Urban Space Utilization in Mombasa

Ochanda Valentine
Communicating Science
23rd April 2015

In urban planning, public space has historically been described as “open space”, meaning the streets, parks and recreation areas, plazas and other publicly owned and managed outdoor spaces, as opposed to the private domain of housing and work. The definition from a sociological perspective has been redefined, where a public space is rather any space accessible to the public.

Planning, also called urban planning or city and regional planning, is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more. Some urban space use within Mombasa island @ochanda convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations. Planning enables civic leaders, businesses, and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people’s lives. Good planning helps create communities that offer better choices for where and how people live. Planning helps communities to envision their future. It helps them find the right balance of new development and essential services, environmental protection, and innovative change.


You can agree with me that planning in Kenya has been on the red watch list. City planning in Kenya is wanting. When it comes to matters of planning, the political elite give the professional planners a run for their professionalism with all sorts of disturbances that make planning efficiency in Kenya lose its efficiency. The relationship between planners and businessmen, as well as the political elite, has always clashed. When these planning structures at one point in time fail, the professionals are arrested and quickly jailed to answer for professional laxity and misconduct. For example, when some buildings collapsed recently in Nairobi the whole lot from the Architect to the planner and the structural engineer were sent to jail for sleeping on duty.

Mombasa Island is on its level of planning. There are places like Nyali and Kiembeni blue estate are well planned and executed. While other places like Kisauni and other informal settlements are choking under the garbage and stink. The roads in most of these areas are impassable during the rainy reasons. The common potholes on the roads easily create some seasonal rivers leaving residents of this coastal island hoping against hope that the devolved government structure will make it better in terms of planning and delivery of services. The county government obviously has a lot on its plate with regards to fixing Mombasa island. Some of the urgent services required include water supply, availability of electricity, renewal and redevelopment of schools. Besides the listed the maintenance of the public infrastructure and spaces like the Mama Ngina Drive as well as the Pirates beach important public spaces for coastal residents. The pressure is on and planning for the built environment will be relegated to the back of the list due to other needs and requests as well
as financial and policy-related obstacles.

Nairobi and Mombasa are listed as cities with the highest rents. These are based on a report released earlier this year by the Ministry of lands, in conjunction with housing. These extreme rents are on well-planned properties especially in the affluent neighborhood of the city and its environs.  Sustainability of a city is a factor of effective planning and environmental considerations of the built environment. An unplanned urban area, especially the built environments are a major concern when it comes to environmental sustenance. The rule being the poor placement of structures, and lack of proper follow up on available regulations, has a direct bearing on the safe environment.  Urban areas are known to add a substantial amount of greenhouse gasses to the ecosystem due to the consumptive nature of the urban residents. The product value chain analysis results in the excess use of energy options, in food production. Therefore higher sustenance for urban dwellers as compared to rural dwellers, the repercussions, therefore, mean that urban areas like Mombasa generally contribute to climate change related impacts.   As the country tries to fasten its regulations on the planning of the countries major cities. The onus is on the county governments to make sure that their cities are well planned. This will facilitate easy movement of traffic, environmentally friendly and sustainable neighborhoods, better provision of services in the built environment as well as the proper and efficient delivery of services from these departments.

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5 thoughts on “Urban Space Utilization in Mombasa

    1. Entrepreneurship Mombasa is a beautiful city we want it to stand out from the rest by having it better planed and properly utilized public space.

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