Influence of Power and Class in Urban Planning in Nigeria: A Critique of the Ecological Approach

By Zacchaeus O. Ogunnika.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The aim of this paper is to explore and analyze the influence of human ecology on urban planning and city development in Nigeria. The main argument is that the influence of human ecology on city planners has made them deviate from reality. The author submits that the approach of human ecologist to city planning is evolutionary and deterministic in nature. This leads to numerous limitations, the most prominent of which is the assumption that cities have inner laws which govern and determine their development. Going by this assumption an urban planner is therefore presented as a powerless onlooker whose main duty is to sit down and watch the city grow to become what it (the city) should necessarily be. This doctrine of predetermination is found in Parks axiomatic statement that “the city has got the laws of its own and there is nothing that can (consciously) be done to change its moral and physical nature.” One of the problems that this has generated for cities especially in the developing nations such as Nigeria is what we refer to as the imitational planning approach. Cities are therefore planned on the model of those in the West (Europe and USA) as these are supposed to be the ideal cities according to ecological paradigms. Most of the urban problems – housing, poverty, inequalities, slums and the like – are therefore traced to the adherence to this paradigm by urban planners.

Keywords: Ecological Paradigm, City, Robert Park, Inequalities, Power Elite, Urban Problems and Minorities

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp.109-116. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 605.310KB).

Dr. Zacchaeus O. Ogunnika

Faculty, Social Work and Criminal Justice, Department of Sociology, Virginia State University, Colonial Heights, Virginia, USA

Dr. Zacchaeus O. Ogunnika recived the sociology degree at the University of Lagos, Nigeria and obtained the MA in Sociology at New York University,USA. His Ph.D was obtained at the New School for Social Research under professors Stanford Lyman and Arthur Vidich. The new School for social research introduced him to the critical theory of society which made him to become a believer in creating a nexus between theory and practice. Like earlier theorists, he is trying to create a link and block the chasis between nomothetic and ideographic approaches in socio cultural sciences. He believes in one world Sociology not from the positivistic tradition but from the concept of meaning in the fashion of the Nigerian professor A. Akiwowo. Ogunnika has published extensively in the areas of Race and Ethnicity, Theory, Methods, Development and Organizations. He is married with children.


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