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Urban growth management in sub-Saharan Africa: conflicting interests in the application of planning laws and regulations in middle income residential developments in Nairobi

Mwangi, Mary (2016) Urban growth management in sub-Saharan Africa: conflicting interests in the application of planning laws and regulations in middle income residential developments in Nairobi. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The middle income group in Nairobi, as in many other sub-Saharan African cities, is of a significant size. Many housing developments aimed at this group do not comply with planning laws and regulations. The costs of non-compliance include loss of lives when buildings collapse, costs to developers in terms of bribes to corrupt officials, and planning authorities’ inability to ensure compliance with regulations when developers do not follow formal procedures. Despite this, the scholarly, legal and enforcement focus on informality, and housing and planning policies, is mostly on low income group settlements, neglecting the middle income group. This research addresses this gap, investigating why there is non-compliance with building laws and regulations in developments for middle income residents. The project uses an embedded case study design within Nairobi. Qualitative interviewing was aimed at understanding perceptions of the planning system by both planners and developers, and how and why their interests differ. The research finds that, despite conflicting interests in the application of planning laws and regulations in middle income developments, non-compliance is tolerated or ignored because there is informal collaboration between state agents and developers, which validates the indispensability of these developments. This informal collaboration is prompted by unmet housing need, and the inappropriateness of a system that is a result of colonial hangovers. The results are manifested in a poor planning framework (including poor land use management), inadequate resources for planning, and shortcomings in governance, as well as unruly developers. The research contributes to the planning and housing literature about the production of rental housing for the middle income group in sub-Saharan Africa. It asserts that non-compliance in such developments does not necessarily produce inappropriate housing developments. Rather than fighting these developments, housing needs could be better served by positive and formal collaboration between planners, developers and other stakeholders, in order to secure acceptable and improved developments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Urban Studies and Planning (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.698300
Depositing User: Ms Mary Mwangi
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 13:52
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:31
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15563

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