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CONSEQUENCES OF INCOMPATIBLE LAND USES ON THE ENVIRONMENT

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ABSTRACT

This research examined the consequences of incompatible land uses on the environment of Uyo Urban. The study adopted a survey approach. It was carried out with questionnaire administration, land uses, structures and sector survey. Random sampling of 748 household heads within the identified 6 residential zones in Uyo Urban was adopted. The residential areas were demarcated following routes within Uyo urban. Data were collected from related government ministries and departments as well as other secondary sources. The data collected were analyzed using simple descriptive statistical methods. Findings from the study revealed that the incompatible level of rural-urban migration is negative as commercial land uses mostly interfere with residential units and mostly houses adhering to land use standards and owing such as economic and personal drive. Consequently, there is the incompatibility problems witnessed in the city as manifested in environmental pollution, high residential traffic, overcrowding, pressure infrastructural facilities and social amenities. These developments have impacted on health and urban sustainability in the area. Recommendations were proffered to guide the policy makers toward enhancing adherence to level of zoning guidelines, housing conditions and general environmental conditions of the study area. These will help to achieve a healthy, livable, prosperous and sustainable human settlement for the area. The recommendations include the provision of land use plan, enactment of zoning, building to approve building plan, development control by authorities involved and using approved standards for any land use development and public enlightenment campaign on built environment and related issues.         

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY       

Irregular and unsound urban development is the common problem of all urban settlements today. The increasing continuation of this problem is inevitable in this order, where the economy-ecology balance is not taken into consideration and economic concerns always win (Cengiz 2013)

          In contemporary physical planning literature, the term land use refers to the use to which a site, plot or building is put, it may be residential, commercial, industrial, public, recreational, agricultural or transportation  (Obateru 2005)

          Urban growth, the density of which is continuing increasingly with the population increase that has taken place in urban areas in the recent years, leads to the vanishing of an extremely limited number of natural resources and to the occurrence of irregular and unsound urban areas, along with impairing the agricultural lands (Brueckner et al., 2001).

          When considered from another perspective, it might be stated that urbanization gained momentum with the industrial revolution. When urbanization and industrialization are evaluated together in this context, it follows that the share of industrialization in the concentration of the population in urban areas and in the environmental pressure it creates is a fact which cannot be ignored (Aksu, 2011). The technological development, the population increase and the rapid change in cities that particularly occurred upon the industrial revolution have upset the ecological balance; consequently, the process of rapid degradation of natural resources commenced. Having continued with a gradual increase in the need for new living spaces and areas of use, this process of degradation has substantially altered the working of the ecosystem with either conscious or unconscious planning.

          It is impossible to make up for the natural resources which have been used up due to the degraded ecosystem; furthermore, the vital impacts of this process are increasing day by day. The cities and industrial areas (technoecosystems) which continue to develop on natural areas especially due to the shortcomings/mistakes in city planning are striking as one of the most important results of this situation, Beinat, (1998)

           In order for urban-industrial formations to survive on the earth with limited resources, it is imperative that they be made more compatible with the natural ecosystem than that of today and that an other which benefits both parties be created without the impairment of the working of the ecosystem (Odum and Barrett, 2008).

           Considering the principle of integration of the urban landcape with the natural ecosystem, this study dwells on the impacts of improper use due to wrong urban development on the natural environment and the concept of ecological landscape planning. Within this scope, the subjects “Incompatible Land Use, Planning and the Planning Hierarchy in Uyo, Ecological/ Environmentally-Sensitive Landscape planning and its Importance were included in the study.

          was made, and the legal and administrative gaps in the improper use of the land were investigated thoroughly. Accordingly, the reasons for, the consequences of and the solutions to improper land uses frequently taking place in urban area planning were discussed.

          The importance attached, and the priority given, to the environment and to urban ecological planning varies by society. Furthermore, it is possible to see the variations in the perspectives of the environment at various stages. Urban development is defined with the increase in production and consumption following the industrial revolution with the assumption that the natural resources were endless and with intensive construction activities. This stage involves some extravagant energy and land use at this stage. The growth of the city against agricultural lands is regarded as an essential indication of development (Eke, 2000).    

          Especially the process of metropolitanization causes cities to grow rapidly in the space and sprawl over extensive areas and to predominate, economically and socially, in all surrounding urban and rural communities. As a result of this, the natural resources remaining within the metropolitan area enter the process of being used up rapidly. This manifests itself with the unplanned and uncontrolled growth particularly against the rapid population increase in the metropolises of developing countries (Sezgin and Varol, 2012).

          By the phenomenon of urbanization which appeared in this process of growth, the sprawl of cities, the absolute necessity for establishing new settlements and the fact that urban lands could easily be turned into a matter of speculation resulted in the rapid including of fertile agricultural lands in urban lands (Keles and Hamamci, 1993).

          The rapid decrease in agricultural lands upon rapid urbanization and industrialization is a phenomenon which is observed worldwide besides in our country. The construction activities of industrial establishments, roads which are their infrastructure, sports facilities and entertainment centers take place in fertile agricultural lands generally with the justification that they bring fewer economic losses (Cepel, 2008).

          The reasons for improper use, meaning the use of agricultural land for nonagricultural purposes, included the gradual increase in urbanization, the rapidly developing industry and investments accordingly, and finally, the gaps in laws and regulations. The economic earnings that develop depending on the construction of houses in rapidly growing areas where urban development is intensively felt are always higher and less risky than the yield of the activities to be carried out in agricultural lands, which manifests itself as the most primary reason why such areas are preferred as urban settlements.         

          In this way, urbanization, one of the most serious threats for the world’s biodiversity, most dramatically and permanently alters land use in our country, as it does worldwide (Ricketts and Imhoff, 2003; Yli-Pelkonen and Niemel &, 2006). Upon the industrial branch which developed afterwards, the identification of these lands, which continued to exist as urban development areas, as area convenient for any nonagricultural investment and their use for these purpose were supported. Since no laws or regulations to prevent all these things and to protect fertile agricultural lands have been made or since, even if they have been made, they lack the necessary restrictions, the improper use of fertile agricultural lands continues as a great national problem. With a wide variety of definitions, planning is an integrated system which involves a series of chaotic cases in theory and practice and which depends on various laws and regulations besides being a multidirectional and comprehensive concept. According to the definition by Keles (1972), planning also involves the absolute necessity for the rational use of the available resources and information. The process of preparation of the series of decisions aiming at attaining the targets which have been specified regarding the activities to take place in the future as a whole via the optimum means is called planning (Akay, 2009).

          Article 166 of the 1982 Constitution is entitled “Planning” and assigns the state the task of planning which ensures “economic, social and cultural development, particularly the rapid development of industry and agriculture at the national level in a balanced and compatible way, and the efficient use of national resources by making their inventory and evaluation”.

          There are numerous laws, statutes, regulations and circulars which direct development in our country, with the most determinative one being the Development Law No. 3194 and the regulations affiliated to it. Depending on the variety of the objects intended to be planned, a large number of types of plans are encountered in the development law. Some of these types of plans were organized in the Development Law No. 3194, while some of them were left to Article 4 of the law and the regulations to be made with special laws. It is possible to classify the plans which arise from the provisions of the Development Law as “types of plans for general purpose” and the plans which are for special purposes and which are envisaged for the areas that are the subject of a different planning regime as “types of plans for special purpose” (Table 1) (Erdem and Coskun, 2009). Of the following types of plans, Upper-Scale Plans, the Physical Plan of the country, the Regional Plan and the Land Use Plan are types of socio-economic and ecological plans, while the remaining plans are called “types of physical plans”.

          Even though most of the above-mentioned types of plans are in some way contained in the law, the majority are the types of plans with no implementation in practice. In Article 6, entitled “The Planning Hierarchy”, of the second section entitled “Fundamental Principles on Development Plans” in the Development Law No. 3194 that was shaped with an understanding which was extremely far from conserving the natural resources and that was primarily organized in order to ensure the shaping of urban living spaces, it is laid down that “plan are prepared as “Regional Plans” in terms of the area they cover and their purposes, whereas development plans are prepared as “Master Plans” and” Implementation Development Plans”.  In other words, spatial plans are collected in two main ranks as Upper-Scale Plans (the Regional Plan} and Lower-Scale Plans (Development Plans}, although not clearly defined in the law. Development plans are subdivided into two as “the Master Plan” and “the Implementation Development Plan”. Another type of plan included in Article 5 of the law, entitled “Definitions”, is “the Environmental Order Plan”. This type of plan should again be regarded as an upper-scale plan type both owing to the content provided in the definition and because it isw not included in the definition of “Development Plans”. In conclusion, when the related articles of the Development Law are evaluated together, it is possible to speak of three main plan ranks, namely Regional Plans, Environmental Order Plans and Development Plans, although not defined systematically (Erosy, 2006).

          The types of plans and their definitions which are contained in the law are as follows (Ercoskun et al., 2004; Erdem and Coskun, 2009; Demirel, 2010; Demirel, 2010; the Ministry of Environment and City Planning, 2010)

1.2     STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

          It has been noticed that, there are problems associated with incompatible land uses in central business district (CBD) in most urban areas. These include untidy confusion, high population rate, traffic congestion as a result of a mixture of incompatible uses to which land has been subjected. To these categories of problems are very common, in most urban area where many activities such as commercial and services activities from, residential, industrialization and recreational location are been found. The above stated problems have given rise to the government to enforce zoning regulation especially at the core areas of our cities.

          Despite this, the incompatible uses still continue to exist in the CBD areas. For this reason, this project research work intends to provide answers to some relevant question such as;

i.                   What are the existing land uses in the study area?

ii.                 What are the problems emanating from the distribution of land uses in the study area?

1.3     AIM AND OBJECTIVES     

The aim of this study is to examine the effect of incompatible land uses in Uyo urban landscape (i.e central businesses district of Uyo capital city of Akwa Ibom State).

1.4     OBJECTIVES

To achieve the broad goal, the following objectives are set up:

i.                   To examine and identify the incompatibility land uses in Uyo metropolis.

ii.                 To assess the existing land use pattern in Uyo metropolis .

iii.              To assess the effect of incompatibility in the study area

iv.              To determine government efforts to control those problems emanating from the incompatible land use

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