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My choice is to undertake a master’s degree in Urban Design ; Planning in any of the following three universities; the University College London (UCL), the London South Bank University and the University of Sheffield. Experience and my substantial background knowledge about urban planning and designing informed the choice of this master’s degree. I have been practicing as an urban designer for the past three years and have appreciated urban designing is a valuable tool for creating attractive, liveable and functioning urban centers.
Over the past three years of urban planning practice I, have observed that our urban centers here in Kenya are haphazardly planned and designed. The streets, especially in big towns, are difficult to walk or cycle along due to their narrowness and failure to design walkways and cycle lanes guarded against motorists. This sloppy nature of our streets encourages street crime and other social evils such as prostitution, especially in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu cities. Also, reaching preferred destinations within these major cities is difficult, especially if driving a personal car because of the poor road connectivity.
Also, the ever-increasing poverty in our urban centers raises eyebrows. This can be partially attributed to the sort of urban planning and designing practiced in Kenya. Nairobi is locally described as a city where the poor work only to benefit the matatu operators. Matatu is the major means of passenger transport within the city. Bus fare fluctuates from an hour to hour with very high bus fare during the peak hours. Constant traffic congestion in the city is the cause of the bus fare fluctuation. Contemporary urban designing skills can help solve this problem thus reduce poverty by enabling the poor to have something to save for future investment. Urban design models such as garden city can be used to help alleviate some of the above described urban problems.
Therefore, I am convinced that the study of master’s in urban design ; planning will impart contemporary urban designing knowledge and skills that are necessary for modern urban planning. My immediate desire is to join the public service after completing the study of the master’s degree in urban design and planning. In the public service, I will assist to reform the urban planning policies and strategies. Later, I wish to further my studies and either become an academician or a private consultant.

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