The role of urban community markets in service provision and the planning implications: a comparative case study of Kenyatta, Githurai and Stage markets in Nairobi.
The problem of unplanned urban community markets and how to accommodate the physical and functional growth of the planned markets has continued to be a thorny issue in urban planning. The availability of an acceptable site of operation is a precondition for compliance with various statutes relating to business operations. The study IS an attempt to analyze the factors behind the location, spatial spread and the roles played by both formal and informal markets with specific reference to Kenyatta, Githurai and Stage Markets. The study has assessed the factors influencing the operations and development of the various enterprises within the markets. The general background to the study reveals that the present state of markets in Nairobi is as a result of a number of interrelated forces , ranging from the political, socio-economic, personal to legal setting The study has also analysed the social and economic roles played by the urban community markets with special reference to the three markets. The major roles that these markets play include among others employment and provision of services to the urban communities where they are located. The study takes note of the current trend of upcoming urban community private market outlets as a result of the failure of local authorities to provide and maintain the public community markets. The recommendations proposed to the study have taken into consideration these forces. some of the obstacles hindering optimal operation of the markets include unfavorable institution' I and legal framework, lack of necessary infrastructure, inadequate finances and inaccessibility-to customers. The major goal of the study is to assess the development and operations of the markets under study and the planning implication This is done in order to evolve planning recommendations that will ensure that the markets sufficiently serve the neighbourhood communities while at the same time sustain their social, economic and environmental functions.