The Impact of population and socio-economic factors on the physical structure of urban settlements in Western Kenya
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This study set out to examine urbanization in the Western Provinces of Kenya by examining the impact of demographic and socio-economic factors on the urban settlements in the region. The main area of the study was defined as the examination of the physical structures of the settlements in terms of the amount and pattern of land use as well as the structure of land values in the se-ttlements . The basic hypothesis is that the physical structure of the city and its changing pattern are functions of the socio-economic factors affecting it. It is further post uLat.ed that policy actions in the form of plar~ing and other controls play a crucial role in determining the degree of relationship between the socia-economic circumstances of set-tlements and their emerging physical structures. The aim of the study, therefore, is to attempt to reveal areas where fresh policy actions might be required or where changes in current policy directions might be necessary. In chapter 2 some of the major related theoretical orientations and case studies are reviewed. First the theories are examined in the context of Western cities and then on the basis of selected case studies of non-Western cities with particular emphasis on African cities. Finally the chapter briefly reviews the origin and development of urbanization in Kenya. Chapter 3 sets out the analytical framework of the study. First, the basis for selecting the study settlements is described and ten selected settlements are identified on the basis set out. Then, the parameters for measurement and analysis are also described. The chapter finally sets out the scope and limitations of the study and as well points out the relationship between the analytical frarr.ework described and threshold analysis which is gaining growing acceptance in planning circles. Chapter 4 presents an overview of the physical, social and economic bases of Western Kenya as a prelude to the specific examination of the selected centres in the following chapters. In chapter 5 the socio-economic influences which have affected the selected are examined. The origins and function of the individual settlements are examined and their demographic compositions and employment structures are also analysed on the basis of the framework described in chapter 3. The analysis makes it possible to compare the trends among the settlements and also to coffiparethe results obtained with the regional and national figures. A strong correlation was identified between the economic and demographic tre~ds in the settlements. In chapter 6 the physical structures of the settlements are examined in general on the basis of the spatial distribution of land uses, the evolution of the spatial structures, space allocation among the various land use categories and the structure of land values. On the basis of statistical evidence the chapter concludes that the various aspects of the physical structures of the settlements are reflections of the socio-economic forces that generate them. It is also observed that some of the conventional theories about urban growth are not applicable to the settlements due to the fact that the socia-economic assumptions that underlie these theories do not obtain in these. settlements. The concluding chapter reiterated the major findings with some recommendations. Regarding the urban areas it is noted that the conventional urban growth models are applicable only within limits due to the socio-economic conditions within which they developed. It is further noted that the preserrc planning policies do not appear to be sufficieutly cognizant of the current needs in these settlements. It is, therefore I recommended that a rev Lew and realignment of planning policies is necessary in order to deal with the immediate needs in the settlements as well as their peri-urban areas. In respect of-the region the chapter notes the lack of integration between the economic and physical planning policies. In view of the fact that the economic base of the region cannot a.tthe moment support massive urban development in the region it suggests that a policy of regional concentration of urban development should be adopted at this initial stage. It concludes by recommending the development of Kisumu as a Regional Primate City.
CitationMaster of Arts in Planning in the University of Nairobi
University of Nairobi.Faculty of Arts