Investigation of public open spaces in Machakos town Municipality, Machakos County, Kenya
Mutisya, Mathias Loki
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Public open spaces form an important part of urban life, giving services to people and protect urban environment. In effective regulations and standards for establishment, setting, management and maintenance of public open spaces have always been a stumbling block in ensuring their sustainability, hence the existence of poorly performing, unplanned, and poorly distributed public open spaces. This study sought to establish why the public open spaces in Machakos municipality, Machakos County face sustainability challenges. The study aimed to find out the various types of public open spaces in Machakos Municipality; to examine their usage, find out measures taken by the stakeholders to ensure proper functioning of the public open spaces and ultimately to come up with approaches for successful establishment and management of a sustainable public open spaces system in Machakos Municipality. Primary and secondary data sources were utilized, with Primary data being gathered from in the form of questionnaires, interview schedules, observation and photography. Secondary data on the other hand was gathered through reviewing of existing literature materials and documentations on public open spaces from Government blueprints and policy documents. The report findings form a database for information needed towards a theoretical knowledge to help respective stakeholders in the establishment and management of public open spaces in Machakos town Municipality. This provides improved public open spaces setting that eventually raise the quality of life and value of the residents and property respectively. The findings revealed that there are a number of public open spaces in Machakos Municipality with Machakos People’s park as the most popular of these open spaces. These spaces are mainly used for relaxation, sports, recreation, meetings, parking, source of income and physical exercise. These open spaces are highly used during weekends as opposed to all week through. Majority of them are managed by the county government of Machakos. However, the study reveals that the open space users are not satisfied with the management strategies employed by the current regime. They proposed better open spaces management strategies with all stakeholders involved.