• SmallBanner 01
  • SmallBanner 02
  • SmallBanner 03

The conditional city: emerging properties of Kenya’s satellite cities


Year published: 2019
Categories: Journal Article
URL Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13563475.2019.1661831?needAccess=true

Author / Authors:

  • Eline Splinter
  • Yves Van Leynseele


Satellite cities in Kenya are driven by belief in economic growth driven by emerging middle classes and investors. As visionary policy objects they help inform national economic policies and spatial planning strategies such as Kenya’s Vision 2030. State and private investments required for their planned realization however remains elusive. This paper examines the emergent planning process of four satellite cities in Kenya based on interviews with key stakeholders and extensive document analysis. In their suspended states awaiting investment and development, these cities contend with ‘ordinary city’ dynamics. They start to articulate with changes in the political and institutional landscape and state-led decentralization initiatives. Our findings show how these cities represent an unwieldy blend of private and public elements that is shaped largely as a result of ‘statist alignments.’ In conclusion, we nuance the common conceptualization of satellite cities as planning contexts for expansion of neoliberal, speculative development and global city-making.

International Planning Studies, 24:3-4, 308-324, DOI: 10.1080/13563475.2019.1661831


  • Journal Article