Policy impacts on urban land use patterns in Nairobi Kenya: 1899-1979
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In the twentieth century; three basic models of city structure have been accepted by scholars as being representative of land use patterns in most cities of the western world. These models are (1) the Concentric Zone Model; (2) the Radial Sector Model; and (3) the Multiple Nuclei Model., As the cities grow, the arrangement of land uses that conform$ to the stipulations of these models has been mainly the result of processes that affect land as an economic commodity and land uses within each city. Many scholars have tested empirically the operation of these models in America, Western Europe, and other parts of the world. Land use patterns in most cities have conformed with expectations of the models or exhibit some elements of the model~. An examination of the city structure of Nairobi, Kenya reveals a hierarchy of land use patterns that resemble the model. The structure of the Nairobi CBD has a strong resemblance to the theoretical expectations of the Concentric Zone Model. The land use pattern in the older a~d most intensively developed area of the city is. sectoral, while the spatial arrangement of specialized service~centers within the current city boundary has a Multiple Nuclei appearance. A question arises, however, as to whether or not Nairobi I S land use patterns are mostly affected by economic forces or by the central government and local authorities having jurisdiction over the city throughout its history. To examine this problem this study investigated the impact of government and local authority policies and actions on land use in the city since it was founded in 1899. The data base drew upon major documents related to land use policy decisions, government policies and plans that have affected the city's land; and impacts of each major policy" law, and administrative action It was found that the central g9vernment and local agencies have significantly influenced the land use pattern in Nairobi through their policies and actions. The existing land use patterns are mainly the result of policies and actions.The economic organization of land use as stipulated in the theories of city structure has t~ace only to a limited extent in Nairobi It has operated within definite policy and legal frameworks designed by the governmental authorities. These frameworks have restrained the operation of economic forces and have limited the tendency for these forces to influence the ,spatial pattern of land use within the city. Consequently, land use patterns in Nairobi that resemble the' classical city structure models are mainly coincidental and are not the results of the urban land market mechanism within Na!~obi. The spatial patterns of .land uses within the City of Nairobi should not be used literally as examples of the, effects of economic forces on city structures. The. be cited analogously, and with many qualifications when demonstrating the nature of land use in urban areas .