Drivers of Gated Community developments in Urban Areas: The Case of Nairobi, Kenya



2 Ph.D., Proferssor, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya


Higher and middle income residents in Nairobi, Kenya have demonstrated a great craving for
gated community housing. The phenomenon is manifested in all forms of residential property advertisements and
in most new residential developments. The objective of this paper is to establish the drivers of the gated community
developments in Nairobi County by identifying and documenting the push factors causing migration of a section
of urban dwellers from open to gated neighborhoods. The study results are expected to influence urban housing
policy decisions towards developing sustainable urban housing typologies. The researcher reviewed existing
literature from local and international scholars in order to understand the variables in the phenomenon before
engaging in a field study. This study adopted a cross-sectional survey design so as to allow the researcher to relate
many different variables at the same time. The target population of gated communities was restricted to only those
classified as lifestyle and prestige types that were found to be complete and occupied at the time of study. Eight
gated communities were randomly sampled for the study. The main findings that drive GCs were security, lifestyle
and location. Further, residents wanted to be involved in the decision making in management of the GCs. The study
recommends clear development guidelines, flexible building standards and offer quality public services.


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