How Rapid Urbanisation, Neighbourhood Management Affects Living Conditions. A Survey of Agege Local Government Area, Lagos, Nigeria

By Ijasan, K. C.; Ogunro, V. O. | Journal of Sustainable Development, December 2014 | Go to article overview

How Rapid Urbanisation, Neighbourhood Management Affects Living Conditions. A Survey of Agege Local Government Area, Lagos, Nigeria


Ijasan, K. C., Ogunro, V. O., Journal of Sustainable Development


Abstract

This paper explores the issues around urbanisation, neighbourhood degeneration and its effects on the living condition on the residents of Agege area of Lagos, Nigeria. This paper traces the historical background of the area, examines the meaning of neighbourhood degeneration and explores factors responsible for neighbourhood degeneration.

The paper adopts quantitative data collection strategies of investigation, and compares these with past literature on the issue. From the survey of 120 households in the area, the study realized street hooliganism; destitution, bad roads and considerable inequality in the distribution of wealth as the greatest problems in the area. It concluded on the need for holistic approach by government to fast-track housing conditions improvement in the entire areas. Moreover, the redevelopment of the area needs to be community-led participatory planning where all stakeholders harness ideas that can be used to improve the present situation of the area.

Keywords: Agege LGA, degeneration, Lagos state, neighbourhood management, and rapid urbanization

1. Introduction

Urbanization in African cities can be seen as good news as literature shows that there is a positive correlation between development and urbanization. Rapid urbanization implies an 'uncontrolled' increase in the population of people living in urban centres is according to Allen (2009) arguably the most complex and important socio-economic phenomenon of the 20th and 21st centuries. This uncontrolled increase seems to be the current situation of many African cities.

Sustainable urbanization on the other hand is, 'a holistic approach to urban development and human settlements that provides for affordable housing and infrastructure and prioritizes slum upgrading and urban regeneration mobility' Memoire (2013). Allen (2009) identified Five (5) dimensions of urban sustainability as including social, economic, ecological, physical and political sustainability. According to the author, 'physical' sustainability can also be referred to as 'built environment sustainability'. This concerns the capacity of an intervention to enhance the liveability of buildings and urban infrastructures or 'all' city dwellers without damaging or dismpting the urban region environment.

In the Nigerian context, Jiboye (2011) ascertained that various national programs such as the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy NEEDS and other home grown interventions have yielded insignificant results at best as existing realities show a lot of disparities between policy and reality. The urbanization challenges have worsened the living environment in many cities in Nigeria just like it exists in many African countries. Onibokun and Faniran (1995) highlighted some of the problems of urbanization in Nigeria. They particularly emphasized 'declining quality of life' and lack of infrastructure in urban areas. Henderson (2002) also observed that whereas in developed countries, urbanization is usually at a comparatively slow pace, in the developing nations, urbanization occurs at galloping pace. In recent times, the UN Systems Task Team (2014) proposes that major concerns of urbanization are shifting to issues like urban poverty, compounded by the rise of the 'new poor' particularly in cities of industrial economies. Also that the rising inequality in many parts of the world will generate tension and even conflict whose focus will be in cities and towns. In the light of the aforementioned, this work narrows down on the problem of neighbourhood degeneration and its effects on residents. It focuses on the perception of residents of a degenerated neighbourhood and explores how the physical condition of their community impacts on their lives. According to Oshinubi (2003), there is a connection between urban poverty, unplanned urbanization and other critical problems such as deteriorating living conditions, increasing rates of deaths and diseases caused by pollution and poor sanitation which are results of neighbourhood degeneration. …

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