Designing for Sustainable Communities: The Abuja Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria
The planned Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria - Abuja is the context of this research. Abuja was conceived and conceptualised under a Master Plan designed by Kenzo Tange and Utec to replace Lagos as the new Capital City for the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1977. This came about because of the unstructured and unplanned facilities characteristically evident in buildings, communities and some critical infrastructure in Lagos. These have combined, with the rapid rates of urbanisation, and relative to lack of supporting infrastructure and services, to render Lagos as one of the most overcrowded and dysfunctional cities in the world. Housing shortages, urban sprawl, traffic congestion, overburdened and dilapidating physical infrastructures and services, and poor quality environment have become the defining characteristics of Lagos. These were the issues that forced the idea of relocating the Capital City elsewhere in the country that resulted in Abuja’s selection as the New Capital City for Nigeria in 1977. Kenzo Tange Associates, an authority in urban design was appointed that resulted in a Master Plan to guide the development of the new city. The resultant Master Plan was designed with the specific peculiarities of Lagos in mind to avoid reoccurrence, although, the concept of environmental sustainability and development was not the preoccupation of urban design and planning in the 1970s, Abuja Master Plan incorporated the concepts, principles, and practice of sustainable development today. Nevertheless, the implementation of the Abuja Master Plan has drawn consternation from built environment professionals. Anecdotal evidences exist to suggest that Abuja is rapidly incubating all the urban problems experienced in Lagos in the 1970s. Sequel to the above therefore, this thesis aims to develop a conceptual framework that will enable Abuja develop into a 21st century functional and resilient City of sustainable communities. The view pushed in this thesis is that not only does sustainable approach to design, implementation and management of urban communities holds huge capacity for bridging urban inequalities and prudent resource management; it holds the key to the survival of cities. The main aim of the research; to produce a conceptual framework to guide the development of Abuja Capital Territory into a 21st Century City of Sustainable Communities. To accomplish this aim, a mixed method of research methodology has been used for data gathering, an approach informed by the epistemological and ontological positioning of the researcher. Data obtained were analysed using the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSSx) and the results resulted in a conceptual model illustrating ‘the road map’ to sustainable community development approach to Abuja in becoming a 21st century sustainable city. The study has successfully highlighted and resolved key issues centred around the sustainability of Abuja. It has also answered fundamental questions of whether Abuja can, and how it can develop into a 21st Century City of Sustainable Communities. Therefore, it is expected that the conceptual framework which is the outcome of this research becomes a reference manual to both urban decision makers, built environment professionals, and other stakeholders in planning the development of Abuja Capital Territory into a 21st Century City of Sustainable Communities.
- PhD