Block by Block

UN-Habitat and Mojang using Minecraft to involve citizens in public space design

Current projects

Place de la Paix, Les Cayes, Haiti 

This play park, located in Tikok, considered as the poorest slum in Les Cayes, is the only public space in the area. Its commonly used by children, youth, and sellers as well as for community gatherings. UN-Habitat is working closely with the municipality and other community groups that run the place to upgrade the park by adding trees and bins, new light spots and build up a football pitch in order to make it a better place for people to meet, children to play and for community uses.

Les Cayes waterfront, Haiti

The waterfront of Les Cayes is unprotected from the sea and regularly suffers from flooding and erosion which badly affects the inhabitants of the slum settlements nearby. In addition, the waterfront is used as an open latrine and for waste disposal. Starting in an areas called Plage de Touterelle, UN-Habitat is developing an ambitious plan to turn the waterfront into a public urban walkway, usable by all citizens of Les Cayes

Kiritpur, Nepal

Kirtipur is one of the oldest towns in Kathmandu Valley. In Nepal, public space is closely connected to water, with ponds, stone spouts and wells are traditionally surrounded by public spaces used for relaxation, recreation and rituals. UN-Habitat is supporting Kirtipur Municipality, the Center for Integrated Urban Development (a local NGO) and local communities to improve the water system management, conserve and upgrade existing public spaces for a better community utilisation, and initiate a people-centric process to revitalize the public spaces of Kirtipur.

Lotus Garden, Mumbai, India

The Lotus Garden Project is located in M ward, one of the most neglected and poorest areas of Mumbai. The Garden is owned by the Municipal Corporation but has been severely neglected and deteriorated. UN-Habitat is working with the Mumbaï Environmental Social Network (MESN) to upgrade the Garden by involving the local councilor, municipality and local communities to launch an inclusive process toward the development and maintenance of the playground. Once completed the public space will be maintained and preserved by the community itself.

Kigali, Rwanda

The Kigali Cityscape Project will provide Rwanda’s capital Kigali with a 1.5km dedicated street for pedestrians and cyclists in the Nyarugenge area of the city. UN Habitat is working with the City Council of Kigali, the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to make the street design better by meeting cyclists and pedestrians’ needs and increasing their safety.

Silanga sports field, Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

The Silanga sports field is one of the only publicly available football fields in Kibera, Nairobi largest slum. Working with Nairobi City Council, who owns the land, and a number of community groups and organisation, UN-Habitat is upgrading the field and its surroundings to promote shared use, security and entrepreneurship. 

Jeevanjee Gardens, Nairobi, Kenya

Jeevanjee Gardens is a park in central Nairobi, donated to the city by the late businessman A.M Jeevanjee. Working with Nairobi City Council, UN-Habitat is upgrading the park to improve security, make the park more appealing to the public and  provide services such as a stage and free WiFi.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa is facing rapid urbanization which requires that urban infrastructure is built, operated and maintained to meet with the daily needs of thousands of citizens. UN-Habitat supports the revision of the urban master plan and transportation system working closely with the City administration of Addis Ababa. UN-Habitat will ensure that train stations and interconnection points are considered public spaces, and supports the design and construction of a Light Rail Transit System to improve traffic safety and users’ well-being.