AN ASSESSMENT OF THE QUALITY OF OPEN SPACES IN KOMAROCK ESTATE, NAIROBI, KENYA

Abstract
Open spaces are an essential component in any urban settlement. Urban public open spaces are quite important in enhancing the quality of life and urban environment while offering social, health, environmental and economic benefits to a city and its residents.
This research investigates the relationship between the quality of public open space and the well-being of the community in urban residential areas a case study of Komarock Housing Estate. The study therefore, assesses the indicators of the quality of public open spaces vis-a-vis the quality of open spaces within Komarock estate with an overall objective of proposing opportunities for improving the quality of open spaces in residential neighbourhoods while looking at the perspective of the vulnerable users such as the elderly and children who every so often depend on easily accessible open spaces in close proximity to their homes.
The research employed three methodological phases which consist of mapping out existing open spaces, behavioural observation of the users and the use of open spaces and the resident opinion survey which helped in assessing the quality of the open space in the study area. It also used both primary and secondary data to facilitate bringing forth knowledge on indicators of quality in open spaces, needs and benefits of open spaces as well as the concepts and theories of neighbourhood open spaces planning. Therefore, tools such as questionnaires, interview schedules, observation checklist as well as mapping of existing open spaces were used. Secondary data was sourced from published journals, documents, past research document and other books relevant to this study.
The study found out the deficiencies to the comprehensive planning for quality open spaces and building sectors more so where it actually fails. This fails of a functional open spaces are a result of shortage of facilities and amenities on the open spaces, lack of amusing sites, poor linkages and connectivity to the spaces, security issues and poor management the landscape and facilities.
The study provides measures to help improve on condition of open spaces such as improvement and upgrading of the existing amenities and facilities to aid usability, improving walkability and accessibility and effective management would be key in fostering their quality, which will have spread effects to the social realm and economic realm, more so, will be able to attract activities onto them.