Dr Philip Fagbohun, a Chief lecturer in the Department of Urban Regional and Planning Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) has declared that the only viable solution to our cities challenges is to remove the uncertainty, through adequate provision of basic needs of life towards creating a functional global city.
Fagbohun made this declaration while delivering the 12th YABATECH Inaugural Lecture titled “CITY OF UNCERTAINTY: A TRAUMATISED LIVING ENVIRONMENT” which centred on the area of urban households living conditions, with a focus on accessibility to some basic needs of life, such as housing, transport, power and drinking water.
The first Planner to deliver an inaugural lecture in the history of YABATECH noted that housing is essential to the good life, a key requirement for an efficient and satisfying labour force. The effective transport system is the basis for determining how cities work and also plays an important role in socio-economic development. Streetlights facilitate free movement of people at night, prevent crime, help in security surveillance and promote social integration, while access to safe water is a universal need.
During the inaugural lecture which is first of its kind by a lecturer from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Fagbohun revealed that cities came into being as a result of urbanization and are very important in human development. An apparent lack of basic facilities is the root of cities challenges.
“The level of availability of the facilities has not afforded the urban residents the opportunity to maximize public goods consumption. Consequently, human activities have contributed inadequately to sustainable urban development. These have further increased poverty levels and polarized urban geographical space.
The lecturer postulated that the giant cities and their agglomerations should be properly defined and carefully planned, where all modes of transport would be utilized. There is a need for the adoption of the concept of a compact city, which will bring many activities together in a very small geographical area.
According to him, the self-build housing method which has become the major approach in resolving homeownership should be well coordinated. Since the building of cities and infrastructure is more complex, technological education should be encouraged. More hands should be attracted from the formal sector into housing provision. Change in the use of land and building should be properly regulated and managed to avoid the elimination of residential land use from the city centers and reduce urban sprawl.
“The National Housing Policy should be reviewed to make it mandatory for large scale employers to provide some staff accommodations around their premises. There is a need to exploit the opportunity provided by the technology in the facilities provision, particularly power supply in the area of solar energy. More funds should be made available for the provision of public infrastructure because they are a critical sector. There should be more compliance to the principle of transparency in the public expenditure and the principle of sustainability in the procurement of infrastructure. Through planning education, encouragement should be given to public participation in urban planning and development.”
The Rector of the institution, Engr. ObafemiOmokungbe who also serves as the chairman of the day in his closing remarks said that Fagbohun has successfully presented a contemporary work to demonstrate his research activities over the years in Urban and Regional Planning. He, therefore, commended him for a wonderful, interesting and thought-provoking lecture.
“I congratulate Dr Fagbohun for his brilliant lecture; he has made a worthy contribution to knowledge and indeed fulfilled an academic obligation. Well done and more grease to your elbow”.