BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Universities have customarily been seen as agents of development in the regions they serve owing to their roles of teaching, research, innovation and community extension. There is however a dearth of knowledge on how they influence land use change with a specific reference to compliance with planning standards. This paper therefore through a case study investigates the impacts that the growth of Kisii University has on land use change in Nyamage, a neighbourhood where it is situated within Kisii Municipality, Kenya. It subsequently links the observed change to compliance with planning standards.
METHODS: Guided by the theory of regulatory compliance, the study adopted a case study research design with a sample size of 226 drawn from 577 developments in Nyamage. Spatial data on land use change was collected using satellite images from Google Earth covering three epochs of 2005, 2014 and 2021. Analysis was undertaken using GIS. Data investigating compliance with planning standards were conversely collected using an observation checklist, land survey maps and analyzed using a one-sample t-test and paired t-test.
FINDINGS: The study established that in 2005, forest, short vegetation, transitional and built-up areas respectively covered 17%, 39%, 34% and 11%. These by 2021 correspondingly changed by 46%, -10%, -29% and 57% for the forest, short vegetation, transitional and built-up areas. The latter recorded the highest land use change, a condition mainly credited to the hostels built by private developers in an attempt to meet a demand created by students who could not find accommodation within the university. Research findings further disclosed that developments around the university were not complying with the planning standards used in regulating plot sizes, building coverage ratio and road reserves, leading to land use conflicts.
CONCLUSION: The establishment and growth of Kisii University have remarkably influenced land use change, which in the absence of development control contributes to the disregard of planning standards. This is because the government mainly sees universities as an avenue for spurring regional economic growth with less attention on their spatial implications. These findings may enlighten policy-making institutions with critical information for effective planning and development control around universities. The study also fills a gap that hitherto existed on the nexus between land use change and compliance with planning standards as relates to the growth of universities. It additionally enlightens the international audience on how the impacts of universities growth on land use may be evaluated through a triangulation of spatial and statistical approaches.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Tehran Urban Planning and Research Center remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.