Patterns and Drivers of Land Development in (Greater) Eastern Bypass Peri-Urban area of Metropolitan Nairobi
Peri-urban areas are transitional zones characterised by subdivision of agricultural land to urban plots which foreruns sprawled development. Whereas forms of urban sprawl and patterns are well articulated in the literature, the drivers are not explicitly linked to the patterns. This paper asserts that in absence of systematic planning, development control and provision of basic environmental infrastructure to guide development; peri-urban land development is shaped by different drivers at different developmental period depicted by organic growth patterns. This paper examines pattern and drivers of land development in (Greater) Eastern Bypass peri-urban areas of Nairobi Metropolitan area over the last two decades. Overlay of subdivision shape files and satellite images for the period 2000 to 2020 at intervals of five year intervals are used to depict pattern of development. Leapfrog measure for the land abutting the major roads is calculated to determine the rate of development. Maps on development patterns are overlaid with utility and amenities maps to relate patterns and drivers. The different patterns of development observed at different period are attributable to drivers such as developed road infrastructure, history of the place, availability of amenities and utilities. Leapfrogged development characterized by clustered and dispersed settlements marks onset of development in the peri-urban area, but decreases over time depending on development of basic infrastructure. Increased land subdivision triggered by speculation does not imply readiness of land for development, but it foreruns land conversion and leapfrog development. Land development should be preceded by planning of land use and provision of basic infrastructure, amenities and services to reduce the effects of sprawled urban expansion.