Planning Implications of the Ethnic Structure of Residential Areas of Metropolitan Lagos

  •  Leke Oduwaye    


The study present the ethnic structure of metropolitan Lagos in order to unravel the correlation between ethnic composition of the city and the choice of residential areas by the city dwellers. It investigates the determinants, problems and prospects of this situation. The study makes use of data collected from primary and secondary sources during which the city was divided into identifiable residential districts. A total of 200 questionnaires were administered for information on the views of residents about their residential areas. Among major findings of the study are that ethnic enclaves in the city present a mixed bag of fortunes. In the first place, ethnic enclaves appear to offer residents a psychological sense of security which is simultaneously counter balanced by an equal sense of insecurity especially during any ethnic conflict. Secondly, since most Nigerians tend to vote along ethnic lines, ethnic enclaves may make themselves easy targets for discrimination by a government that is not supported during an election.  Thirdly, land use may assume different and discordant colouration based on tribal attitudes and habits irrespective of planning laws. It is therefore common to see neighborhoods in laid-out areas experiencing different dimensions of environmental restructuring in planned residential areas, a phenomenon which is fast resulting into many residential areas developing into unsightly landscape. Based on these findings the study offers suggestions as to how socio-cultural settings of residents can be integrated into the city residential planning. The need to plan in line with the economic realities of the city dwellers is also emphasized in the study.

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