A senior lecturer in the Department of Urban Regional and Planning, Yaba College of Technology, YABATECH, Dr. Philips Fagbohun, has revealed that the only viable solution to cities challenges was to remove the uncertainty, through adequate provision of basic needs of life towards creating a functional global city.
Delivering the 12th YABATECH Inaugural Lecture entitled “City of Uncertainty: UNCERTAINTY: A traumatised living environment,” Fagbohun noted that cities came into being as a result of urbanisation and are very important in human development.
He explained that apparent lack of basic facilities such as housing, transport, power and drinking water were the root of cities challenges.
According to him, housing, a key requirement for an efficient satisfied labour force, and effective transport system are basis for determining how cities work and also play important roles in socio-economic development.
He added that streetlights facilitated free movement of people at night, prevent crime, help in security surveillance and promote social integration, while access to safe water is a universal need.
“The level of availability of the facilities has not afforded the urban residents the opportunity to maximise public goods consumption.
“Consequently, human activities have contributed inadequately to sustainable urban development. These have further increased poverty level and polarised urban geographical space,” he said.
According to Vanguard, the lecturer postulated that the giant cities and their agglomerations should be properly defined and carefully planned, where all modes of transport would be utilised.
There is a need for the adoption of the concept of compact city, which will bring many activities together in a very small geographical area.
Dr. Philips Fagbohun said, the “self-build housing method which has become the major approach in resolving homeownership should be well coordinated.
“Since the building of cities and infrastructure is more complex, technological education should be encouraged.
“More hands should be attracted from the formal sector into housing provision.
“Change in the use of land and building should be properly regulated and managed to avoid elimination of residential land use from the city centers and reduce urban sprawl.
“The National Housing Policy should be reviewed to make it mandatory for large scale employers to provide some staff accommodations around their premises.
“There is a need to exploit the opportunity provided by the technology in the facilities provision, particularly power supply in the area of solar energy.
“More funds should be made available for the provision of public infrastructure because they are critical sector.
“There should be more compliance to the principle of transparency in the public expenditure and the principle of sustainability in the procurement of infrastructure.
“Through planning education, encouragement should be given to public participation in urban planning and development.” He added.
The Rector of the institution, Engr. Obafemi Omokungbe who also served as the chairman of the day in his closing remarks, said that Fagbohun has successfully presented a contemporary work to demonstrate his research activities over the years in Urban and Regional Planning.
He, therefore, commended him for a wonderful, interesting, a thought-provoking lecture.
“I congratulate Dr. Fagbohun for his brilliant lecture; he has made a worthy contribution to knowledge and indeed fulfilled an academic obligation.
“Well done and more grease to your elbow,” Omokungbe added.