RESEARCH THEMES

Urban change processes

Urban change processes are much debated in Nigeria but an authoritative (and shared) perspective on the process of urbanisation (rate, level, components of change, dynamics, impacts on the urban system) simply does not exist – whether at national, geo-political zone, state or local levels.

Equally, the physical effects (or consequences) of recent urban population growth, whether caused by natural increase, migration, or jurisdictional/administrative changes, are widely witnessed and commented upon, but not well conceived or understood as processes of spatial expansion which feature diverse settlement patterns (suburbs, informal settlements, rural or peri-urban absorption) and dynamics.

At the same time, the dimensions, elements and linkages making up the continuum that exists between rural and urban settlements (as so defined) in the present-day are not clear to stakeholders. These uncertainties highlight the need for further research aimed at developing a better understanding of urban change processes and dynamics and their policy implications.