Urban public space patterns: human distribution and the design of sustainable city centres with reference to Nairobi CBD

Moirongo, B.

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Bernard, O. M. (2002). Urban public space patterns: Human distribution and the design of sustainable city centres with reference to nairobi CBD. Urban Design International, 7(3), 205. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.proxy.libraries.uc.edu/docview/194530731?accountid=2909

Activity Distribution , Activity Intensity , CBD , Nairobi , Public Space , Space Syntax , Sustainable Settlements

The way urban solids relate to urban voids, the spatial relations of urban space itself and all other characteristics that define urban space are paramount in determining human distribution in any given community. This determines social relations that in turn reproduce spatial relations. This kind of process determines what sort of community and hence environment that is eventually generated. It is the intention of this paper to establish urban variables and hence urban patterns that promote human distribution, which in turn creates a sustainable community. A further intention is to establish a language that could be used to generate policies and design rules for such communities.

Main finding
The study finds a corelation between the design and management of public space and human distribution in city centres. (1) Human activities are more prevalent in integrating, controlled, distributed, symmetrical, and constituted urban spaces as opposed to segregating, nondistributed, asymmetrical, and unconstituted urban spaces. (2) A well-constituted space (refers to physical or visual interaction between indoor and outdoor spaces) is always full of human activities, hence hindering the occurrence of unconforming activities. (3) A controlled, integrating space always has human activities taking place therein and encourages flow of the same activities through the rest of the urban space structure. (4) Diversity (refers to the level of social, economic, and cultural heterogeneity of the urban composition) is a necessary attribute for ecological balance and survival of any urban space.

Description of method used in the article
The study area is the Central Business District (CBD) of the city of Nairobi, Kenya. Data collection involved map analysis, observation, measurement, and interviews in relation to the sampled urban spaces. Six models have been established that explain the variation of human intensities in urban space.

Policy implications

Organising categories

Economic Transactions Gathering/Socializing
Case Study
Urban Design
Physical types
Geographic locations