Nairobi Ranked Among 50 Greatest Cities Due to Expressway

  • An aerial image of the Ksh88 billion Nairobi Expressway.
    An aerial image of the Ksh88 billion Nairobi Expressway.
  • Nairobi has been named among the world's 50 greatest places of 2022 in a new ranking by TIME Magazine.

    In the ranking, TIME noted that the Expressway was among the major reasons why Nairobi made it to the list due to the advantage it has brought in solving the traffic jam crisis in the east African city.

    The publication noted that Nairobi offers a variety of outstanding sites and treats that visitors may enjoy. Moving away from the usual Safari that Kenya is popularly known for, TIME noted that the capital offered art and cultural experiences that newbies would enjoy.

    An image of the Nairobi Westlands toll station of the expressway.
    An image of the Nairobi Westlands toll station of the expressway.

    "The brand-new Nairobi Expressway, the $650 million (Ksh76 billion) project, provides a long-overdue reprieve from congestion in the centre of the city, so residents and visitors can access it more easily and quickly than ever before," the magazine noted.

    "And although tourists may have previously opted to make a beeline into the bush, today Nairobi is offering visitors plenty of reasons to keep inside the capital. The Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute (NCAI) just celebrated its opening with an exhibit showcasing Nairobian artist Sane Wadu."

    The growing food scene in Nairobi was also a key point in the recommendations by TIME. According to the publication, the city holds a variety of cultures and the food scene had grown to accommodate travellers looking to enjoy international cuisine.

    "In the food scene, a synthesis of global inspiration is heating up. Cultiva Farm Kenya is an exceptional example, where Ecuadorian restaurateur Ariel Moscardi renders East African ingredients and flavours with South American techniques."

    Kenya is among Africa's fastest-growing economies and a number of international start-ups and businesses have planted their roots in Nairobi, this has also expedited the growth of education with companies giving back to the local communities through CSRs.

    "In the district of Mukuru, Micato Safaris opened the Harambee Community Centre, providing resources and education to help ensure that the recent economic boom will be felt more equitably," TIME noted.

    Nairobi was among the only four other cities in Africa that made it to the TIME magazine ranking. Kigali, South Africa's Franschhoek, known for its wineries, and Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park were also recommended.

    An undated photo of Nairobi City's skyline.
    An aerial view of Nairobi City's skyline dated October 2020.
    Eyeconic Media

    The list was compiled by TIME's international network of correspondents and contributors.

    The 50 cities to make the list include classic big-hitters and less-explored spots, but what unites them is that they are "thriving, growing and changing."