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Advocacy for open planning system in Lagos

Lagos, Nigeria: Nigerian town planners should not insulate themselves from the importance and increased use of GIS data, remote sensing data and the Internet, according to a former president of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr. Waheed Kadiri. These facilitate the research and flow of information in urban growth and development and effective spatial planning, added Kadiri.

Speaking at the national conference in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos, he argued that for good governance, state authorities in Nigeria should adopt open planning process and sustainable land use systems.

Apart from infrastructural and urban services deficiency, he said the inadequacy of urban centres in Africa have been attributed to growing health and environmental crises, poor governance and weak municipal institutions and diminishing municipal revenue base.

Kadiri said, “Planners become very relevant because no matter what policy is enunciated to overcome the challenges they still end up being implemented on the ground. Proper utilisation of land is the only way we can have sustainable development. With the current trend of urbanisation we are moving away from towns to metropolitan areas and further to extended metropolitan region (EMR), which are metamorphosing into urban development corridor. We must face the new challenges, knowing that we cannot stop change. The only way open to us is to let planning be seen as a tool for good governance through an open planning process, making planning machinery accessible to the people and finally letting planning be fair and pro-poor.”

The impact of the new microelectronics based technologies on industries and their locations should also be given considerations in land use planning. New opportunities had also been thrown open for planning practice and academia by globalisation through the great flow of information which had resulted in the formation of global networks with the goal of sharing experiences and learning from case studies that can be adapted to local situations.

Source: All Africa