Town planners have been advised to use their services and professionalism to curb uncoordinated development in the cities.
The President, Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Mr. Adeniyi Odetoye, made the call at the 2021 yearly general meeting of the Lagos State branch.
He harped on the need for land use plans before construction to avoid haphazard developments. Planners, he said, must see their practice beyond means of livelihood but to create sustainable growth in the construction industry.
Odetoye, who spoke on the theme, ‘Optimising consultancy service delivery in a pandemic’, said: “It’s saddening to see our cities evolving haphazardly. Taking Lagos as a case study, land use plans are being bastardised. ”
He lamented that shops which are made of containers now dot everywhere in the city even on major roads, setbacks and building frontages have been converted to stores and shops, while green areas have been abandoned.
To him, it’s imperative for town planning consultants to seek ways and innovative approaches for Improved service delivery.
A former president of the association, Mr. Moses Ogunleye, revealed that more than any other times, the COVID-19 period is unique as private and government businesses have changed their meeting format, duration of work hours, nature of office (virtual/physical) and a number of personnel due to dwindling economic fortunes.
On the implication of pandemic for the delivery of town planning services nation-wide, he said, they are widespread which is reduced in a number of commission or jobs offering.
Also speaking, the Lagos State chapter chairman, Mr. Sanni Ademola Kamil, observed that the art of urban and regional planning needs to be proactive to make it relevant in the country.
Kamil said the increasing rate of urbanisation with attendant challenges of inadequate water supply, housing stock, slum expansion, congestion in traffic and transportation system, environmental degradation, climate change, inadequate infrastructure with very high poverty rate, crime call for urgent attention by relevant stakeholders.
The Chairman disclosed that as part of the activities towards improving the practice of the profession, the branch initiated a series of activities that culminated in two publications titled. In particular, in this instance, he noted was the strategies for Improved urban and regional planning practice in Lagos State. The Guardian