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Historical and Current Trends of Urbanization in North-West Nigeria and the Implications for Sustainable Development

Authors: Yakubu Bununu Aliyu*, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria, Mohammed Hussain, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Nigeria, Adamu Ahmed, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, Benedine Akpu, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria, Faisal Umar, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: Urban Growth, North West Nigeria, Sustainable Development
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper sets out to provide an explanation of the recent patterns and trends of urban growth in North-West Nigeria. The North-West of Nigeria is its most populous region with a population of approximately 40 million people. In the last three decades, many towns and cities have witnessed dramatic growth as a consequence of increase in population just as the global economy has been transformed by a combination of rapid political and technological changes. While cities are considered the engine rooms of national, regional and global economies, rapid urbanization in the developing world is fast outstripping the capacity of most cities to provide adequate services and infrastructure for their teeming residents. In the next 30 years, most of the world’s population growth and urbanization is expected to occur in developing countries and Nigeria is forecast to be one of the countries with the highest rates of increase. Presently, the sustainable cities debate appears focused on the daunting challenges of the world’s largest urban areas at the risk of ignoring the fact that future urban transformations will actually be greatest in the smaller cities and towns of the developing regions of the world. As a consequence, many national governments and international development agencies have still not recognized the anticipated rapid growth of these small cities and towns or the ever worsening living conditions of their poor residents. This will make the challenge of achieving sustainable development in Nigeria and the entire country particularly daunting.

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