Influence of informalisation of planned housing neighbourhoods on management of public infrastructure assets: A case of Buruburu estate, Nairobi, Kenya.
The study investigated informalisation of planned neighbourhoods and its influence on the management of public infrastructure assets in Buruburu estate of Nairobi, Kenya. An analysis for the influence of these informalisations and their general consequences for the planned neighbourhood were carried out. The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of informalisation of planned neighbourhoods on management of public infrastructure assets. The research was guided by four objectives namely: to establish the influence of uncontrolled house extensions on public infrastructure management; to establish the influence of commercial activities along estate roads on management of public infrastructure assets; to consider the influence of light industrial activities along estate roads on the management of public infrastructure assets and to investigate the influence of new building types on the management of public infrastructure assets in Buruburu estate, Nairobi. The research was guided by relevant literature on management of public infrastructure assets. The general approach to this study was exploratory, descriptive and inductive, based on mixed research techniques because the quantitative enquiries helped to explore the extent or magnitude of the situation or phenomenon under study while the qualitative enquiries helped to explore the diversities in a situation or phenomenon. The cross sectional survey method was employed using questionnaires and interview schedule. The respondents were 245 residents of Buruburu estate, stratified and randomly selected from the five phases of Buruburu estate. The data collected was subjected to statistical analyses using frequencies, percentages regression and correlation analysis. The results revealed that the estate consists of households with diverse social and economic backgrounds living together. This meant that over time, the estate had become heterogeneous in composition as against the original residents who were lower middle income earners. The results showed that 66% of the total residents had house extensions and the road reserves along the main street in the estate are littered with both light industrial activity and commercial activities. The study further established that new house types are gaining currency rapidly in the estate. The result of the inferential analysis revealed that all four variables used for the study indeed influenced the management of public infrastructure assets. The implication of this is that these variables can be used to predict some issues concerning the management of public infrastructure assets in the study area. The variables included uncontrolled house extensions, proliferation of formal and informal commercial activities along estate roads, light industrial activities along estate roads and emergence of new house typologies. It was established that each form of informalisations influenced the management of public infrastructure assets differently. For example uncontrolled house extensions influenced the demand for electricity and water infrastructure assets. The proliferation of formal and informal commercial activities influenced the type, quantity and method of disposal of solid waste in the planned neighbourhood. Particularly dumping of waste on storm water drainage was noted, influencing directly the management of storm water management infrastructure assets. Light industrial activity along estate roads was found to contribute to reduced pedestrian spaces and to defacing of aesthetic and environmental quality of the planned neighbourhood. New house types, particularly multi storeyed residential apartments were found to contribute to increased population and increased vehicular congestion on estate roads. Measuring residents’ reaction to certain types of informalisation which were conspicuous in the study areas showed that their acceptance level in spite of the services they presently render to the residents was quite low. The study concluded that informalisation of planned neighbourhoods influence the management of public infrastructure assets. Further it concludes that the quality of service obtainable from public infrastructure assets had deteriorated as consequence of various informalisation activities and processes in the planned neighbourhood studied.