- The Growth of middle and high Income informal Settlements in Port Harcourt, the Factors causing this Trend and the Challenges this poses for urban Management    click here to open paper content84 kb
by    Owei, Opuenebo & Ikpoki, Mabel | obo_owei@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper presents the emerging informality in urban settlements development in Port Harcourt especially on the urban periphery. It argues that the decisions that determine this growth are made outside the formal processes of public planning.
Port Harcourt, like many cities in less developed counties was a colonial creation. The well laid out neighbourhoods of the colonial and immediate post colonial eras were developments that were based on the introduction of town planning as a statutory function. Land was usually acquired by compulsory purchase. These were the times of the Government Reservation Areas (GRAs) and the many site and service schemes for private development. However, rapid urban growth and expansion placed intense pressure on available land and caused local land owning communities to begin to resist such acquisitions and to sell directly to individual developers. Such sales were outside the control of governmental authorities. Additionally, the rapid increases in property rents occasioned by the city's phenomenal growth as the oil capital of Nigeria, forced many middle and high income households to decide not to rent but to build. Even properties typically developed for low income households were converted and redeveloped thus fuelling gentrification.This further encouraged urban expansion. Such processes were occuring largely outside the formal process of land use control. The weak institutional structure, and absence of adequate regulatory frameworks, could not give an appropriate response to control such growth. The long delays in getting plans approved and the failure of the public sector to provide urban services within a physical framework that could guide such developments led to chaotic development often associated with low income settlements.Within these settlements, access roads are incidental to the actaul construction of houses and service linnes are absent for water supply, drainage and waste disposal. Most households generate their own water, power and sanitaion services. The kernel of the study is to examine how the factors underlying this trend have interacted to promote this increasing informality,to explain the implications this has for managing urban growth and to propose that new tools for urban management are urgently required if the city is to function properly.
Inforaml settlements, urban growth management,
click here to open paper content  Click to open the full paper as pdf document
click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper  Click to send an email to the author(s) of this paper