Air pollution remains a major environmental, health, and policy challenge in both developed and developing countries, particularly those that are rapidly urbanizing. Despite considerable research into the effects of air pollution on human health and well-being, and the implementation of mitigation measures, awareness raising and exposure reduction campaigns in Sub Saharan African cities including Nairobi, neither a reduction in particulate emissions nor significant positive effects on the health of informal settlement dwellers have been observed. Interventions surrounding cookstove use, for example, have not been successful in terms of health outcomes. There are various, multifaceted reasons for the lack of positive health effects, including that air pollution is often not visible and that non-communicable diseases linked to air pollution are not as high on people’s ‘concern agenda’ as challenges linked to income and livelihoods. The Air Network brought together a multidisciplinary research team from Kenya and the EU, and residents in Mukuru, an informal settlement in Nairobi, to explore these reasons and allow us, in future projects, to co-create innovative, robust and effective interventions to reduce air pollution and people’s exposure to it in informal settlements in Sub Saharan Africa. We applied creative and qualitative mixed methodologies including theatre, medical anthropology, participatory mapping, music, and storytelling to explore with community members their personal experiences of air pollution in Mukuru. The approach revealed differing definitions of air pollution amongst residents, depending on individual belief and personal experience. From here, several unexpected entry points for possible solutions to local air pollution were identified. For example, when discussing air pollution with residents, discussions often were not specifically about air pollution, but instead about job creation, urban design and smells. Inadequate waste management emerged as a as a key source of local air pollution, and an area where well designed interventions could have an impact. Furthermore, we found that using theatre and storytelling created an opportunity to shift power dynamics between residents and policy makers and provided new channels for constructive dialogue on upgrading key services in Mukuru.