Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 391

Full Length Research Paper

Real estate development outside the city county of Nairobi and the escalation of urban sprawl: Could developers be avoiding zoning-related costs in the city?

Jeremiah, N. Ayonga
  • Jeremiah, N. Ayonga
  • School of Planning Architecture, Maseno University, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 22 February 2015
  •  Accepted: 15 September 2015
  •  Published: 31 October 2015


In the recent times, there has been a wave of mostly speculative developers from the city of Nairobi targeting the areas outside the city fringe and, therefore, helping to create massive urban sprawl. Although various factors would lead to urban sprawl, it should be noted too that a significant variation in the cost of development between the city and areas outside the city may create a speculative zone in suburbia where developers would maximize profits. For example, recent studies show that planning and development control in Kenya is mostly practiced inside the city, yet such planning is lacking or is ineffective outside the city fringes. This means that developers in the city bear some extra cost related to zoning and planning permission. In this paper, it is assumed that property values in the areas of the city and in the areas immediately outside the city fringe shall not vary significantly. As a result, development cost shall be the only factor taken into consideration by developers when choosing locations where to maximize profits. The t-test analysis was used to compare cost and property values between sampled areas of the city and those outside the city fringe. The analysis revealed that whereas there were very significant variations in the costs of the two development control models of the selected areas of the city and those immediately outside the city, there were, however, no significant variations in the property values in the two locations. It was then concluded that such scenario would create a zone of high profit in areas outside the city which shall induce speculative development, thus, contributing to urban sprawl.

Key words: Variations, cost of development, urban and fringe, same property values, urban sprawl.