The Eastern Zonal Assembly (EZA) of the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has called for the establishment and maintenance of relevant institutions, such as town planning authorities, planning board and tribunals.
They also made case for the preparation and implementation of necessary hierarchy of plans, such as state, regional physical development plan, urban master plans and district/neighbourhood plans.
They, however, reiterated that though the consequences of suburbanisation may seem daunting, evidences have shown that a combination of the above policies will help ameliorate them without compromising developments.
The zone comprising nine states, namely: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Beyalsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers States met in Umuahia, Abia state capital last week, to examine their professional practice and infrastructure development trend under the theme: ‘The Imperative For The Planning And Management Of Suburbanization: The Abia Experience.”‘
Earlier, NITP Abia State chapter Chairman, Stephen Nwazue, advised colleagues to proffer solution to the flooding ravaging parts of the state.
Also, the Chairman of the EZA, Emma Ifemedebe, stressed the need for the members / participants to contribute actively in the effective discharge of their professional duties in various states towards uplifting and sustaining town planning practices.
Speaking on the theme, NITP past president, Lekwa Ezutah, said suburbanisation involves a population shift from the central urban areas into the suburbs. He highlighted characteristics of suburbanisation as undefined edge between urban and rural areas, leapfrogging patterns of organic development, engulfing surrounding settlement, haphazard and uncoordinated development.
Others characteristics, he said, included lack of basic infrastructure, massive presence of low-density single family dwellings, consuming large tracks of lands, juxtaposition of incompatible land uses and automobile dependency.
Ezutah recommended long-term and short-term measures for the control of suburbanisation. He said, there should be a balanced development of the state at both urban and rural areas to stem the rate of migration into the cities, as well as activation of physical planning machinery laws and regulations in the short- medium term.
“Every state must ensure that the law is domesticated, while those that already had the laws, should implement them,” he added.