information:
1.  Educational Background (incl. dates)
2.  Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years/ months)
3.  Other Experience and Expertise (e.g. Internships/ voluntary work, etc.)
4.  Expertise and preferences regarding location of potential assignments
5.  Expectations regarding remuneration
•    Cover memo (maximum 1 page)

Please also be advised that since April 15th 2010, applicants for consultancies must be part of the 
UN-HABITAT e-Roster in order for their application to be considered. You can reach the e-Roster through the following link:

All applications should be submitted to:
Mr. Geoffrey Oluoch  
P.O. Box 30030, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya

Deadline for applications: 31 August 2015

UN-HABITAT does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or  companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of these offices and requesting the payment of a fee, please contact:

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