Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2007 (Revised May 2009)

Kibera and the Kenya Slum Upgrading Project (A)

by Nicolas P. Retsinas, Arthur I Segel, Marc Diaz and John Dean Shepherd

Abstract

Kenya's Minister of Housing faces tremendous pressures in dealing with the pervasive housing troubles in his country. Kibera is the largest slum in Africa and home to more than 800,000 residents, yet only measures two square kilometers, roughly half the size of Manhattan's Central Park. Most homes are single-story structures and the density is 3,000 persons per hectare (compared to 43 in London, 100 in New York City, and 143 in Tokyo), making this one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The slum's living conditions are abysmal by Western standards and gets little to no support from the local government due to the entrenched bureaucracy that has seemingly misaligned interests in the slum.

Keywords: Construction; Housing; Urban Development; Poverty; Kenya;

Citation:

Retsinas, Nicolas P., Arthur I Segel, Marc Diaz, and John Dean Shepherd. "Kibera and the Kenya Slum Upgrading Project (A)." Harvard Business School Case 207-017, January 2007. (Revised May 2009.)