In July, Thomas facilitated as part of a UN-Habitat team a workshop with planning professionals and city leaders in Kogi state, Nigeria discussing the municipal plans of Dekina, Kabba, Okene and Lokoja.
The studio follows UN-Habitat’s three pronged planning approach integrating legal and finance components with planning. It introduced the rapid urban planning method in Nigeria to help local experts and consultants to prepare the foundation of their master plans. This three days long studio will also allow the participants to be engaged in an interactive sessions to address different planning challenges, to chalk out alternatives and to identify possible solutions through a collaborative exercise and dialogue session. At the end of the workshop participants will be able to draw a draft plan that will be analyzed and improved further for official use.
In 2012, Thomas developed with UN-Habitat a new training methodology called Rapid Planning Studio to help cities develop practical, feasible approaches to implementing urban planning interventions. This methodology was successfully implemented in Kisumu (Kenya).
Also, UN-Habitat started training on “Urban Planning for City Leaders (UPCL)” guide as part of its capacity development initiative since September, 2013. Under this initiative, several trainings have been successfully delivered around the world. Furthermore, post-training evaluation records reveals that the training sessions successfully conveyed the key messages of sustainable urban development advocated in the guide. The participants were equipped with advanced knowledge and skills on different planning tools, as well as approaches that could help them guide more sustainable planning practices in their cities.
Based on our successful UPCL training and Rapid Planning methodology, the “Rapid Urban Planning Studio” trains and provide innovative tools and approaches to support planning and managing sustainable urban development.
The Rapid Integrated Spatial Planning Studio aims to inform city leaders in Kogi State about the value that urban planning present to their cities, and to facilitate a collaborative dialogue between leaders, policy makers and planners on urban development especially on the specific theme: public space, densification, good urban patterns, and connectivity; highlighting the importance of integration with an enforceable legal framework and an urban economic strategy.