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The Case of Kenya: Evaluating Kenya Slum Upgrading Program from a Sustainable Urbanization Framework

Global urbanization is occurring at an unprecedented rate. The brunt of this urban growth is occurring in the developing world, where cities pose a substantial threat to sustainability. Sustainable urbanization has emerged as an approach to this challenge that balances environmental, social, and economic concerns throughout the urbanization process. Slums pose a threat to sustainable urbanization in the developing world as they result in stalled economic growth, environmental degradation, and increased social inequality. Given the increasing popularity of slum-upgrading interventions, it is critical that such programs be aligned with the core tenets of sustainable urbanization. Unfortunately, there is a lack of existing holistic and replicable tools to evaluate slum-upgrading programs for sustainable urbanization. The ASPIRE Toolkit is a holistic assessment tool designed to evaluate the sustainability of infrastructure projects in developing contexts. The present study employs the ASPIRE Toolkit to evaluate the Kenya Slum Upgrading Program (KENSUP) for urban sustainability. The ASPIRE evaluation conducted in this thesis revealed that KENSUP performs strongly with regard to essential services, social infrastructure, and environmental management; however, the program performs below the standard for inadequate community participation, inequitable distribution of benefits, insufficient government capacities, and economic disturbances. Overall, the ASPIRE toolkit was found to be an effective tool for the assessment of slum upgrading programs and it is recommended that the tool be employed in future research.