The street youth are a vulnerable group of youths who spend all or most of their time on street and have fallen outside any social, educational and reinsertion institution. In 2016, Kenya was estimated to have 250,000 to 300,000 children and youth living on the streets, with 40% living on the streets of Nairobi. Despite the various interventions applied to address this issue, many architectural interventions are not successful.
Therefore, the need to rehabilitate the street youth back into the society is dire. With the study area being in Nairobi, this study intended to develop an understanding of the needs of the street youth and to explore the different architectural interventions that can be applied to address this issue and how effective they are. The study method used for this study was selected case studies of spaces within Nairobi.
The selected variables for assessment are context, safety and security, quality of space and spatial organisation. The subjects of interest were interviewed to collect data that was analysed through qualitative analysis. It was noted that there are inadequate rehabilitation centres within Nairobi. Most of the rehabilitation centres were makeshift shelters and therefore were not designed for the purpose of rehabilitation.
Based on the findings, the author concluded that we not only need more facilities for the large numbers of street youth, but we also need facilities that are designed to cater for the rehabilitation process; spaces that make them feel at home and enhance social integration. The author then recommended a set of guidelines that focus on the context of the space, safety and security for the inhabitants and the neighbouring community, the quality of space that create a healing environment for the individuals and spatial organization of the different facilities.