Challenges Of Urban Development Control In Port Harcourt Metropolis
The study was carried out on the challenges of urban development control in Port Harcourt Metropolis. Urban planning development is the process of developing urban, suburban and rural areas orderly. This study employed a Survey research design. Distribution of growth indicators in the study zone was effected for the same purpose. The data collected for this study were from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data were drawn from interviews and report and field observations. The principal source of secondary data was drawn from textbooks, Journals, reports, Internet websites and other related unpublished literatures written by different authors. The Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) on a computer set was used for the regression analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA) test at 5% (0.05) level of significance. The researcher came up with two summarized results. The first is that there is tremendous population increase of the Rivers urban. The second revelation was that there is a weak relationship existing between the level of urban planning development in Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers State and associated growth indicators. The study further recommended that the concerned governments of the state (state and local) should make a vigorous attempt at emplacing adequate physical, economic and social infrastructure to match the teeming population in the Rivers urban. This can be achieved through the Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) process.
1.1 Background of the Study
Urban planning is a technical and political process concerned with the development and use of land, protection and use of the environment, public welfare, and the design of the urban environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks. It can be referred to as urban and regional, regional, urban, city, rural planning or some combination in various areas worldwide. Urban planning takes many forms and it can share perspectives and practices with urban design (Robert, 2010).
Urban planning development is the process of developing urban, suburban and rural areas orderly. Although predominantly concerned with the planning of settlements and communities, urban planning is also responsible for the planning and development of water use and resources, rural and agricultural land, parks and conserving areas of natural environmental significance. The major reason for urban planning is urbanization.
Urbanization is not a recent phenomenon in Nigeria. Indeed many ancient cities such as Rivers, Ile Ife, Kano, Ibadan, Benin and Sokoto have had a rich history of urbanization. Urbanization however increased significantly during the colonial administrations. It is apparent that the rate of urbanization in recent period has been vigorous, alarming and unsustainable. The most serious problems confronting cities, urbans and their inhabitants as identified in Agenda (2010) include the following: Inadequate financial resources, lack of employment opportunities, spreading homelessness and expansion of squatter settlements, increased poverty and a widening gap between the rich and poor, growing insecurity and rising crime rates, inadequate and deteriorating building stock, services and infrastructure. Other problems include lack of health and educational facilities, improper land use, insecure land tenure, rising traffic congestion, increasing pollution, lack of green spaces, inadequate water supply and sanitation, uncoordinated urban development and an increasing vulnerability to disaster. All these have seriously challenged the urban planning development in place like Port Harcourt metropolis. The capacity of government at all levels to realize socio- economic development and environmental protection, which is all components of sustainable development, is challenged.
Nigeria as a nation has been experiencing an accelerated shift of her populations from rural to urban areas. This rapid rate of urbanization has engendered several challenges and problems in urban planning development similar to situations in other parts of the world. The problems identified in Agenda (2010) are prevalent in Rivers state. Today’s Rivers city, according to Mabogunje (2012) is typified by substandard and inadequate housing, slums, and lack of infrastructure, transportation problems, low productivity, poverty, crime and juvenile delinquency. Urbanization, according to him is the root cause of the high rates of environmental degradation, pollution and social delinquency.
In order to address the problem of urban planning development and promote sustainable development, the United Nations Millennium Declaration was adopted in September 2000, committing countries both rich and poor to do all they can to eradicate poverty, promote human dignity and equality and achieve peace, democracy and environmental stability. The goals include those dedicated to eradicating poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development. Nigeria is a signatory to the Millennium Declaration and has a responsibility to implement the goals.
Various scholars have studied the challenges of urban planning development in Nigeria. Some of them include Falade (1999) whose study focused on the challenges of a sustainable Nigeria, Abumere (2002) whose research centered on urban governance and the challenges of urban poverty, Odeyemi (2002) who did a study on gender and urbanization and Olanrewaju (2003) who focused on sustainability and urban poverty.
However, since urban development occurs in a continuum, this paper focuses on the problems of urban planning development in Port Harcourt metropolis Rivers Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Urban planning development control is one of the measures applied by physical planning agencies, urban planners particularly, local planning authority. The urban planning has also been linked to poverty reduction and innovation. Almost universally, access to basic urban services such as health, education, water, sanitation and electricity are higher in urban areas than in rural areas and are higher in larger urban areas than in smaller urban areas.
With the increasing population explosions and massive rural-urban migration accompanying the urbanization process in the developing cities, global economic integration, increased international trade, capital flows, telecommunication, new waves of technologies, and shifts in the comparative advantage of production continue to play a central role in integrating major urban centers and shaping the spatial organization of the cities (Jiboye, 2010).
Oyesiku (2011) opined that the pressure created by population growth from natural increase and migration on little investment in infrastructure and services in Nigerian cities is indeed so great that declines in quality and quantity of these are inevitable. This emigrational factor often results to over urbanization, which constitutes a “strike back” effect on the environment. (Awosusi and Jegede 2013)
The study examines the problems of urban planning development and sustainability in Nigeria, and analyzes the implementation of some suggested ways targeted with emphasis on Port Harcourt metropolis Rivers state, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The aim of this project is to present a study on the problems of urban planning development in Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers state. Therefore, the specific objectives are as follows;
- To assess the level of urban planning development in Port Harcourt metropolis Rivers
- To find out the authorities involved in urban planning in Port Harcourt metropolis Rivers
- To find out the problems of urban planning development in Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers state
- To suggest ways that will help control and sustain urban planning development in Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers state.
1.4 Research questions
- What is the level of urban planning development in Port Harcourt metropolis Rivers?
- Who are the authorities involved in urban planning in Port Harcourt metropolis Rivers?
- What are the problems of urban planning development in Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers state?
- What are the ways that will help control and sustain urban planning development in Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers state?
1.5 Significance of the study
The importance of the study cannot be overemphasized. This is because the benefits accrued to sustainable urban planning and development can be felt when there is proper land use and urban planning.
Also, the authorities will be aware of the various problems and get solutions to them through this study.
This will benefit the public as they will live conveniently without complain of bad drainages, improper urban planning, adequate infrastructures etc.
Finally, it will benefit students who intends to carryout similar research as it will serve as a secondary material for the student.
1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
The study was carried out on problems of urban planning development in Rivers state. The study was limited to Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers state, Nigeria. During the execution of this study, the researcher were faced with different limitations such as financial constraints, time constraints and unavailability of data. But due to the researchers good management skills, he was able to overturn the limitations.
1.7 Organization of the study
The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
Conclusion and Recommendation
The challenges facing Nigeria, in terms of population growth, spatially expanding cities and provision of attendant infrastructure, against a backdrop of a changing climate and increased vulnerability, present both issues of policy and of delivery. This report has examined the land development and urban planning systems within Nigeria and highlighted examples of development taking place. The exercise has endeavoured to build a greater understanding of the dynamics of physical development in Nigerian cities and urbans.
In order to understand today’s situation, this report has revisited past practice and history. This contextualisation and presentation of change over time has enabled the complexity of access to land, formal planning systems and governance structures to be described. Through this, the current duality – in formal and informal terms – of land administration, urban planning and governance systems has been emphasised.
Contemporary planning practice recognises the iterative nature of planning both in the process of plan making and governance. The contribution that this research makes to the policy debate for Nigerian cities centres around developing a deeper picture of the development practice and relating this to future policy making.
There is a clear reform agenda emerging that needs to be supported to enable greater access to land and adequate provision of housing and infrastructure. The national urban development policy recognises the current deficiencies of what is deemed the ‘planning system’ and the need to develop the capacity of each tier of government.
As noted earlier in the report, the need for metropolitan scale planning, regional planning and cross-boundary cooperation is central to the sustainable future of Nigerian cities. In order to achieve inclusive development and maximise economic productivity, development should not take place in isolated islands or piecemeal. Rather, as the pace of urbanisation continues, policy makers will need to consider how to address existing deficits while at the same time allowing for growth and future demands.
The absence of an indigenous enabling law such as the urban and Regional Planning Law of 1992 was also another area of worry. The continuous use of the 1946 law at this period of national development is out of the question. This is not in tune with the newest urban development strategies such as the World Bank’s call for sustainable urban growth with opportunities for all and the adoption of the GIS as suggested by Okosun (2011). The recommendation of this study would go a long way standing the managers of the Rivers urban area in good stead for overall efficiency.
Based on an overview of this research of Rivers urban planning and urban Development, the following recommendations have been made for the overall improvement of the area:
- The concerned governments of the state (state and local) should make a vigorous attempt at emplacing adequate physical, economic and social infrastructure to match the teeming population in the Rivers urban. This can be achieved through the Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) process.
- Efforts should also be made by relevant ministries to consider the relative merits of alternative sites with regard to markets so as to carter for interregional movement patterns and potential expansion.
- The State Government should classify issues on urban development as real economic investment and decisive efforts to domesticate the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law in the state and also prepare a Master plan to guide development of the area.
- The new trends in urban development should be explored and adopted such as the World Bank’s agenda for green cities, inclusive cities, resilient cities, competitive cities and strong city systems and governance.
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