Formative and Summative Evaluation of Crowding and Space Adequacy on Physical Well-Being

Johnson, B. M. ; Iweka, A. C. (2019-03-01)

Staff publications

Article

Improving the quality of new and older housing stock in urban centres is vital for building capacity in residential provision and raising wellbeing standards since the bubonic plague of 1928 in Lagos. The unrestrained rural-urban influx of this boisterous pre-colonial period led to recurrent crowding and spatial residential inadequacies. Though this health challenge were consequences of poor planning, it prompted consistent reactions and policy promulgation by way of Acts on housing and health by the successive administrations. This paper evaluates the formative and summative challenges of crowding and spatial adequacy in informal housing neighbourhoods on urbanites’ physical wellbeing. Using a multi-level approach, a case study, structured survey, and observational evaluation of Somolu, a residential neighbourhood of Metropolitan Lagos was carried out. Findings revealed that the crowding index of 6.5 is higher than the 1995/96 National Population Commission survey, 85-90% of the houses built before 1985, 78% of the 350 household surveyed expressed indoor spatial inadequacy. Neighbourhood assessment revealed that physical features like assessable open spaces, parks, wide enough walkways, good sewerage system and natural ambience that are beneficial to physical well-being of residents were not integrated into neighbourhood jurisdictions. The combined summative effect of these factors revealed a low PERMA-adapted physical well-being level at 15.2%. This study advocates that reducing crowding index, revitalization of residential neighbourhoods through design-led integration of physical well-being indicators in localities will bring improvement and enhance quality of life of vulnerable communities.