Personal Information


Prof. Anyamba Tom Tebesi C


School of Built and Environment

P O Box 30197, Nairobi

Phone : +254721882627

Office Physical Address: Level II, ADD Building, off Mamlaka Rd.

Email :



Area of specialization

Architecture and Urbanism



C, PROFANYAMBATOMTEBESI.  2011.  Informal Urbanism in Nairobi. Built Environment Journal . Vol. 37 (No. 1) Abstract

Post-colonial Nairobi has experienced a rapid urbanization rate averaging 5 per cent per annum from 1963 to the present. The planning framework inherited from the colonial regime and little changed after Independence has not been able to cope with the increased demand for urban goods and services. This has made it necessary for Nairobi residents to seek and source these through informal processes. The informal processes have in turn generated an informal urban process, but since these processes are not homogenous this paper argues for the case of informal urbanisms. The paper traces the origins of informality and argues that informality is not illegal. The paper then examines the informalization of Buru Buru a middle-income estate built in the 1970s and early 1980s. The under provision of social facilities/amenities in this estate has resulted in the residents making alterations and extensions to their dwellings as a mitigating intervention.

C, PROFANYAMBATOMTEBESI.  2011.  Developing an Authentic African Architecture. Africa Habitat Review . 5 Abstract

The idea of the existence of an African Architecture has been problematic over the years since the onset of European occupation. Early scholars of non-Western built forms saw them as not constituting architecture but as shelter or mere dwellings (Oliver, 1987). Others classed these built forms as primitive or indigenous architecture (Guidoni, 1987 Gardi, 1973)while others have classed built forms on the African continent as African Architecture (Kultermann, 1969).Globally, most indigenous societies build their structures using local resources and quite often adapted to the climate of the locality. In addition, traditional built forms tend to respect historical precedents and local customary practices. In this regard, it can be argued that traditional architecture is green architecture without the benefits of sophisticated technologies. The above notwithstanding, most Western architecture imported to the continent, had little regard for local practices and quite often ignored local climate. In attempting to train architects for contemporary practice, this paper argues for hybrid architecture. This is because there is no current pure African architecture in existence. What happened over time was the Africanisation of Western and Eastern architectural models to suit the African condition. The resultant architecture has been a hybrid of these various architectures, what Mazrui refers to as the Triple African Heritage. This architecture is a spatial counter form for the contemporary African society and can be seen to be authentic


Anyamba, TJC.  2010.  African Urban Qualities.
C, PROFANYAMBATOMTEBESI, Maina S, Olima W.  2010.  Adopting a new eco-ethical philosophy of living; the diminishing options for Nairobi and humanity. Africa Habitat . Review 4 Abstract

Burning refuse, especially plastics and other hazardous waste that affect air quality has been a common practice. Authorities point to a well balanced environmental past. During those good old days, people used to be able to throw garbage away. And garbage actually went "away." As they pose, Where is "away" now? "Away" is here. "Away" is someone's back yard. There is no place to go from here. We now see that we inhabit a smaller and smaller planet. "Away" has become very close indeed. Based on preliminary findings of a continuing research, and having used case study approaches to isolate pertinent issues, secondary data obtained through stratified random sampling points to unsustainable livelihoods. This papers objective was to highlight this problem from an eco-ethical perspective. The effect of lack of eco-ethics is numerous. From the very cradle of evolution, nature has been propagating to man in subtle ways the message 'use but don't abuse'. The ancient Bible has a message: After God created the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, He took the two of them around and told them 'See the world I created, it is all for you, don't spoil it because no one will be there to restore it', (Genesis 2:15). This is probably the first and strongest statement, based upon which Humankind later developed ideas of nature and ecological ethics. Data reveals that humanity and designers, the case of this study, has ignored their responsibility to nurture their environment. This paper concludes that mankind has got a responsibility to future generations in the process of their current development endeavours.


Anyamba, TJC, VDM V, Saarbrucken M.  2008.  Diverse Informalities.
C, PROFANYAMBATOMTEBESI.  2008.  Spatial Transformations in Nairobi. A study of Nairobi’s Urban Process. Diverse Informalities.


C, PROFANYAMBATOMTEBESI.  2007.  Spatial Transformations in Nairobi. Research Magazine, Oslo School of Architecture and Design.. No.8


C, PROFANYAMBATOMTEBESI.  2005.  Nairobi’s Informal Modernism, September 2005. 6th N-AERUS Workshop, Promoting Social Inclusion in Urban Areas: Policies and Practice. , Lund, Sweden Abstractn-aerus_workshop_paper_2005.pdf

Nairobi was established more than 100 years ago as a transit point for the Uganda
Railway. The Uganda railway was built by the British Colonial Administration, to link Mombasa on the
Indian Ocean coast with Lake Victoria in the interior of East Africa, in order to extract natural resources. In
1900 commissioner Charles Eliot introduced hut tax, and encouraged European settlement based upon a
policy of integrated development. However the advent of the first European settlers swiftly changed this
vision, and separate development was established as policy. These were the beginnings of social, economic
and spatial exclusions. By the end of the Second World War, most of the land in Nairobi had been
privatised, making it almost impossible for any inclusive civic development to take place.
At independence in 1963, the restriction of the movement of Africans was relaxed, creating a large influx
of people into the city. These people were excluded from main stream formal operations of the city, and
had to survive from their own `wits’. In recent times, neo-liberal policies have had no meaningful impact
on the provision of urban services to the poor. The reduced role of the state has created a haven for
privateers to exploit the urban poor. In the process an informal modernism has emerged in Nairobi, where
moneyed developers build 8-10 storey rental business cum residential blocks, further marginalising the
poor. This paper further argues that for there to be any meaningful progress, the state should provide
subsidised rental housing for the poor, as they are unable to get into the home ownership bracket based on
market rates.


C, PROFANYAMBATOMTEBESI.  2004.  Built Form Transformations as an Income Generating Strategy. Wits Journal of Architecture and Planning Studies. Vol.1(No.1)
  2004.  Informalising a planned neighbourhood in Nairobi. HBRC. Vol.1(No.1)


Anyamba, TJC, KAK;.  1995.  Nairobi: From a Railway Yard to a Metropolis.
C, PROFANYAMBATOMTEBESI, Adebayo AA.  1995.  Traditional Architecture; Settlement Evolution and Built Form. Jomo Kenyatta Foundation. , Nairobi


Anyamba, TJC.  1994.  Binder Production and use in Kenya.


Anyamba, TTC.  1993.  Trends in Low Cost Housing in Africa.

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