Improving Sustainability in Nigerian Cities for enhanced Investments: Green Features as Imperatives
IMPROVING SUSTAINABILITY IN NIGERIAN CITIES FOR ENHANCED INVESTMENTS: GREEN FEATURES AS IMPERATIVES
Israel OKEY Ogbonna, M.SC., FNIVS, RSV
Prof. Godfrey O. Udo, Ph.D, FNIVS, RSV
46th Annual Conference, Unity 2016, Held at Transcorp Hilton, Maitama, Abuja, FCT. Tuesday, 12th-Saturday,16th April, 2016
Lagos, the commercial capital city of Nigeria is one of the World's five least livable cities â€“ it was ranked 137 out of 140 countries in livability ranking. As per resilience, a sizeable part of Lagos is reported to be vulnerable to flooding and ocean surge. The issues of poor Sustainability in Nigerian cities have therefore become a huge problem that must be tackled for the potentials of investments to be fully harnessed in the cities. This work presents introduction and improvement of green features in the cities as an imperative panacea to the identified problem.
Two descriptions of Lagos:
"The most unpleasant place I've ever been is probably Lagos, which is just horrific. There's nothing much to see, it's incredibly polluted and vastly overbuilt and a very stressful place to visit. I won't be going back in a hurry."
"A city I'm in no rush to return to is Lagos. A nightmare of traffic and noise. It was somewhere I didn't get the urge to linger and explore."
Other views of Lagos:
"If taken as a country on its own, Lagos would be amongst the largest economies in Africa. It has been able to diversify its economy and to considerably reduce its dependence on oil allocations. But its potentials are still huge..."(Nwagwu and Oni, n.d)
"The entire African continent (except South Africa) received Foreign Direct Investment inflows worth an estimated US$ 8.2 billion in 2000. For comparison, this equals the amount of inward FDI attracted by Finland this year, and it represented a mere 0.6 per cent." (OECD, 2002)
So many reasons have been adduced for this poor trend.
Poor state of our cities as the ability of nations to attract FDIs has been found to be linked to several factors, including quality of life in the receiving country.
It has been shown that there is a strong relationship between foreign investment and economic growth. FDIs have greater impact on domestic investments than loans and portfolio investments. Every $1 FDI increases domestic investment by an average of 80% of the amount of the FDI. (Loans 50% if properly utilised)
The link between the condition of cities and their ability to attract investments from outsiders is appreciated globally. The state of cities defines the level of prosperity or poverty of its dwellers.
â€œThe quality of life, competitiveness of the industrial base and the ability to attract and sustain business and tourism, all hinge on the provision of safe, fast, reliable and convenient roads, including access through public transit." (Economic Intelligence Unit of Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, 2013)
"How Asia's cities are developed in years to come will be the defining element in the region's long-term prosperity and stability. In short, the quality and efficiency with which Asian cities are developed will make or break the region." (Asian Development Bank, nd)
City measurement/ranking indices have therefore become very important as world cities now jostle for good ranking.
â€œSince first using the term â€˜livable citiesâ€™ back in the 1980s to describe quality of life and the characteristics of cities that make them livableâ€¦Every city wants to be considered the â€˜most livable,â€™ a title that can attract new business and investments, boost local economies and real estate markets, and foster community involvement and pride.â€ (International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) LLC, 2015)
City benchmarking â€œâ€¦help the business community, potential investors and residents. Information on potential liveability will enable informed choices and decision-making on business ventures, including migration for better competitiveness by all.â€ (Giap, Thye and Aw, 2014)
In our presentation we compare Lagos with the Worldâ€™s City indices of sustainability, livability and resilience and then proceed to show ways of making the required improvement.
â€¦the ability of a city to be maintained or to sustain itself for many centuriesâ€¦involves sustaining elements such as ecology, lands, resources and materials, energy, water, wastes and systems â€¦without sacrificing the interest of future generations.
â€¦the quality of life as experienced by the residents within a city or region. The quality of life experienced by the residents living in a city is attributed to their ability to access infrastructure (transportation, communication, water, and sanitation); food; clean air; affordable housing; meaningful employment; and green space and parks.
â€œthe ability of a city to adapt to changing circumstances, opportunities and limitations while providing basic needs to residents within 100-year context. Resiliency requires that the capacity of both individuals and institutions (public or private) within a city is enhanced in order to respond to the increasing complexity of urban systems, and unexpected and accelerated shifts, changes and hazardsâ€(Timmer & Seymoar, 2005; Heinberg, 2010; in Mohie El-Dina, 2015).
This could explain why in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Goal 11 envisages an amalgam of Resilience, Sustainability, and Livability for all world cities as the Goal targets to â€œMake cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainableâ€
The three terminologies can therefore be used interchangeably and since Sustainability is their common denominator, all the three indices are captured in it.
- Things that make a city to be tagged â€œSustainable Cityâ€.
> Low levels of environmental and climate change impact;
> Inclusive development and engaged residents;
> Resilience to disasters and other shocks;
> Cultural and historic preservation;
> Green space; and
(Asian Development Bank, nd)
THE CASE STUDY
We have chosen Lagos as our case-study because
- it is a world mega city,
- the former political capital of Nigeria, and
- the current commercial capital.
We shall present the current level of sustainability and suggest ways of improving it, using the city's score-card in the 2012 Siemens World Green City Index.
The Index measured world cities on sustainability, based on 7 categories, viz. Energy and CO2; Land use; Waste; Transport; Water; Sanitation; Air quality and Environmental governance.
Using 2012 Siemens World Green City Index, Lagos was ranked average overall in the African Index and scored in the individual categories as follows:
Energy and CO2 - Well above average;
Land use â€“ Below average;
Waste - Above average;
Transport - Average;
Water - Average;
Sanitation - Average;
Air quality - Average; and
Environmental governance - Average.
Energy and CO2:
Proportion of households with access to electricity (%) 84.2.
This is good but electricity supply is not regular thereby producing a very low Electricity consumption per capita at 0.8 gigajoules. South African Index cities generate on average 3 tonnes of CO2 emissions from electricity consumption per person. Thatâ€™s more than 60 times the figure for the other seven Index cities in sub-Saharan Africa, including Lagos.
If electricity supply is regularized in Nigeria there will be high electricity consumption per capita and CO2 emissions from electricity consumption per person (kg/person) which now stands at 983.9, will increase drastically. Therefore, clean energy sources which are not being accessed presently should be explored as Oslo uses as much as 65% renewable energy.
Population density (persons/km2) 4,578.1. This is not high compared with Cairo - the most densely populated African city, with 19,000 residents per kmÂ².
However there is excessive urban sprawl that makes people to travel long distances. A situation where people live in Ikorodu and travel on road every working day to Lagos Island is not healthy for the city.
A cue can be taken from England where a quarter of all car journeys in England are under a mile, with two thirds under five miles. (UK Government Web Archive, n.d)
More effort is however still needed to catch up with Cape Town and Johannesburg that have an estimated 290mÂ² and 231mÂ² per person, respectively.
Length of mass transport network (km/km2) 2.7. Superior public transport network (km/km2) 0.07. These are very poor on global standard as Riga offers 8.6 km per kmÂ². Rio de Janeiro, 8.7 km per kmÂ² and Curitiba, 8.5 km per kmÂ².
Measures aimed at discouraging private car use could be put in place, including
- congestion charge,
- park-and-ride policy,
- public re-orientation on the fact that use of private cars for show of social status is negative to the environment; and
- retrofitting of Lagos roads to accommodate cycling and walking.
Waste generated per person (kg/person/year) 407.8. Durban has a target to become a zero-waste city within 20 years. In its waste-to-wealth programme Lagos has established one of the biggest compost plants in Africa and converts 800 tonnes of municipal solid waste into fertilizer each day. In addition, the city has established four small scale plastic-recycling plants, which convert 30 metric tonnes of nylon or plastic waste materials into usable products like shopping bags. In April 2011 the state waste management authority announced that it had installed 20 recycling banks across the state, with 1,000 more to come within two years.
Lagos has one of the lowest water consumption figures in the African Index, at 90 litres per person per day, compared with the Index average of 187 litres.
The reason for this is the unavailability of public portable water even though access to potable water is 91.2%. The delivery system to provide water to end users is still insufficient.
About 94 percent of the population in Lagos has access to sanitary toilets. 56 per cent of these use sewage toilets, 33 per cent use pit latrines and 4 per cent septic tanks. The other 7 per cent use pail, bush, river/stream or other kind of unconventional toilets.
Lagos has high concentrations of pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which explains why respiratory ailments due to air pollution are not uncommon.
National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA), and the vision of a cleaner and healthier environment they intend to deliver, are positive steps forward. However, smoky vehicles are still a common sight in Lagos, challenging the Agency to live up to her responsibility. Such smoky vehicles ought not to be allowed on the roads.
In Africa, only Accra has maximum ability to implement environmental legislation at city level.
In Lagos, much of urban environmental governance is at State Government level.
However, most ordinary citizens are yet to be sensitive to the environment as there are still cases of environmental abuses such as dumping of refuse into drains and water courses; littering, illegal felling of trees, etc.
HOW TO INTEGRATE GREEN FEATURES INTO OUR CITIES
1. The first is by the city governors realizing the importance of making their cities sustainable cities.
2. They go ahead to declare and make commitment towards it, carry all stake-holders along and take on environmental policies.
3. One would of course point at the next factor which is finance. However, when it comes to city sustainability, money is not everything. Public-private partnership is invaluable in raising finance
4. Nigerian cities can access funds from international donor agencies that finance environmental issues.
5. Nigerian cities could be entitled to draw from the Funds that serve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, viz the Green Climate Fund, the Global Environment Facility, the Least Developed Countries Fund, the Special Climate Change Fund, administered by the Global Environment Facility; and the Adaptation Fund. (Clauses 59 and 60 of the Agreement)
6. Technology is also important in bringing about sustainable (eco-) cities. The Paris Agreement also recognizes this fact and therefore in Article 115 â€œResolves to enhance the provision of urgent and adequateâ€¦technologyâ€¦â€. It goes further to have the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network which co-ordinate the technological challenges of implementing the Agreement. There is therefore a global network that can be accessed to enhance local city capacity to deal with technological challenges to city sustainability.
7. Goal 9.a of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to â€œFacilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and Small Island developing Statesâ€.
1. As city sustainability has been identified as a key issue in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, all stake-holders in cities, including estate surveyors and valuers, must be incorporated into the implementation of the duo if Nigerian cities and the nation are to maximally benefit from them.
2. City governance globally is a cross-professional activity and estate surveyors and valuers are active participants. However, in Nigeria, estate surveyors and valuers are relegated to the background by government. This should be reversed so that their professional expertise needed to address city investments could be tapped to change the fortunes of our cities.
3. Estate surveyors and valuers themselves, should also wake-up to their professional responsibility and be pro-active on city issues in Nigeria. When the city is attracting cross-border investments, everybody, including estate surveyors and valuers, benefits.
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