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Land is a valuable finite resource that is required for human survival. Population in urban centres are increasing with 55% of the population living within urban centres and its projected than by the year 2050 68% of the population will be living in urban centres and 90% of this increase will come from Africa. Nairobi itself is already under strain for housing its population with the government coming up with various schemes to provide affordable housing for its increasing population. However, with the increase in high-rise developments, the component of quality space maybe neglected. This prompted the study of quality of common space in high-rise housing in Roysambu.

This study was conducted using both primary and secondary sources of data from historical documents that cited the need for quality spaces, interviews, physical measurements and sketches of building parameters and observation. Those who were involved mainly were the building tenants. From the research, it was determined that most of the construction by-laws are often neglected as a method of cost cutting and also a lack of knowledge of the building owners. There also emerged that there is a need for an active policing body that
ensures the construction policies are followed. In conclusion, the study finds that the quality of common spaces can be improved by the following measures. Firstly, creating a public awareness in the building code which will lead to a demand in increased quality housing and even create more social spaces for people. Secondly through the enforcement of these policies by the relevant bodies to ensure the health and safety of its citizens.


People have often developed cities horizontally when people demanded large independent houses, however the need for green spaces and increasing population in cities, developers are opting for vertical expansion. This means that  the development is in height which requires little floor space. Compact cities
are high density developments with increased socio-economic diversity and an improved public realm encouraging low-carbon lifestyle and supported by public transit infrastructure. Urban sprawls is the unrestricted growth in many urban areas of housing, commercial development, and roads over large ex-
panses of land, with little concern for urban planning. Many factors cause to the urban sprawl such as population increase, socio-economic factors, technological development and development policies. To have the indefinite borders of the urban sprawl is appeared as a major problem, because urban sprawls have occurred as a result of uncontrolled and unplanned growth.

Globally, 55% (4.1billion) of the population leaves in urban centres with a prediction that by 2050, 68% of the population will be leaving in urban centres and which 90% of which will be taking place in Africa and Asia this is due to the rapid urbanization that’s currently taking place in the two continents. High-rise
buildings in urban centres have become the most prevalent types of building typologies since its ideal to house the large population of people living in urban centres to provide the basic need of housing to the citizens. (Jenks and Burgess, 2005 pg. 2) More often than not, cities are seen as problematic—congested, polluting, with poor housing, collapsing infrastructure, crime and poverty. Yet it is cities that drive economies and it is within them that innovation occurs and an increasing part of global output is produced. Soon, over half the world’s population will live in cities, the majority in the developing countries. (Jenks and Burgess, 2005 pg. 3) In countries like Japan where 98% of the population lives in urban centres, the need to build upwards is greater as land is a finite resource. This has led to housing within the urban centres being high-rise housing to cater for the population within them. Cities like New York which has a population density of 27,000 people per square mile also has need to house this population and has plot ratios of 1:12 to try to cater for housing of the large population.

High-rise buildings in urban centres have become the most prevalent types of building typologies since its ideal to house the large population of people living in urban centres to provide the basic need of housing to the citizens. With the current infrastructural development that’s been set to take place within Nairobi, to improve its accessibility with the use of BRT lanes and improvement of the railway connectivity to the city centre from the neighbouring areas, the population within urban centres will continuously increase, creating more need for housing. (Jenks and Burgess, 2005 pg. 8)