Investigating deficiency of child friendly urban spaces in low income neighborhoods: case study of Pipeline Tenements

The provision of quality public spaces is a significant challenge to the developing world. With the increasing population and housing densities, particularly in the city centre, it is necessary to ensure optimal provision of public open space. Quality open spaces enhance people’s health and sense of wellbeing and as such are valuable assets for the community.
The rapid growth of Nairobi and its population has given rise to a number of development challenges which include lack of provision and declining quality of recreational open spaces particularly in residential areas of low cost housing schemes such as Umoja I estate. As the entire city’s population grows, the population of Umoja I estate which is one of the largest in the city is also bound to grow. This situation explains the need to ensure provision and adequacy of recreational open spaces in this area to be able to fulfill the needs of the local residents.
The data collection process involved the use of both primary and secondary sources. The primary data sources included the adoption of direct observation, oral interviews, administration of questionnaires and mapping. The secondary data employed the use of published and unpublished documents, library research and internet sources.
The major findings of the study indicate that there were no designated open spaces set aside for children, space conflict among the various age groups and genders, poor condition of open spaces, inadequate public open spaces and related facilities, poor quality surface grounds, series of changes with regard to open spaces and lack of proper regulations to guide provision of open spaces.
The recommendations in response to these issues included provision of quality public recreational open spaces, proper maintenance of the existing open spaces, creation of more open spaces, provision of facilities in the open spaces, proper management to avoid grabbing of the open spaces among others.

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