Effect of Rapid Urbanization on Housing

Topics: Urban area, Urbanization, Lagos Pages: 7 (2257 words) Published: March 30, 2013

THE IMPACT OF RAPID URBANIZATION ON HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA FROM 1950 -2010 (Focus on urban developments and housing problems case study: Lagos) Urbanization according to Aluko O.E is rather subjective and can be given various interpretations. However in this concept it can be defined as the expansion of the number of people living in an urban area that depicts the rate at which people move from rural areas and populate the urban areas. Reports however, from the united nation show that the population at the urban centres has multiplied four times its initial growth since 1960 and would have risen to a projected number of about 5 billion in the year 2030. Report also has it that over 70 per cent of these populations would settle in cities and towns. Following independence, many administrative centres experienced major unplanned rapid urbanization .The ripple effect of these on cities being the core of urban development is enormous especially on the housing development which has eventually resulted in overcrowding, inadequate dwellings, deplorable urban environment, degrading public infrastructure, and to an extreme, “outright homelessness” (Adesoji David Jiboye, 2011) . Nonetheless, According to Femi Olokesusi, 2011 quoting Onibokun et. al. (1987) and Onibolun and Kumuyi (1999), assert that various political and socio-economic factors have resulted in rapid growth of urban population resulting in informal settlements, poor housing and slums in Nigeria. The rate of influx of people into major cities has been so high that the pace of settlement development and housing provision could not accommodate them. Since they must have shelter, all forms of informal procedures are adopted to provide housing. This has resulted in non-compliance with physical planning regulations and development control standards. Thus there have been cases of incompatibility of land use activities, overcrowding (due to high occupancy ratio, high density of development), poor construction standards (due to use of substandard building materials and construction methods), and ill-serviced dwelling Units, among others.The impact of rapid population growth however, on urban development and conditions is far more than merely a demographic or quantitative one especially on housing development as a whole which is a direct consequence of the push of the rural areas and the pull of the town.

Current studies however indicate that the impact of rapid urbanization in terms of housing is revealed both in its quantity and quantity such that the little number of available houses is being overloaded infrastructurally and spatially leading to a reduction in the level of comfort and a rapid development in the number of slums being created and the level of substandard houses being built in an unplanned and unhealthy environment. However, the level of impact on the adequacy of housing has been compounded particularly by the high rate of population growth, through influx of immigrants, exaggerated real estate values etc. Nonetheless, housing according to Aduwo 2011, Daramola 2006 et al is the measure of the level of housing inadequacy and its quality. According to pelu Awofeso, one out of every two Nigerians now live in a city leaving limited infrastructure to be engulfed by millions of individuals. In his report he stated that 16 million housing units would have to be provided to address the shortage in urban shelters since the inflow of people supersedes the rate at which affordable housing is being constructed. Housing however, according to Abbas Olukunmi Owoade, 2007 quoting Tannerfeldt and Ljung ‘06)does not only relate to provision of houses but also basic infrastructure of a neighbourhood as well as schools clinics , recreational facilities and other amenities.

The city of Lagos was first inhibited before the 15th century and grew from a typical small fishing and farming settlement due to certain factors such as, the...
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