One of the most popular planned community models today is golf-course residential development. In the past one decade, Kenya has seen an unprecedented boom in the building of high-end golf courses linked to luxury real-estate communities in the urban fringes of the Capital City of Nairobi. . Most real-estate developers in Kenya have teamed up with top-name golf-course architects, building exclusive communities adjacent to courses.

This is in line with the country’s Vision 2030 where the challenge to decongest the main urban areas, creation of new investment and settlement opportunities will be overcome through systematic creation of new self-contained satellite towns in areas where ample tracts of land are available. 

It has been noted that these developments may contribute to economic growth and job creation, rehabilitation of environmentally degraded areas and upgrading of infrastructure, which may benefit surrounding communities. It has also been noted that these developments may deplete water resources, consume agricultural land, spoil landscapes and heritage resources, displace and divide communities; especially rural communities, perpetuate divisive patterns of spatial development through the segregation created by security measures and counter social integration and integrated sustainable public service delivery.

This paper seeks to highlight the various impacts of this specific type of development including but not limited to how Real property values are positively affected by golf course developments. Property tax commonly known as rates in Kenya is one of the most important revenue streams for urban towns and cities. By creating a positive climate for increased property values, the local government valuation rolls will positively benefit in turn as the property values rise as increased property values and increased municipal revenues go hand in hand. The paper cautions and points out factors that may induce a  possibility of failure to sell off the properties over a long time thereby making both the golf industry and the real-estate market to take a nose-dive at once due to the lack of realisation of the envisaged gains of the investment.  It further highlights the impact of such developments on the environment particularly the fragile ecosystems and depletion of natural resources due to increased development of infrastructure for such dedicated open space and the expansive views of the golf courses.

The paper concludes with a set of suggestions for sustainable development of residential golf real estate developments in the major towns and cities in Kenya.