Managing Sustainable Development in Our Modern Cities: Issues and Challenges of Implementing Calabar Urban Renewal Programmes, 1999-2011

By Coker, Maurice Ayodele; Obo, Ugumanin Bassey et al. | Asian Social Science, October 2013 | Go to article overview

Managing Sustainable Development in Our Modern Cities: Issues and Challenges of Implementing Calabar Urban Renewal Programmes, 1999-2011


Coker, Maurice Ayodele, Obo, Ugumanin Bassey, Ugwu, Ude, Asian Social Science


Abstract

This paper examines the management of sustainable development of our modern cities. It understudies how such cites could evolve in such a manner that its sustainability now not mortgaged future existence. This has become vital taking into consideration the challenges posed by the formulation and implementation of Nigeria's urban development policies/programmes. Our case study is the urban renewal/development programme of Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State of Nigeria from 1999 to 2011. The question to ask is, is the policy substantive enough to generate rapid development of Calabar now without creating serious socioeconomic and political problems for the future? Such problems may include the bifurcation of the cities into affluent and destitute enclaves, environmental pollution and degradation, political and electoral violence and assassinations, and increase in the rates of inequality, unemployment and poverty. Survey of secondary data is adopted for generating necessary information for this study; with a view to assessing the extent to which our urban development policies have aided or otherwise the sustainable development of our cities in the following areas: more varied employment opportunities, improved access to housing services, improved public services, improved security against violence and conflicts, and the overall improved management of the development of cities. The paper concludes among others: that in most cases apart from the existence of vigorous city development strategy, the vast majority of the urban dwellers are not part of the policy formulation and implementation, there is distortion is policy interpretation and implementation, corruption and other related offences impacts negatively on policy formulation and implementation. To evolve sustainably developed cities in the Nigeria requires a conscious definition, management and handling of the problem issues noted above.

Keywords: sustainable urban development, urban renewal, sustainability, urban planning, modern cities, public policy

1. Introduction

This paper explores how cities could evolve in such a manner that its sustainability could be guaranteed, taking into cognizance the challenges of public policy formulation and implementation in Nigeria in general, and Cross River State in particular? Sustainable developments of cities are particularly confronted with the question of how such policies/programmes could adequately generate rapid development urban now without creating serious socioeconomic and geopolitical problems for the future generations. Such problems may include the bifurcation of the cities into affluent and destitute enclaves, proliferation of hooliganism, infrastructural decay, and social vices. Others include: environmental pollution and degradation, political and electoral violence and assassinations, and increase in the rates of inequality, housing, unemployment and poverty.

According to Gbadegesin et al. (2011) Cities are perceived "as the heart, the life blood of various civilizations, the epicenter of economic, political and artistic activities" (cited Spates & Macionis, 1987, p.57). Gbadegesin et al. avers cities have tended to attract people to them worldwide as more people prefer to reside in the cities. To Gomez and Salvador, a city is not an artificial construct as it is a set of habits, customs and lifestyles, whose elements Sepe (2006) believes are "interrelated and, and rather than viewed individually, there are subsumed in the identity of place and the identification of the city" (cited in Gbadegesin, 2011, p.57). Sepe further asserts that the contemporary city is characterized by complexity, simultaneity and instability which produce situations of transience and transformation. Consequently, the central problem is exploring how to cope with these crises arising from the ... mutations in the interpersonal relationships, and intergeneration gaps, technological development, mass migrations and globalization (which) have transformed to space in urban landscape; new type of place, and the utilization of existing space have modified (Gbadegesin et al. …

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