AIHS 2020: Nigerian Institute of Town Planners Harps On Urban Planning

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners has stated that urban planning is a strategic approach for addressing the challenges of covid-19.

The group made the remark on Thursday at the ongoing virtual Abuja International Housing Show. In a special session allocated to the association, they harped on “Urban planning and Livability Imperatives for post covid-19 Nigeria”.

The Association succinctly averred that Covid-19 is primarily an urban problem and “we have also seen that it is an urban planning challenge” that needs to be tackled as such.

In the session which had a former President of the Association, Steve Onu in attendance, the Association x-rayed the toping using planning administration, planning regulation, planning education, urban governance and the over ranking issue of housing.

Speaking at the session in what was an iconic presentation, Professor of Urban Planning at the Nasarawa State University, Timothy Gyuse emphasized that governance is key to unlocking a better urban future that “we aspire”.

In his concise presentation, the Urban Planning expert enumerated the following impact of Urban Development:

  • Lack of clear urban areas and jurisdictions leads to lack of urban development
  • Nigerian towns are expanding uncontrollably, resulting in sprawl and strain on infrastructure
  • Projects in themselves are not development, development is directed change. Housing which is the largest land use sector in the city is equally affected
  • Projects such as housing are located and executed based more on hope rather than need or demand resulting in over supply in some areas and undersupply in others.
  • Effective governance provide real data, streamline processes, shorten process time and deliver dividends to urban dwellers
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He concluded by stating the following as the way forward:

  • Decide what future we want for our towns and cities if we don’t, they will decide and impose their problems
  • Define and formally classify all nucleated settlements into villages, towns and cities.
  • Recognize towns and cities as legislative units of administration and a form of local governance and offer appropriate autonomy in specified areas for each level and type of settlement
  • Provide appropriate legislative backing for these reforms that could free up the energy of the city to become engines rather than consumers of development
  • The local government administration structure can be adopted for settlement administration with charges in nomenclature for office holders.

Founded in 1966, NITP has steadily grown into Africa’s leading community of Urban Planners. The body is committed to shaping the future of cities around the world through the following objectives: “The advancement of public awareness of the importance of the living and working environments and the necessity for their protection; the Advancement of Town Planning education, training, research and practice; the dissemination of Town Planning information through conference, seminars, meetings, exhibitions and publications; the establishment and enforcement of a code of professional practice and conduct for town Planning practitioners in Nigeria”.

“The protection of the practice of the profession and the welfare of those practicing it. The acquisition and disposal of landed properties and other assets and the raising of funds where necessary, for the purpose of carrying out the objectives. The acceptance of any gift, endowment or bequest to or for the Institute and the carrying on of any trust attached to such gifts, endowment or bequest. The doing of all such other lawful things as may be associated with or maybe incidental or conducive to the furtherance of Town Planning in Nigeria”.

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The Association is currently being led by Tpl. Lekwa Ezutah.