Explorative Windows towards Contemporary Nigerian City Form

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Adejumo, T. O.
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Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos
At the centre of urban sustainability is city form which addresses the physical characteristics of human settlement including spatial configuration, shape, coverage and developmental density. The reality on ground is that the present chaotic urban sprawl cannot sustain Nigeria as an emerging economy. Historiography as an interpretive research strategy was considered in comprehending dynamic 150 years national urban morphological principles. The paper explored historic antecedence to arrive at developmental windows that should be manipulated in achieving contemporary city form. The paper identified triple waves of developmental principles between 1861 and 2014 responsible for the current Nigerian urban form including the principle of urban centres as ‘produce marketing nodes’, ‘dual urbanism’ and ‘tropical architecture modernism’. Experience from history identified re-introduction of city wedge, vertical urbanism, culture driven public realm and low carbon technology as possible city form explorative windows. The use of natural edge and urban population ceiling influenced by ecological foot print were suggested for new cities. Exploration of pre colonial container features to redefine green belts around the component villages and townships that constituted sprawling metropolitan centres were considered as appropriate city wedge formulae. Planning policies that support intensification through vertical development on defined urban scale model are variants for built up areas. Public realm should be driven by architectural principles with inbuilt capability to narrate meaningful history, cultural affiliation and legible facades especially at the central business district. Since urban sprawl is automobile transportation dependent, the paper also recommended anti-sprawl principle that should emphasize clustering of low carbon public realm activities.
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City form , City Wedge , Public realm , Vertical urbanism , Compact City , Research Subject Categories::TECHNOLOGY::Civil engineering and architecture
Adejumo, T. O. (2014). Explorative Windows towards Contemporary Nigerian City Form. Journal of Urban and Regional Planning Review. University of Lagos. Lagos, 5(1), 92-105.