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URBANIZATION PROCESS AND CHANGING LANDSCAPE PATTERN A CASE STUDY OF GWAGWA LAND AREA COUNCIL (F.C.T)

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1             BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

In recent years urbanization has been rapid particularly in the less develop countries. Town and suburban areas have been experiencing high concentration of people. This has led to the increase in the population of these areas, as well as demand for space for housing, infrastructures, business i.e. transportation and the general transformation of the towns, urban areas and cities.

Urbanization as the name implies has very close connection with development making it a phenomenon that attracts people particularly from rural areas to urban centres. However, urbanization is driving the economics of most nations of the world especially developed nations. The living of people in the cities offers them varieties of opportunities to have access to jobs and good services.

According to Mitchell (1976) Urbanization can be viewed as the process of becoming urban, moving to cities changing from agriculture to other pursuit common to cities and corresponding changing of behavior pattern.

Little (1974) noted that Urbanization also entails a particular form of process relating to the growth or development of the urban centers (towns, cities etc).

Hardoy (1995) viewed that Urbanization process and changing landscape pattern of cities is associated with tremendous increase in population and facilities around the world deep and irrevocable social changes that alter all the sector of the society. Natural increase in population (excess of birth replace over death) and migration to urban area are two factors said to influence rapid growth of urban areas. Migration both internal and international contributes to urbanization. Migration is often explained in terms of either “push factors” condition in the place of origin or pull factors” better opportunities push factors which are perceived by migrants as detrimental and pull factors as opportunities in new places that attracts individuals to move there. On the other hand, pull factors include job opportunities or moving to a better climate. Examples of push factors include high unemployment and political persecution.

Kobi (1998) argued that Urbanization is all about changes in general transformation of land cover and land-use categories. The urban sectors of any country is never static, it changes over time. In fact, as days and years ago, the urban landscape is altered Development as well as growth in infrastructural amenities affects the land use/land cover. The Federal Capital territory (Abuja) is not an exception since the creation in 1976.

Ago (2001) argued that before the creation of FCT (Abuja) and subsequent gradual movement to the area almost everywhere was covered with rock’s, vegetation, bare land and little water bodies.

Mabogunje (2001) confirm that with the gradual development (growth) and the movement of the Federal Capital Territory from Lagos to Abuja, it gave the Abuja and Gwagwalada a new look with a promise performance and prospect.

Rikko (2000) observed that in more recent years, the rate of land development in urban areas especially the federal capital territory Abuja has been accelerating. Land consumption by construction and urban development has continuously expanded. The physical manifestations of the rapid rate of urbanization and uncontrolled population growth coupled with increases in the socio-economic and political activities have led to competition for land for various uses. This has influenced large urban sprawl and changes in urban land uses that result in an increase built up land in various areas.

Unfortunately, as a result of social and economic transformation of the urban centre the opportunities of urbanization are lost due to inadequate planning, housing and infrastructural services.

According to Shektar (2001) The phenomenon of urban sprawl in the FCT is very severe and the tendency of scattered development and sprawling growth has been observed with serious propensity to impede the sustainable growth and development of the settlement in the regions and in deed the modernization process of the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) amount to sprawling and land conversion.

Abinnbola (2008) noted that, the inability of the administrating and planning machinery to visualize sprawl growth of the probable areas and lack of appropriate spatial information and indicator provide no frame work for a clearer vision of growth of the communities. Since the process of urbanization denote the spread of infrastructure such as roads, housing, planning and educational institutions. These infrastructure take over land space in the urban centre and changes the pattern of landscape as well.

In contrast, it must be admitted that urbanization has it’s big draw back “demerit” such as pollution. As more and more people leave villages and forms to live in cities, the number of factories and automobiles is also increasing this leads to massive emission of harmful gases and smokes from factories and personal vehicles.

Gana (2014) noted that, as recent studies indicate two or three people are more likely to suffer from allergies and respiratory problems due to the polluted air that covers the city. The natural habitants of flora and fauna for a lot of forested areas are also destructed because new residential areas need to be constructed for the increasing number of urban inhabitants. In light of the above assertion, this study will examine urbanization process and changing landscape pattern in Gwagwalada Area Council of FCT (Abuja).                            

1.2             STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

In the urban centre in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory FCT (Abuja) in particular, the development council areas such as Gwagwalada has been experiencing rapid urbanization due to immigration and natural increase.

However, there is no adequate official effort or deliberate official efforts to control urbanization or urban growth of these areas. In the absence of any effective measure to reduce the risk of rural and urban migration in Nigeria, there is hardly a guarantee that the population and rural size of the sprawling urban areas such as Gwagwalada can be controlled.

More so the Gwagwalada Area Council is yet to have concrete evidence of land use and planning of land areas such as green belt, urban physical planning practice or urban land policy restricting housing constructions, room occupancy and population densities. In the absence of these and similar control measures and of a different but clearly defined and operationalized urban use control measures by government it would be difficult to escape from the conclusion that the country’s urbanization policy is hardly any more than a window dressing.

This study will examine urbanization process and changing landscape pattern in Gwagwalada Area Council (FCT).

1.3             RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research question shall guide the study.

i.                   How does urbanization process change landscape pattern in urban area such as Gwagwalada Area Council (FCT)?

ii.                 To what extent has urbanization process affects changing landscape pattern in Gwagwalada?

iii.              What is the impact of urbanization on the provision of infrastructural facilities in the urban area of Gwagwalada?

iv.               Are there likely landscape problems that result from urbanization in Gwagwalada Area Council (FCT)?

 

 

1.4             OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of the study is to examine urbanization process and changing landscape pattern in Gwagwalada Area Council (FCT).

The specific objective area to:

i.                   Examine the process of urbanization and changing landscape pattern in the urban area Gwagwalada (FCT)

ii.                 Investigate the effects of urbanization and changing landscape pattern in Gwagwalada Area Council

iii.              Assess the impact of urbanization on the provision of infrastructural facilities in the urban centre of Gwagwalada.

iv.               Identify landscape pattern as a result of urbanization in Gwagwalada Area Council (FCT).

1.5             SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will intends to provide valuable data which will be useful to the urban centres in Nigeria, such as Federal Capital Territory FCT Abuja, as a whole and Gwagwalada Area Council in particular. This is because most of our urban areas in Nigeria especially in Gwagwalada Area Council faced with rapid urbanization and natural increases due to rural urban migration sprawl. Therefore, the data will be helpful if used by urban physical planning officials or urban land policy makers in formulating and implementing appropriate policy and program of any urbanization process and changing landscape in urban areas of Gwagwalada Area Council. The study will inform the government and the public on the magnitude of the urban landscape pattern. The study will aims in providing more knowledge on the effects of urban problems and landscape patter. However, the study shell also been of value in promoting awareness or enlightment especially to researchers, students and the general public. The study will contribute to sociological research and finding in the existing literature on the subject matter. This will assist toward better understanding of the urbanization as a process and it’s weakness that endangers development on land use in urban centre of Nigeria, with a special focus on Gwagwalada Area Council.

The findings from this study and its recommendations will assist social researchers, the schools, the state and federal government in providing solution to problem of urbanization process and changing landscape pattern in Gwagwalada Area Council and the Society at large.

1.6             SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The focus of the study will examine urbanization process and changing landscape pattern in Gwagwalada Area Council (FCT). The study is limited to Gwagwalada town. The study covers about three (3) major areas of the town which include Angwar Azara, Kutunku, and S.D.P Road. The study chooses these areas because they have been experiencing urban sprawl (high concentration of people). This led to the demand space for housing, infrastructures and business. i.e transport and communication  

1.7             DEFINITION OF TERMS

Urbanization: This is a particular form of process relating to growth or development of the urban centres (towns, cities etc).

Urbanization: Also denote the process of becoming urban, moving to cities changing from agriculture to other pursuit common to cities and corresponding changing of behavior pattern.

Urbanization Process: Is a population shift from rural to urban area and the way in which society adapt to the change in a vast scale. It is the increasing proportion of population that lives in the cities.

Infrastructure: Implies the basic system and services that are necessary for a country or an organization to run smoothly, for example building, electricity, housing, transport, road, pipe water, drainage, sewage, telecommunication and waste disposal.

Landscape: This usually means everything you can see when you look across a large area of land especially in the country side area i.e improvement in the appearance of an area of land by changing the design.

Landscape Changing: Refers to changes that have occurred to the land areas due to planning of houses, infrastructure and the environment.

Landscape Pattern: is an act of designing arranging or modifying the features of land that is urban areas. It can also be seen as any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land.

Interpersonal Relation: This refers to the individual personal relationship with other. In other words it is the individual personal interaction with other members in the society as well as his family members. 

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