Continuity and change in historic planning: towards a sustainable townscape of old town of Mombasa
Historic urban environments are deteriorating in socio-cultural, architectural, economic and historical continuity. This is due to the challenges of rapid growth, blurred vision and lack of commitment to substantive positive change. The architectural heritage, which is an outward expression of irreplaceable spiritual, cultural, social and economic value, is in danger. The Old Town of Mombasa is one such historic urban area, threatened by the . alarming rate of loss of historic character. As we endeavour to restore some order out of the existing situation, there is need to draw a balance between the obsolete and fashionable styles in the context of a dynamic society. In a society that has started de-linking itself from the past, one has to make the inhabitants empathise with styles that enrich their environment and ensure that development in the long run will be sustainable. To these- ends rhis study examines the evolving character of the Old Town of Mombasa . . townscape and establishes the problems associated with its planning and management. The study also elicits attitudes towards the perception of the neighbourhood character; and explores ways of making the neighbourhood sustainable. The study situs is the field, in the Old Town of Mombasa. The main research method employed is the structured interview designed along the semantic differential scale. Focus group discussions and observation of the physical environment are used to bolster the inferences made from the largely qualitative data.