Planning and Regeneration of Southeast Cities

The concept of skyscraper or condominium satellite towns was mooted as a strategy of land management that can suck in a huge population in a relatively small area.

Through this mechanism, the suburbs of the cities will be highly beneficial, as people who live in those areas would not have any need to move to the cities. This strategy is already well employed in Asia, North America and other parts of the world where high-rise buildings are common. To a large extent, the Southeast has traditionally been familiar with high-rise buildings that are usually limited to five or six storeys. Thus, the concept would only go further by introducing high-rise buildings upwards of ten storeys and beyond. Under this concept, the Eastern states should zone at least 50% of property development to Skyscrapers in well planned self sufficient complexes. Such settlements will be self sufficient, as the provision of security, pipe borne water, electricity and other facilities will be guaranteed by the service charges to be contributed by all the residents of the complex.

Building a new city is a win-win cost effective and profitable venture. The property or housing sector is one of the core areas of job creation and growth in most economies. There are several options which can be exploited in constructing such new cities.

  • A state governor can create the initiative with some incentives and invite private investors to invest in the development of the complex. By building and selling, the investors will make a profit and recycle their initial capital into constructing a new complex, this recycling process will in no time result in the development of a whole new sizable modern city with much profit to the investors.
  • Alternatively, the state can earmark funds and invest directly in constructing the settlements by also applying the same principle of build, sell and recycle, which will in no timesee to the development of a modern city. This has the added advantage of generating revenue for the state through profits from the sale of the properties in the short term and through property taxes in the long term.
  • Regeneration of unplanned cities in general is also critical in order to begin the journey to join the advanced and civilised world. Efforts should henceforth be made to have at least the minimum planning or master plan for every large town and city in the East that will provide a blueprint for organised development. Already existing large cities like Onitsha, Aba etc should have a master plan for their regeneration and modernisation rapidly implemented. Unavoidably, many existing structures in already built up cities like Onitsha and Aba will have to be destroyed in order to create befitting cities that host large and expanding international markets. Regeneration will include expansion and dualisation of roads and construction of new roads and bridges, development of ultra modern central business districts (CDB), that will host banks and other business services, planting of roadside trees, development of modern high-rise (condominium) housing estates, creation of green parks. Better standards of waste disposal, which includes recycling, incineration, and general waste disposal in dedicated land fill sites, should also be enhanced to ensure clean and healthy environments.