Impacts of food parks /joints on the urban form (with special reference to Westlands)

ABSTRACT
In recent years the need for more inclusive planning has increased. This is planning geared at
incorporating all aspects of the society. Urban Planners have realized that urban issues cannot be
addressed in isolation; one should consider the city wide relations and linkages that form this
rather complex urban fabric. The need to incorporate food joints is a growing challenge in most
towns and cities as it includes aspects such as aesthetics, building standards and efficient
integration to the wider urban form. Planning for food joints and food courts has come up as a way
of appreciating the fact that these services are vital in each and every setup whether educational,
industrial, commercial or office setups.
The research study was geared towards determining the existing urban form of Westlands and the
factors that have influenced the emergence of low cost food joints. The research also aimed at
determining where these food joints are located and the impacts of the same on the urban form of
Westlands. The key methodologies used in the research study included reconnaissance, collection
of primary data by use of questionnaires, interviews, photography and sketching. After data
collection, a detailed analysis was carried out using statistical package for social sciences, charts
and diagrams.
Using research methods and techniques, the study managed to highlight a number of key findings
regarding food joints in Westlands. The main finding was the lack of planned food joints which
created a gap that led to mushrooming of the same. Another key finding was poor aesthetics and
adoption of poor building standards by the food vendors. Major recommendations included spatial
reorganization of the food joints, use of appropriate structures, use of potted plants to act as buffer
zones as well as improve aesthetics. The study focused on designing models that can be efficiently
used in planning for future food joints in our urban centers. Important planning measures are also
suggested on how to improve the existing situations of the food joints.

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