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Environmental Planning and Management



The Department was founded in 1991 in the then Faculty of Environmental Studies. It became the first Department in Kenya to offer a Bachelor of Environmental Planning and Management (BEPM), which combines environmental planning and physical planning, making it a pioneer in this field. In 1993 three new members of staff were recruited into the Department and all of them are still with the Department. In 2000 the Department introduced a Master of Environmental Planning and Management (MEPM) degree. The first class attracted nine students, with 60% being former undergraduates in the Department from other disciplines.

Since then the programme has consistently attracted not only students from the School of Environmental Studies but also professionals from varied disciplines like urban and regional planning, architecture, engineering, survey, geography, sociology, agriculture, and the natural sciences among others. The synergy between these students has made the programme very dynamic, interesting and enriching for those who enrol in it. The Department has a vibrant PhD programme that mainly targets members of staff in universities and research institutions. Currently there about 20 doctorate students at various stages of research. Through the Graduate school, The Department collaborates actively with other institutions of higher learning in supervision of postgraduate students.


The Chairman's office is located in the 8.4.4 Building Complex, Third Floor Room Number 144. The Planning Studios and GIS Labs are located in the Science Zone SZ40 and SZ41

0208703806- Chair
0208703805- Secretary for External
EXT 3806 - Chair
EXT 3805- Secretary for Internal Users

Department of Environmental Planning and Management
The Rationale
During the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 member states of the United Nations committed themselves to the principles of sustainable development (Agenda 21) both at the nation state and global levels. Sustainable environmental management is a key facet of Agenda 21. Following the Earth Summit several countries initiated the process of implementing Agenda 21. In the case of Kenya, the first National Environment Action Plan (NEAP) and Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act (EMCA) were prepared in 1994 and 1999 respectively. The Kenya government established the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). Environmental management efforts are supported by various sector legislations, for example Physical Planning Act (1996), Urban Areas and Cities Act (2011), County Government Act (2012), Water Act No. 8 of 2002, Mining Act Cap 306, Forest Act Cap (2005), Maritime Zones Act Cap 371 and Agriculture Act Cap 318.

Whereas the laws governing planning and environmental management are sectoral and implemented by different agencies, environmental planning and management as envisaged in this course is blending physical planning and environmental management for sustainable urban, rural and regional development.
The establishment of the Department of Environmental Planning & Management at Kenyatta University was part of the local actions aimed at effectuating Agenda 21 through training and research. The Department’s main aim is to train qualified personnel in environmental planning & management as well as undertake research on environmental issues. This is in realisation that highly trained manpower is critical in the implementation of Agenda 21 and EMCA here in Kenya.

Graduates are employed in a variety of places both in public and private sectors. Currently the public service commission classifies EPM graduates under the scheme of service for Environment Officers of 1st Feb. 1994. They are mainly absorbed in the;

  • Ministry of Environment
  • Ministry of Lands (Physical, Housing and Settlement)
  • County Governments
  • Nema

EPM and MEPM graduates are eligible for employment as physical planners, land-use planners, housing development officers, project officers, environmental managers, etc.

Professional Affiliation and Accreditation
The curriculum, faculty and training approach of EPM in KU, produces planning professionals in Rural, Urban and Regional Development. Planning professionals in Kenya are registered either under the Kenya Institute of Planners (KIP) or the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) Town Planning Chapter. EPM Students are encouraged to register with KIP or AAK and sit the professional planning exams soon after graduation. Contact between the KIP, AAK, EPM and other stakeholders are ongoing on curriculum reviews, research and staff development. EPM is also a member of the Africa Planning Schools Association where issues of curriculum trends and relevance are addressed.

a. Ministry of Local Government,(Urban Development Department)

  • Conducting joint EPM studios with local authorities
  • EPM plans made for Keroka, Nyamache, Bomet, Kwale, Makueni, Naivasha, Nyeri, etc.
  • Involvement in The National Urban Development Policy formulation process
  • Student attachments

b.Ministry of Environment and NEMA:

  • Joint research activities, specialized curriculum development (EIA), joint publications etc
  • Student attachments


  • Collaborative research, exchange and sharing of information, student attachments

d. Ministry of Lands

  • Involvement in formulation of the National Land Policy, The revised Physical Planning Handbook and Student attachments

e. Ministry of Housing

  • Involvement in The Development of the Draft Housing Bill

f.Ministry of Metropolitan Development

  • Involvement in development of the metropolitan strategy
Vision Statement
To be a centre of excellence in environmental planning and management education, research, training and dissemination.
Commitment to the continuous improvement in the quality and variety of training and research in environmental planning and management; driven by highly qualified, competent and motivated staff and adequate facilities; and inspired students.
Identity Statement
A leader in provision of effective training and research on planning and management of environmental resources, human settlements and land uses for sustainable development in Kenya and beyond
Guiding theme and principles
Mainstreaming environmental concerns in the planning and management process as a central process towards attaining sustainable development and committed to high quality training and research on environmental planning and management.
The Department continuously improves the quality of training and research on environmental planning and management to meet sustainable development challenges. This is achieved through systematic curricula review; engaging and retaining highly qualified personnel as well as provision of requite facilities.

Goal of EPM

The goal of the department is to integrate aspects of the: region; its sub units: the rural and the urban environments; within a holistic analytical approach to address environmental challenges of the development process that cut across the physical, social and economic spectra.

Objectives of EPM

  1. To equip students with knowledge, skills and techniques for environmental planning and management.
  2. Undertake research and disseminate results through publications, seminars, workshops etc.
  3. To prepare students to understand and address complexities of nature and man's interaction with it.
  4. To offer the student opportunities to develop analytical and problem solving skills.
  5. To produce qualified environmental planners, managers and decision-makers.


  • Ms stellah Mbiti
  • Mr.Eliud Munguya
  • Sunday Abuja
  • Dr. Gerishon. Munala

 Undergraduate Programme Structure



Level 100

Level 200

Level 300

Level 400

Units required

4 UCUs
6 EPM core units
3 (from two other SES departments i.e ECD, ENS or EED)

6 EPM core units
3 EPM electives
3 (from two other SES departments ie ECD, ENS or EED)

Only EPM core units and requisite number of Electives are offered.
*Site/Neighbourhood studio 1
* Urban studio1
* Practicum

Only EPM core units and requisite number of Electives are offered
*Rural studio 1
*Regional Studio 1
*Research Project






 Masters Programme Structure



Level 500

Level 600

Units Required

8 Core Units
4 Electives
* Site/Neighbourhood Studio 2
*Urban Studio 2

5 Core Units
4 Electives
*Rural Studio 2
*Regional Studio2
*Research Project




Current EPM Programme Enrolment



Bachelor of EPM

148 (160)

Master of EPM

17 (30)


11 (15)

Total EPM programme

176 (205)

Note: Number in parenthesis indicate optimum enrolment

The department is committed to continuous improvement of the quality of teaching and learning. In order to better respond to changing education needs, the department regularly revises its academic programmes to effectively meet emerging challenges. In addition, it continuously develops new academic programmes to meet the changing markets.

The programme emphasizes practical learning experiences and uses modern integrative and highly interactive teaching methods to help students to develop initiative, creativity and responsibility. Lectures, field based courses (EPM studios), discussion sessions, seminar presentations, and attachment/internship comprise key elements of the learning and practice in EPM.

These necessitate small but specialized classes of between 35-40 students per academic year to adequately train our students. The EPM teaching and training is as represented below



Seminar/Project Series
Focuses on emerging environmental issues

  1. EPM research methodology
  2. Identify and articulate a research problem
  3. Collect, analyze and make presentation on findings using EPM skills learnt


Practicum Series
Focuses on helping the student apply the acquired skills to real life situations in areas of their specialization eg;

  1. National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)
  2. City and Urban authorities (especially in Planning, Housing Development and Environment Divisions)
  3. Ministries (Lands, Housing, Urban Development and Nairobi Metropolitan)
  4. KWS, KARI, Regional Development authorities eg TARDA, KVDA, LBDA, ENNDA, CDA
  5. UN Habitat and UNEP
  6. NGOs (eg. Practical Action, ICRAF ) Among others



Lecture Series
Focuses on theory of EPM in all aspects of Urban, Rural and Regional development for example;

  1. Environmental Planning Law
  2. Development control
  3. Environmental Action Planning
  4. Environmental Economics
  5. Resource Use Planning
  6. Environmental Accounting and Auditing
  7. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  8. Urban land-use planning, Renewal and Redevelopment
  9. Project Feasibility Planning, Management and M&E
  10. Planning and Management of Wetland Resources
  11. Integrated Watershed Management (IWM) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)
  12. Disaster Preparedness and Management
  13. Planning and Management of Wildlife Resources, Tourism and Ecotourism systems among others


Technical Series
EPM Technical courses seek to give the student the ability to generate, interpret and represent technical data both spatially (EPM spatial plans) and in report formats. These include

  1. Pen use practice
  2. Creative Design
  3. Presentation techniques
  4. Environmental Surveying
  5. Environmental mapping and cartography
  6. GIS and Remote Sensing techniques
  7. Computer applications and modeling in EPM
  8. Statistics in EPM.

 Studio Series
EPM Planning Studios are field courses that are designed to give the student practical experience in conceptualization, design, data collection and analysis in a specific area and making a specific EPM plan as a solution to the problem

  1. Rural Planning studio
  2. Urban planning Studio
  3. Regional Studio
  4. Urban Design studio
  5. Site and Neighbourhood studio
  6. Landscape planning & design.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2019 13:22

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