Impact of urban renewal changes on urban landscape identity: Case study of Kisumu City, Kenya
Keywords:Urban landscape identity, urban form elements, urban renewal, impact of changes, Kisumu City, Kenya
Urban renewal undertaken to respond to physical deterioration and decay within cities resulted in various changes. The changes can impact on physical, socio-economic, and meaning aspects attached to various features, thus affecting the urban landscape identity of the city. Urban renewal in Africa is undertaken in the existing built forms in post-colonial times with the works impacting on city identities. Cities are striving to be unique and distinct, in order to attract and promote world trade and tourism, making city identity an issue of great concern. This study postulates that a city’s uniqueness and distinctiveness lie in its landscape identity that should be highly considered when upgrading urban environments in renewals. This study aims to investigate the impact of changes in urban form elements, due to urban renewal, on landscape identity. This is a case study analysis of Kisumu City, Kenya, which has recently undergone the upgrading of urban forms. A sample of 384 participants were involved in the field survey, 12 participants for the photo elicitation interview (PEI), and four key informants. Quantitative and qualitative approaches were used. The survey results supported by PEI responses revealed that renewal changes of urban physical forms had a positive impact on the city’s landscape identity, thus making it a visually appealing place. The vast majority of the respondents were satisfied with both the various components implemented and the overall outcome. They opined that the city had become a different but better place. The article highlights concern for the preservation of urban landscape identity within urban renewal projects in the post-colonial era.
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