Town planners under the aegis of Nigerian Institute of Town Planning (NITP) have called on government at all levels to prioritize physical planning to complement economic development.
The charge came at the institute’s press conference, which held at its secretariat in Alausa, Lagos on its forthcoming Nigerian Green Cities Summit with the theme, ‘Brown to Green: Enhancing Wellness and Livability’.
The first vice president of the institute, Toyin Ayinde, noted that Nigerian cities are cluttered and improperly planned due to the neglect of physical planning on the part of policy makers.
According to him, physical planning is paramount to economic development, as every policy decision must be carried out on land.
“As you are aware, one of the issues that has received global and national attention is that of climate change and the need to evolve adaptation strategies for combating it.”, Ayinde said.
“The summit shall develop strategies for combating the various problems militating against evolving energy efficient, green friendly, pollution free, livable and investment-friendly towns and cities across Nigeria”, he added.
The summit is scheduled for August 27 and 29, 2019 at the Central Bank International Training Institute, Abuja.
The NITP’s chief, who is a former Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, noted that the high level of degradation seen in Nigerian cities emanated from abuse of the environment coupled with poor planning strategies to meet the fast-rising urbanization as well as inadequate infrastructure.
This, according to Ayinde, led the town planners to hinge the summit on how Nigerians can protect themselves and their environment from the adverse impact of climate change.
The 3-day event will hold plenary sessions, technical & panel discussions with case studies, and site tours.
According to him, 260 professionals from local & international organizations, private sector, delegates from ministries, department and agencies at all levels, multilateral agencies, industrial players, consultants and civil society organization, are expected to participate in the event.
Discussions at the program will centre on new urbanism and green economy, sustainable land use planning, climate change, green transportation, public health, waste management and safety, tourism and recreation among others. Experts across private and public sectors have been selected to facilitate the event.
According to the planning committee, the Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, will declare the summit open, given his relentless efforts to make his state go green.
Ayinde disclosed that Green City awards would be presented at the summit for managers that have shown commitment to greening, energy efficiency, smart construction and beautification.