Urban renewal is most often undertaken to make life safe, more secure and comfortable to the urban dwellers, to attract wealthier individuals to live in that area or to boost economic base or activities in that area. Urban renewal which may be also known as urban redevelopment is a veritable social gentrification technique. The bursting rate of urbanization has been one of the major issues/challenges which many national and local government authorities in developing nations/economies have to grapple with. The main challenges of urbanization in most urban cities are acute shortage of shelter/housing, waste/garbage disposal, traffic jams or congestion and the deplorable state of the roads in some instances, flooding, crime and other social vices. Others include increase in demand for urban services namely- housing, education, public health and a generally decent living environment, loss of biodiversity and green house, warming, desertification, degradation of agricultural land, air and water pollution, environmental decay, slums, insanitation, overcrowding, housing congestion, crime and violence, etc. Nigeria urban centres are characterized by a dominant feature which is degrading state of the physical environment. The steps involved in urban renewal include planning, sensitization/consultation of the citizens or public hearing, land acquisition (revocation of rights of occupancy), displacement and relocation, site improvement and supporting facilities/infrastructure, disposition of improved land and new construction/development. Effective urban renewal actions are inevitable in our contemporary urban cities if our cities would compare with those of the developed economies or comparable developing economies. To this effect, specific policy issues and strategies should be put in place and conscientiously pursued and implemented. The paper concluded by putting up suggestions to address the issues and challenges to our urban cities renewal efforts and they include good and effective governance, enhanced infrastructural development, keying into international and national sustainable developmental programme, public-private partnership strategy (PPPS). The leading role of the estate surveyor and valuer involved in the valuation/assessment of the purchase price or the amount of compensation payable to each claimant is also highlighted in ensuring a successful urban renewal programme.
Optimizing the Concept of Place-Making as a Panacea for Informality in Urban Areas of Developing Countries. (Published)
Informal settlements are pervasive in urban areas of developing countries. They dominate a greater percent of the cities and are characterized by poor infrastructure supply, degraded environment and poverty. Most revitalization efforts ignored informality and so fail. Yet the essence of informality speaks of the indomitable will and perseverance of the urban poor to partake in formality in the face of lack of infrastructure, services and amenities. Within this essence of informality is contained some design elements that have been used as catalyst to trigger change in place-making in some parts of the world. These elements, though untested in developing countries, have been found to work as facilitators of change in developed countries. Place-making is a concept where social and political processes are used to create value and meaning in a particular setting. This paper therefore explores the existing principles of informality found in African settlements, and compares them to urban design elements that have facilitated revitalization in developed countries with a view to making a case for the use of place-making as a possible initial approach for shaping informality in developing countries.
URBAN RENEWAL AND SECURITY ISSUES (Published)
Urban renewal involves the application of urban upgrading techniques which have been developed for the treatment of urban obsolescence. Urban renewal theories provide four main approaches with which to address urban renewal challenges namely redevelopment, rehabilitation/renovation, conservation, and revitalization. Application of redevelopment and rehabilitation/renovation techniques, which are not mutually exclusive options, more often than not involve displacement of occupiers. The displaced persons are often helpless and subjected to series of shocks. This situation raises issue of tenure security because unless the slum dwellers are protected by security arrangements, the less privileged households who are mainly the slum residents must always suffer during any slum clearance programme. This paper therefore recommends slum citizen dislocation insurance, eviction pension, relocation microfinance grants, social welfare funds and the use of the provisions of 1978 landuse decree and the declaration of human rights provisions as an authority to guarantee the tenure security of slum dwellers during urban renewal programmes as security packages to cushion the residents’ shock during urban renewal programmes.