Promoting Sustainable Environments through Urban Green Spaces: Insights from Kenya

Arnold Mwanzu, Winnie Nguyu, Jacob Nato, Joseph Mwangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Kenya has experienced rapid population growth and urbanization in recent years leading to major changes in its natural environment. Urban infrastructure has a significant influence on carbon emissions and environmental degradation. Urban green spaces are some of the interventions that demonstrate how the impact of increased urbanization can be managed. An exploration of the current state of urban green spaces in Kenya is essential to identify equitable and sustainable development strategies. Kenya has a few green spaces and community gardens for relaxation and recreational activities. These spaces’ continued renovation and preservation strongly indicate Kenya’s commitment to maintaining urban green spaces for a sustainable environment. A multi-method approach involving a literature review, situational analysis, and researchers’ reflections was used to examine two urban green spaces (Nairobi City Park and John Michuki memorial park) and identify their benefits and opportunities to the environment and community whilst highlighting the challenges of maintaining the spaces. Green spaces provide socioeconomic benefits, increased biodiversity, reduced air and water pollution, and regulated temperatures. Population growth, lack of enough public open spaces, and overdevelopment are highlighted as contributors to environmental degradation. Urban green spaces in Kenya offer numerous economic and social development opportunities, promoting employment creation and attracting foreign investment. Today, community centers, such as green libraries, sustain the environment by availing modern reading areas with adequate natural lighting and disseminating knowledge that promotes green growth. It is unclear how renovated Kenyan urban spaces, such as parks, create a better environment and reduce the negative impacts of urbanization. This paper aims to fill this gap by providing an understanding of the role of urban green spaces in Kenya and how they promote environment sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11873
JournalSustainability
Volume15
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Kenya
  • environmental sustainability
  • green libraries
  • net zero transition
  • sustainability
  • urban green spaces
  • urban greening
  • urban parks

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