Developer profits undermine residents’ satisfaction in Nairobi's residential neighbourhood: implications for local government in Kenya
This paper deals with the planning, delivery and implementation of a middle class housing scheme in Nairobi, focusing on the process of private sector residential area development. The paper analyses the planning aspects of a residential neighbourhood that were underestimated by the private developers, both at the formulation and implementation stage. Taking a case study of Claycity estate, the paper examines how the relationships between the private developer (land buying company) and purchasers, affect the process of housing development. The importance of neighbourhood design and issues of how developer profits undermined residents’ satisfaction are highlighted. The analysis reveals that it is the land sale contracts (and the interests associated with them) that are the problem, rather than neighbourhood design per se. The paper concludes that the emphasis must be on the politics of private profit making, which then have implications for neighbourhood design, site planning and development process. It has to be restated that the social transformation is the core function of a neighbourhood design and it can only be achieved through proper planning, administration and implementation of a development scheme with the overall goal being the achievement of a conducive environment to urban life.