Green Landscaping - an Interventionist Approach to Build Cool, Healthy and Liveable Future African City: The Case of Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

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Abstract Summary
Urbanisation and population explosion are responsible for changes occurring in major urban centres of the world. Developing countries in Africa, such as Nigeria experience rapid trends whereby high rate of population increase derive from rural migration into cities, and lead to increased spatial requirement for various human activities, which exert pressure on limited land resources. In Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State, space contestation and livelihood strategy make city development sprawl into the surrounding suburbs with the complete removal of vegetative cover, thereby exposing bare landscape. This trend of deforestation, coupled with greenhouse gas emission, tend to perpetuate the urban heat island syndrome and contribute to global warming. Consequently, landscape degradation ensues with concomitant effects on air quality, urban livability and comfort. This paper examines the extent to which space encroachment and contestation have affected verdure, carbon sinks, and biodiversity in the urban web. It also establishes the extent to which this developmental trend conforms to extant laws. Hence, the paper aims at using green landscaping as an intervention strategy to create vast inclusive green places and urban forest as natural ring in and around Ado Ekiti. This is intended to nurture rich biodiversity, sequestrate carbon, provide cool atmosphere for thermal comfort, and curtail global warming towards abating climate change. Data collected with questionnaires by multistage sampling technique, oral interviews and direct observation methods were supplemented with secondary data sources. Research findings pinpoint high occurrence of space contestation and encroachment, vegetal depletion, and excessive hard landscaping, culminating to inadequacy of greenery in the urban morphology. The non-conformity of development with statutory provisions on permissible plot ratio development and landscaping was established. The paper advocates the transformation of bare and hard surfaces to inclusive green areas by inventorying incidental land areas, patches, open spaces and setbacks that need be re-vegetated, as well as vulnerable rivers and rivulets, flood plains, hilly terrains and woodlands that should be conserved. These form components of urban forestry regeneration and preservation programs in the Urban Greenery Intervention Model developed for Ado-Ekiti, aimed at meaningful urban re-naturalisation to achieve cooler atmosphere and reestablish biodiversity in the cityscape. It was concluded that massive greening supported by people’s participation is guaranteed to curtail sprawling, ensure clean and healthy environment, improve urban comfort and livability, grow biodiversity, and create veritable carbon sink for sustainable landscape development in Ado-Ekiti. The paper argues that the replication of the Urban Greenery Intervention Model in the urban Global South provides innovative programs to mitigate the current global climate challenges, and attain liveable places and healthy cities for all.
Abstract ID :
ISO268
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Senior Lecturer / Research Fellow
,
Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos Nigeria / Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Chair,Sustainable Human Settlement
,
Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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