The Residual Influence Of Colonial Planning Ordinances On The Divided City Conundrum In Nigeria

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Olamide Martins Olaniyan


Spatial inequalities permeate cityscapes across the world with varying magnitudes. Deeply entrenched fault lines of inequality manifest in the divided city conundrum witnessed in prominent cities in Nigeria. City scapes are inundated with pockets of isolated sectorial neighbourhoods for the rich and poor within the same municipal boundary. Although, segregation is typified by economic and social class, the foundations of these fault lines were engrained by colonial planning ordinances which abrogated different standards for European and Native areas. A synopsis of colonial planning ordinances in Nigeria with the searchlight upon the segregatory enactments embellished and propelled by these promulgations was corroborated with key informant interview of town planning administrators. This brought to the fore the discriminatory approach of colonial planning standards and its creation of divided cities with distinct European and Native areas. Analytical review of post-colonial planning regulations indicate a futile non-departure from the segregatory nuances of colonial ordinances. In place of racial segregation imposed by colonial ordinances, reinforcement of spatial inequalities along socio- economic dimensions has been entrenched post-independence. Moving forward, this paper advocates a strategic trajectory towards inclusivity through a review of extant physical planning and land use laws to address the multifarious constructs of spatial inequalities inherent in Nigerian cityscapes.


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