A Re-examination of Nairobi's urban open space design. The case of Jevanjee Gardens
Kariuki, Robert M
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This study examines the need for urban open space use, design and their implication for urban environments. The paper examines the impact of urban growth and provision of adequate open space that is sustainable in the context of urbanization. It also studies the impact of utilization trends of parks, perception of the users with regard to open space, security within urban open spaces and how parks can be improved based on the field survey data analysis findings. The study revealed that all the elements and aspects investigated in aid of landscape design development process for urban open space are all important in terms of how users interact, view, appreciate and use the environment. Furthermore, the sense of place was found to be interdependent with landscape perception. Spatial democratization through accessibility to open space was found to enhance group identity, pride and self esteem for the general public and mutual support groups frequenting the park. It was noted that synergy and emotional satisfaction through provision of parks/open space where the \ general public and organized groups meet tended to provide the users with a sense of ownership pride and emotional satisfaction through, experience and free use of urban space provided. The study concluded that, urban open space provision for Nairobi and subsequently any emerging city in particular is an important component of the cities' fabric that ought not to be overlooked on the basis of economic value and financial returns alone. But, consideration for the more important non financial value that hinges on the psychological and environmental health of the city and its citizens should take precedence. This paper recommends the need for conscious efforts incorporating urban open space design and implementation of new park systems that influence and direct city planning strategy arising out of the expected urban growth -o.f Nairobi.