An assessment of urban decay in residential neighbourhoods: a case study of Jerusalem estate, Eastlands, Nairobi

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning
Title An assessment of urban decay in residential neighbourhoods: a case study of Jerusalem estate, Eastlands, Nairobi
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL Mutuli​Research 2016.pdf
Cities all over the world undergo change. This change is characterized by many forces which are
social, economic, environmental, physical/spatial, cultural, political and institutional in nature.
The changes bring about challenges and opportunities which require innovative planning
interventions. Urban decay is manifested in the form of Social decay, Economic decline,
Physical and environmental degradation and institutional and management decay. Nairobi like
other cities in the World has experienced decay. This urban decay has mostly been witnessed
affecting old residential areas, old industrial areas and recreational areas such as rivers. Jerusalem
Estate is one of the estates in Nairobi City County that have been affected by urban decay. The
study therefore set out to examine urban decay in Jerusalem Estate with respect to social,
economic, environmental and institutional aspects and propose ways of ensuring that it meets
both current and future needs.
The study involved secondary and primary data collection approaches, a field survey was carried
out by involving the households through the use of household questionnaires and key informants
through the use of interview schedules. Data collected from the primary sources is presented in
chapter three and four in the form of photos, written texts, pie charts and bar graphs which brings
out a clear picture of the situation on the ground.
The research revealed that there was inadequate technical, financial, and institutional capacity
within the Nairobi City County Government in its management and maintenance of Jerusalem
Estate, in its enforcement of policies and in the implementation of the prepared renewal plans,
high rates of poverty among the residents in Jerusalem Estate which may be partly attributed to
decay in the residential neighbourhood. The findings of the research show that inadequate
maintenance of the previous good status and image of the estate could be attributed to the
inadequate social cohesion among the residents, inadequate capacity of the residents to maintain
and repair their houses and other infrastructure services. The research revealed that poor solid
waste management and maintenance of the sewerage and drainage system led to sanitation
problems and hence to a deteriorated healthy environment for residents to live in. The research
further indicated that poverty and unemployment status among the residents resulted to crime and
insecurity issues in Jerusalem Estate. According to the findings of the research, the decaying
condition of Jerusalem Estate could be attributed to the ageing condition of the estate since the
Estate was built in 1959. In addition, the findings indicated that age had come with exceeded
capacity of the infrastructure due to the growth of the Estate.
The interventions by the area residents to address the challenges they face are indications of their
needs all of which must be incorporated in the chosen re-planning model. In this regard, the
renewal approach should holistically address all the issues of urban decay all over the estate.
There are two possible renewal models for the estate examined which includes; rehabilitation and
repair and the integrated approach. All the alternatives have their pros and cons. However, under
careful evaluation, the one which addresses fully the problem of urban decay and has greater
economic gains was chosen.
Thus, the study recommended an integrated approach of the estate by observing measures that
promote sustainability. The new developments will comprise recreational, commercial, public
utility, transportation and residential land uses at the site of development which is the waterfront
of Jerusalem Estate. The integrated approach will encompass several aspects which include:
provision of a range of affordable and quality housing typologies, encouraging community and
stakeholder participation, mixing of land uses and provision of quality public spaces and
recreational areas.

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