The Developments in Real Estate and Sustainable Urban Environment: a Case Study of Kilimani Area Within Nairobi City County.
Kenyan real estate includes all types of property ranging from single and multiple dwelling units residential developments, commercial (office space, retail space, shopping malls and hotel or restaurants), agricultural farm land and industrial blocks of (go-downs and warehouses, factories and light productions). The real estate development is a process by which initial land use of a designated neighbourhood or planning zone is transformed into new land use(s) in order to obtain the highest and best use of the land parcel(s). This development is mainly undertaken through change of use and extension of use through the approval by the local authority under the area of jurisdiction. The major challenges currently facing sustainability urban environment is the balancing of increased demand and supply for real estate property against sustainability in terms of adequate infrastructures and vegetation cover. The real estate developments in most of developing nations are led by demand rather than infrastructural capacity. This research project explores the relationship between the developments in real estate and sustainable urban environment within Nairobi City County since the urban area has experienced massive developments in real estate in terms of increased property investment. These high rise developments have stressed the existing environment in terms of infrastructure capacity and green spaces. This study shall try to address the prevalence and the nature of the developments in real estate; the causes of land use variations as developments; the effects of the real estate developments on infrastructure services provision and vegetation cover within the study area. The study also focus sustainable environment espects like; the carrying capacity of infrastructure; the integrity of the ecosystem and the biodiversity available. The literature was reviewed to determine on how real estate development affects the general urban areas, and the possible merits and demerit of development models under the study. The target population was about 43,000 residents of Kilimani estate while the study population will be chief officers, departmental heads and general staff from the real estate firm managing properties. Simple random sampling was used to pick out specific houses across the study area. The sampling unit was land parcel while the sample size was approximately 50 houses. The data obtained from the study was sorted out, analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented using photographs, maps, charts, simple tables and graphs. vi | P a g e The findings of the study were: majority of the residents (52%) had been involved in change of use, while 30% had been involved in extension of use; there was a concens on sustainablility of urban environment as a result of the real estate development. The residential land uses were the most developed levels of new developments followed by commercial land uses with apartments building dominating the area. The houses were of 3-7 floors with majority being 4 floors. The number of units within a single land parcel is at an average of 18 while the ground coverage is between 30% and 80% of the plot area. A number of challenges like stench smell from wastes and increased traffic jam, change in climate and weather. Telecommunication ranked the highest in sufficiency level with the least sufficient being the infrastructure services. The key recommendations for sustainable urban environment includes: allocation of urban land uses using the infrastructure-led model for the entire urban area; develop a comprehensive infrastructure development; good land and real estate management and governance in public institutions responsible for urban land management; and environmental impact assessment and audit to evaluate the capacity of the urban environment. The other recommendations for this study are; the improvement of roads, garbage collection and water supply, restriction of development, improvement of security, improvement of drainage system; creation of all inclusive development process; and planting of trees within the neighbourhoods
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