KONZA TECHNOLOGY CITY
PARKS AND OPEN SPACE DESIGN GUIDELINES
Konza Technology City is a flagship Kenya Vision 2030 project to advance growth and prosperity for Kenyans.
Marketed as the new “Silicon Savanna”, the city is a strategic investment in Kenya’s growing ICT sector and
when completed, will be home to leading companies in education, life sciences, telecom, and BPO/ITES.
Envisioned as a world-class technology hub situated within the East African savanna, Konza merges the values
of technology, sustainability, and local diversity. Didier Design Studio worked collaboratively with engineering
firm Tetra Tech and OZ Architecture to develop the Parks and Open Space Design Guidelines for the Konza
Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA).
The vision for Konza’s Parks and Open Space integrates a wide range of diverse types of outdoor spaces staged
within walking distance for city dwellers. The design guidelines and overall framework plan respond to the unique
characteristics and constraints of the region -- particularly water scarcity, high average temperatures, and brief
periods of extreme precipitation. The Konza Parks and Open Space strategy calls for an integrated stormwater
management system, relies on native and drought-tolerant plants, and takes advantage of opportunities to increase
urban biomass and mitigate heat island effects within the city. The overall vision is one that embraces sustainable
growth while carefully considering local culture and ecology to foster a vibrant public realm with a unique sense
The Parks and Open Space Framework Plan provides a coordinated and well-defined layout and distribution
landscape types within Konza Technology City. Informed by land use and the overall city master plan, each space
is programmed in response to overall character, densities, and uses of adjacent city transect zones. The 10 distinct
landscape typologies together comprise a diverse and cohesive system, offering park and plaza areas of high
activity and multiple uses, as well as preserved open space in areas of less density or activity for urban agriculture,
large recreational areas, and passive or restorative landscape areas to preserve native habitat and retain stormwater.
URBAN PLAZAS AND SQUARES
are public spaces for leisure, gathering,
and respite from bustling city streets.
Located in dense urban areas near shops,
restaurants, cafes, and offices, these
spaces are active social nodes within the
URBAN PARKS AND GARDENS
provide opportunities for immersion in
spaces within the city that are centered on
plants. Promoting health and well-being
by offering opportunities for relaxation
and connection to the natural world, they
also offer climate regulating benefits by
increasing urban biomass to mitigate heat
island effects and provide cooling pockets
within the city.
CIVIC PARK a continuous band of public
space that links and extends significant
public buildings and institutions, creating
a physical and symbolic center for civic
life. As the premier venue for large public
events, gatherings and performances,
Civic Park is a place for people to share in
moments of connection to larger cultural,
historical, or political facets of city life.
GREEN TRANSIT CORRIDORS are
oriented along an east-west axis offering
diverse social spaces and mixed-use
development connected through multimodal
transportation. They integrate
public transit, bikeways, and pedestrian
traffic with safe access for all users.
Providing seating, shade, and planted
areas, they also integrate raingardens to
detain and filter urban stormwater.
POCKET PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
are community social centers; places for
children to play and for neighbors and
families to meet and greet. Small in scale
and inserted within the city fabric, they
provide direct access to the outdoors,
thus enhancing psychological and physical
health which is so essential to children’s
development and general health.
NATURE PARK acts as an urban savanna
and nature preserve celebrating the
existing native landscape. It provides
opportunities for recreation and
connection to a natural environment
with trails and amenities such as seating,
shade, and wayfinding signage. As a
hybrid landscape serving conservation,
recreation, education and habitat
provision, Nature Park is the major point of
connection between natural and cultural
systems for Konza Technology City.
WILDLIFE CORRIDOR offers safe
passageway for migratory animals,
connecting to Kenya’s larger habitat
network to promote biodiversity,
protect animal habitats, and limit human / wildlife
conflicts. The Wildlife Corridor will
feature native plant material, a drainage
swale for water, and a ha-ha wall to create
opportunities for education and safe
viewing/overlook of wildlife in native
PERIMETER LANDSCAPE provides
a secure city perimeter with sculptural
planted berms, transitioning from open
savannah to a more formalized character
representational of Konza’s contemporary
and influential infrastructure. A functional
and aesthetic use of the excavated soil
generated during the construction of
Konza Technology City, they frame iconic
city views upon approach, buffer highway
sound, and prevent unauthorized vehicles
and pedestrians from entering Konza.
RESILIENCE + SUSTAINABILITY
For a high-tech city built within the East African savanna, the overall Parks and Open Space system is essential
to fostering a healthy, resilient, and livable urban environment. Designing landscapes that can perform many
functions at once -- providing cleaner air, a cooler environment, absorbent pockets for stormwater, opportunities
for recreation and relaxation -- will bring tremendous value to the future City of Konza.
SENSE OF PLACE
Parks and Open Spaces are composed with a selection of materials that tie to the broader regional context, and
offer performative benefits such as water conservation and heat mitigation while creating a sense of identity that
is unique to Konza. The planting concept advances the city’s overall sustainability initiatives through strategic use
of available stormwater for irrigation, relying on mostly native and drought-tolerant species. Plant palletes are
articultated in relation to land use and zones of densities within the city, making efficient use of water for irrigation.
Priority is given to high density, mixed use areas and social nodes with bright, textured, ornamental planting.
Broader, more remote landscapes rely on a xeric palette with native grasses, cactus, succulents, shrubs, and fewer
trees. This strategy establishes a parallel between plant communities and social activities, using plants to articulate
different zones within the city and further enhance a sense of place.