Effects Of Gated Communities To Low Income Neighbouring Communities And How This Impacts On Functional Integration: A Case Study Of Athi River, Machakos County
Gated communities are on the rise globally. The spread of these communities has caused a lot of debates with regard to the impact that they have on social interactions and urban structure. This study sought to establish the kind of interactions between people within gated communities and those residing in often, ungated low income neighbouring communities and how these interactions lead to functional integration. The study objectives were: determining how provision of job opportunities by gated communities to neighbouring low income communities promotes functional integration; finding out how provision of social amenities by gated communities to neighbouring low income communities promotes functional integration and finding out how economic externalities brought about by gated communities impact on interactions between gated and ungated communities and ultimately how this impacts on functional integration. The hypotheses of the study included: there is no significant relationship in provision of job opportunities by gated communities to low income neighbouring communities and functional integration. There is no significant relationship in provision of social amenities by gated communities to low income neighbouring communities and functional integration. There is no significant relationship between provision of economic externalities by gated communities and the impact these has on interactions between gated and low income ungated communities. Athi River was used as the case study where gated communities are rampant. Primary data was collected through administration of questionnaires. Proportionate stratified random sampling was used in this research. The target population for this study consisted of 12 gated communities in Athi River with an estimated population of 577 households. The sample size was 30% of the total population (which was total number of households). The sample size was 173 households. Data was arranged and analysed using both descriptive and inferential xiii statistics. Data was manipulated using cross tabulations and means computed for each variable by use of Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) in order to run a regression analysis. The study found out that a significant number of households within gated communities employed individuals from neighbouring low income communities thus providing job opportunities to these individuals. Gated communities also have shared amenities within them which vary widely. These amenities are usually used by those residing within them and serviced by those living outside and this fosters social interactions between the two groups and through exchange of money, functional intergration is promoted. The job opportunities provided by gated communities promote functional integration through serviceable inclusion of low income communities into the wider society through provision of casual jobs and exchange of money. The study recommends that gated communities’ management bodies should consider putting up more facilities and infrastructure within and outside gated communities which are critical in enhancing functional integration between gated and low income often ungated neighbouring communities.
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