With increasing urbanisation in developing countries and the concomitant overcrowding on streets, serious questions remain about the liveability of inner-city residential-commercial streets. This paper contends that lively streets are not necessarily liveable streets. Liveability is defined by other criteria that take cognizance of human comfort and capabilities within living environments. Observations suggest an uneasy relationship between a crowded public space and the private residential spaces that sit next to them. The paper’s focus is to measure the liveability of a lively but overcrowded street and how its everyday use affects the physical characteristics of buildings, the activities, and the wellbeing of residents. Employing a mixed-method strategy, the study draws on observations, semi-structured interviews, and questionnaire survey of residents, shopkeepers, and street traders. The findings suggest that an overcrowded street space has a negative effect on the liveability and quality of living of residents and other users but that this is tempered by intra-dependency amongst the users and the negotiation of the rights accruing to all as individuals and as groups.
Open House International – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2016