Realism in Urban Beautification: A Landscape Architectural Perspective
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Obiefun, J. N.
Department of Architecture
Landscape Architecture is the art of designing on land to meet man’s functional and aesthetic needs. It has been an area of endeavor whose potential in improving urban environment is hugely unexploited in Nigeria. The theoretical orientation of the discipline by mid 20th Century were the concepts of ‘ecological and sustainable design’, well before sustainability became a global paradigm. Historically also, the contribution of landscape design to urban beautification evolved from private gardens for nobility to the ‘garden city’ concept through ‘city beautiful movement to the McHargian principle of ‘Design with Nature’. Previous attempts at urban beautification in Nigeria, especially Lagos were largely during the colonial era when the Europeans adopted the ‘garden style’ for places where they lived such as Ikoyi and the GRAs’. The rest of ‘African quarters’ were designed in a grid iron form with very little provision for green space, landscaping or large-scale beautification. Since then, efforts at city beautification especially in Lagos, have only been half-hearted. Landscape design is crucial in meeting the Millennium Development Goal of building ecologically sustainable cities in Nigeria through urban beautification. Landscape elements act as carbon sink helping to clean up the air and recycle water, both of which are basic life support for urban and rural dwellers. This paper examines the historical contribution of landscape design to urban beautification through two case studies, one foreign and one in Lagos. Subsequently it articulates suggestions toward enabling policy makers and private sector stakeholders to adopt a more holistic approach to urban beautification of Nigerian cities.
Urban beautification , Landscape architecture , Landscape design , Landscape History , Millennium Development Goals , Lagos
Obiefuna, J. N. & Uduma-Olugu, N. (2016). Realism in Urban Beautification: A Landscape Architectural Perspective. Lagos Journal of Architecture, 2, 19-35.