URBAN CELEBRATIONS-GREENWAY NETWORK FOR LIVABLE AND SUSTAINABLE CITIES: Case of Nairobi Central Business District

ABSTRACT

There has been an explosive growth of urban areas that has brought fundamental changes, not only to the physical landscape, but also to people's perceptions of land and environment. Greenways, because of their key characteristics such as spatial configuration and multi-functionality, bring to an urban area a wide range of benefits. It is an important planning tool for achieving greater urban sustainability and Livability. This is brought about by the wide range of benefits greenways bring to a city. This study explores urban celebrations through greenway networks for Livable and sustainable cities. It establishes the socioeconomic and environmental benefits of greenways and further highlights the challenges facing the development of greenways. The study used a case of the Nairobi Central Business District.

The researcher used mixed methodology employing five sets of research instruments.  These included; questionnaire, interview schedule with key informants, document analysis guide, observation schedule and photography. The questionnaire yielded 98 respondents while the interview schedules targeted several professionals in the construction and design profession.  The findings of this study indicate that the socioeconomic and environmental benefits are many and lead to urban sustainability and Livability which enhances urban celebrations. Some of these benefits of greenways include the enhancement of the quality of life by improving the social health, an avenue of recreation and socialization. Greenways also provide connectivity, enhance mobility in urban settings, and provide contact with nature leading to a vibrant society. Greenways are an important aspect in the historical preservation of a people.

The study recommends that a greenways framework for the Nairobi Central Business District be formulated and implemented. The framework should take into consideration of the rich historical perspective of Kenya and which most of it can be captured within its capital city: Nairobi.