AN ASSESSMENT OF RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBOURHOOD SATISFACTION: A CASE OF BAHATI ESTATE, EASTLANDS, NAIROBI, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Various studies in low-income residential neighbourhoods in the old public rental housing estates in Eastlands, Nairobi have been carried out on improving residents’ environments by addressing their user needs and re-planning them using certain urban renewal frameworks. There has however been inadequate research on residential neighbourhood satisfaction. This study explores the potential of filling a gap in knowledge on residential neighbourhood satisfaction in general; and particularly examines the current level of residential neighbourhood satisfaction as perceived by the dwellers. The study explores factors that influence residential neighbourhood satisfaction by focusing on determinants such as structural attributes and quality of housing units, neighbourhood facilities, services and social amenities, locational attributes of residential neighbourhood and the social environment. The study further explores potential ways of improving the residential neighbourhood from the perspective of the dwellers.
The methodological argument of the Research Project is that, contrary to conventional conceptions, resident satisfaction cannot be measured on the basis of subjects’ response to their housing unit, but must take into consideration the neighbourhood facilities, locational aspects and the social environment. The research methodology centers around the administering of a survey questionnaires to 2 subjects randomly selected from 26 stratified clusters of housing units in Bahati; totaling to 52 subjects. The number included 22 males and 30 females. The age range of the sample group was between 15 and 70.
The findings indicated general dissatisfaction which explains the design problems that the architects and planners ought to have focused on the production of spaces and built environment for user satisfaction; for enhanced residential neighbourhood satisfaction. The study concluded and recommended that the integrated approach of urban renewal would be best suited to enhance Neighbourhood Satisfaction in Bahati Estate as well as other low income residential environments in Eastlands, Nairobi.