Everyone understands the importance of having a place to call ‘home’, but with people around the world moving into cities at an unprecedented rate, this is getting harder to achieve. One billion people currently live in slum conditions around the world. It is recognised that adequate and affordable housing can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the decrease of poverty to improved health outcomes to the environment, energy efficient renovation, and climate change availability and stability of affordable housing. New research and innovations are vital to make affordable, sustainable and healthy housing a global reality.
By 2050, nearly half of Kenya will be living in cities – this is why the Kenyan Government has put affordable housing at the heart of its policy agenda. Kenya and the UK have a long tradition of research and scientific partnerships and technology transfer across a number of sectors, including in the housing sector. A range of academic, policy, community and practice stakeholders from the UK are working in collaboration with Kenyan counterparts to better understand the challenges to affordable housing and to find new innovative solutions.
Co-hosted by the Kenyan and UK governments, the Symposium aimed to showcase how strong partnerships between the UK and African stakeholders are delivering innovations that will benefit us all – from understanding the challenges that restrict housing from meeting socio-economic needs of the poorest urban residents, to innovations in materials and sustainable building technologies that use locally available resources. The symposium hopes to empower and engage academics researchers, civil society and private sector organisations to broker dialogue and create a platform towards the adoption of housing policies that promote sustainable development.