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Professionals canvass solutions to urban challenges 

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A chief lecturer in the department of urban and regional planning, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Dr. Philip Fagbohun, said a viable means to make Nigeria’s cities functional is to ensure provision of basic needs of life for residents.

Dr. Fagbohun said this during the institution’s inaugural lecture titled, “city of uncertainty: a traumatised living environment” which centered on urban households living conditions, accessibility to basic needs of life, such as housing, transport, power and potable water.

He urged the government to ensure affordable and quality housing for the people, stressing that housing is essential for a good life, and a key requirement for an efficient and satisfying labour force.

Fagbohun revealed that cities came into being as a result of urbanisation and are very important in human development, warning that the apparent lack of basic facilities is the root of cities’ challenges.

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According to him, cities and their agglomerations should be properly defined and carefully planned with all modes of transport utilised. He stated that there is a need for the adoption of the concept of a compact city, which will bring many activities together in a very small area.

“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 buildings should be properly regulated and managed to avoid elimination of residential land use from the city centers and reduce urban sprawl.”

The rector of the institution, Obafemi Omokungbe in his remarks said the guest lecturer has presented a contemporary work to demonstrate his research activities over the years in urban and regional planning.

Omokungbe said the presentation is an important contribution to knowledge and indeed fulfilled an academic obligation that would help in mitigating the challenges of cities.

“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”, he stated.

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