DOI link for Introduction
The popular reading of Nairobi’s history posits that the city is a colonial construct. The story of African urban development in Nairobi is a cosmopolitan story. Most of the academic literature focusing on Nairobi is, however, relatively new and for the most part focuses on events after Independence. What happened before Independence has been less scrutinised. Several scholars have provided studies that focus on the role of women in historical Nairobi. Colonial framing provides little room to investigate the functioning dynamics of African urban socioeconomic and socio-spatial life, and little has been done in academic work on Nairobi to nuance this. It has been important to make this book an interdisciplinary study between history on the one hand and urbanism on the other. Proper interdisciplinary work is perhaps never rooted in one or the other “science.” It places itself on the outside of either because such vantage points provide alternative lenses on a discourse that might otherwise turn stagnant.