Challenges facing transport system in residential areas: Case study of Zimmerman

The prevalent subdivisions of land in Mlango Kubwa, Nairobi have contributed to the
development of an informal settlement, with little emphasis on the provision of access roads,
basic infrastructural services and community facilities and services. This has culminated to
various severe planning problems such as inaccessibility, incompatibility of land uses and
activities, and unnecessary pollution; which pose threats to human health, and the small scale
business activities in the neighbourhood.
Lack of effective development control is therefore clearly evident in the area. The planning
problems in the area are, thus, bound to increase to unmanageable levels in the inevitable future
given the current rapid rate of urbanization in Nairobi, which is currently at 4.7%. Therefore,
planning intervention becomes indispensable, failure to which, the neighbourhood will continue
developing unsustainably escalating chaos which are unbearable to humanity.
The study has therefore sought to examine the origin and factors that contributed to the
emergence of the informal settlement, any efforts made to control the unplanned situation and
the various policy requirements that pertain to the sustainable development of the
neighbourhood. All the urban development issues ranging from housing, transportation, public
utilities, community facilities, population and demography, and economy and livelihoods have
been examined to get a broader insight into the entire problem of the informality. The main aim
has been to identify the various development gaps and the problem hotspots that require urgent
planning interventions.

Development wise, the study has found out that the area is highly compromised as far as the
achievement of a balanced and sustainable development is concerned. This is because; housing is
actually in deplorable conditions due to poor sanitation and poor spatial organization, which have
contributed to low level of servicing. There is also the encroachment of the few narrow access
roads by the informal sector activities which have to a perceptible extent contributed to the
increased disposal of solid wastes along such roads. More importantly, community facilities such
as schools, health facilities and security facilities have not been provided in the area despite the
high population size which supersedes the thresholds for the provision of the same.
Consequently, various planning recommendations have been suggested to improve the livability
of the neighbourhood, particularly in the very long run.

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