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 paperís 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 intradependency
amongst the users and the negotiation of the rights accruing to all as individuals and as groups.
Keywords: : Public Space, liveability, major streets, Freetown (Sierra Leone).
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