SOU 20 - Urban Sprawl: a challenge to equitable development
PRESENTATION OF THE SESSION
One-City policy of development, being a ubiquitous factor in Africa, has been identified as a fundamental flaw that intensifies rural exclusion and is a factor that mitigates equality and equity in the development scheme of governments.
The policy, which amplifies urban population and exacerbates social & economic tension in cities, entails a development model, under which basic social infrastructures and services projects are predominantly concentrated in capital cities and leaves the rural centre grossly destitute of the projects. Wherever the policy is practiced, it is the rural dwellers that are sufferers of the social and economic effects of the absent projects and are presented with an option of fleeing to the cities to explore the bright lights thereof. Whenever and wherever such population escape occurs it leads to building of crowded cities and usually results in gross population load on the basic infrastructures & services in cities.
The motley effects of the rural exclusion challenge in Africa, as reflected in one-city policy of development in the continent and its impact in the life of the rural people, has impelled the need to organize the open session on “urbanization spread’ as a tool for reversal of the challenge.
The object of the session is to showcase an innovative policy anchored on rural integration into urban fabric of African countries by which the rural centers are developed to semi-urban standard and transformed to a city-alternative for the rural people and, in so doing, reducing the rural-urban migration with the accompanying dense population force on the available basic social infrastructures and services in the cities.