2021-04-21Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/land10050443
Key Challenges for Land Use Planning and Its Environmental Assessments in the Abuja City-Region, Nigeria
Land use planning as strategic instruments to guide urban dynamics faces particular challenges in the Global South, including Sub-Saharan Africa, where urgent interventions are required to improve urban and environmental sustainability. This study investigated and identified key challenges of land use planning and its environmental assessments to improve the urban and environmental sustainability of city-regions. In doing so, we combined expert interviews and questionnaires with spatial analyses of urban and regional land use plans, as well as current and future urban land cover maps derived from Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing. By overlaying and contrasting land use plans and land cover maps, we investigated spatial inconsistencies between urban and regional plans and the associated urban land dynamics and used expert surveys to identify the causes of such inconsistencies. We furthermore identified and interrogated key challenges facing land use planning, including its environmental assessment procedures, and explored means for overcoming these barriers to rapid, yet environmentally sound urban growth. The results illuminated multiple inconsistencies (e.g., spatial conflicts) between urban and regional plans, most prominently stemming from conflicts in administrative boundaries and a lack of interdepartmental coordination. Key findings identified a lack of Strategic Environmental Assessment and inadequate implementation of land use plans caused by e.g., insufficient funding, lack of political will, political interference, corruption as challenges facing land use planning strategies for urban and environmental sustainability. The baseline information provided in this study is crucial to improve strategic planning and urban/environmental sustainability of city-regions in Sub-Saharan Africa and across the Global South, where land use planning faces similar challenges to address haphazard urban expansion patterns.
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This article was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.