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Study of Informal Places in Kampala Slums where Children Play, Uganda


Uganda’s densely populated slums suffer from a shortage of formal public spaces for everyday life. The spaces that are available are very informal and serve a multitude of activities, such as children’s play, commerce and socializing. In many cases these informal spaces are in a poor state, which makes them unsafe for children to play. In addition, because these spaces are informal they are not protected and could be taken away from the community and used for other purposes. Our research project, conducted in 2014, examined the quality and availability of public spaces in Kampala and demonstrated the lack of formal spaces for children to play in slum areas. This study built on the 2014 study by including the informal spaces in two slum areas in each of the five divisions of Kampala.


Kampala, Uganda


  • Non Communicable Diseases Information and Control Center


January- December 2015

Further Details

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Our study found that informal open spaces are critical components of residents' access to recreational space in the city. This is true despite the fact that our study only covered a sample of 10 slum neighbourhoods.  Unfortunately,  our findings point to a shortage of open spaces in Kampala Capital City.  In addition, participation in informal open spaces is lower among women, children, and the elderly, than it is among adults and males.  Our study also found that the preservation of informal open spaces is under continual threat from encroachment.  Multiple hazards were found in all surveyed informal open spaces and all of the spaces, although well used by the community, were of poor quality.  The study concludes that community engagement is critical for the preservation, maintenance, and enhancement of open spaces in Kampala.