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«CSAAR (7: 2010: Amman) Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development \ Edited by Steffen Lehmann, Husam Al Waer, Jamal AI-Qawasmi. Amman: The Center ...»

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3 Methodology and Discussion of Findings The methodology also includes consideration for the historical urban morphology, cultures and the ethnic backgrounds of this community using mixed methods of quantitative and qualitative approaches. A mixed field method (quantitative and qualitative) was employed in the collection, collation and analysis of primary data. The paper discussed arecent field survey carried out in the study area, based on quantitative and qualitative methodology. Sizeable numbers of questionnaire are administered to the target population, using stratified random sampling method in order to elicit primary data; with 76 percent response rate from the respondent. The survey and interview conducted highlights a number of observations and conclusion of the relationship between food production activities and its role in city development or formation. These factors include lack of planning on the part of the government, lack of coordination among the developmental agencies responsible for social amenities, failing infrastructures in the market, poor housing condition especially the low income earner due to large amount spent on food and deprivation of agricultural land. Some of the interview conducted highlights the extra territorial occupancy (due largely to the loss of agricultural land to residential layout), threat to remaining agricultural land through indiscriminate acquisition of land by government and educational institutional in the city.

The initial series of interview are carried out by focusing on key actors involved in food production in the urban context. Bijker (1997:46) suggests following the actors, by the use of the 'snowball' approach, whereby the researcher allows the initial actor contacted to point the way to others actors. The research methods employed include the use of ease studies, interviews and questionnaires to elicit primary data and information from key practitioners from the study areas. However, from the exploratory study and initial interviews condueted, it is clear that there is a drive and concern by for the development of a sustainable approach to the food problem in eities and urban centres without harming the earth.

The rapid urbanisation of sub Saharan Africa from a purely rural-agrarian society to a city based urbanised one is an interesting phenomenon to study and it has been of concern to many scholars as documented in several studies (see Hussain and Lunven, 1988; Jamal and Weeks, 1988; 1993; Mabogunje, 1968;

Davey, 1996; EHis and Sumberg, 1998; Drakakis-Smith, 1992; Drakakis-Smith, Bowyer-Bower and Tevera, 1995; Egziabher, 1994). It is also interesting to note that the story of food and food production activities are locked or intertwined in this rapid transformations and urbanization of African society. The transformation of African society is not only physical but encompasses socio­ cultural, economic, political and metaphysical in nature. Hence, this study is investigates the roles played by food production activities during the course of Timothy Odeyale, Behzad Sodagar & Nick Temple these rapid urbanisation or socio-cultural transformation and its impact on the buHt environment as experienced in the study area under review.

3.1 Tbe Study Area Nigeria is the most urbanised nation in Africa. It is a country of over 150 million people and it is the most populous black nation in the world. Infact, for every five African, one is a Nigerian. The study area is located in Akure, in southwest Nigeria (see Figure 1). The city is a typical ancient West African city that was predominantly agrarian, but has undergone rapid urbanisation and transformation from a sm all pre-colonial town to a modem medium sized city through globalization and modemisation. Its history can be traced back to the 11 th and 12th centuries and is c10sely tied to the history of its Yoruba kith and kin.

(Osasona, 2002; Eades, 1980).

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kilometers east of Ibadan, 168 kilometers west of Benin City and 311 kilometers North East of Lagos (fonner federal capital of Nigeria). The city is made of an undulating low land, rich with soil good for fanning covering an area of over 16 square kilometers. On the world map, Akure can be found on latitude 7° IS 1 north of the Equator and longitude SO IS 1 East of the Greenwich meridian. It is about 2S0m above sea level and the land towards Ado-Ekiti is hilly, studded with large granite fonnation said to be of voIcanic origin. The town enjoys good rain fall over 1,SOOmm yeady with a mean temperature range or between 2SoC and 29°C and aprevalent humid tropical condition. The study area offers a pieture of a medium sized city that has experienced many layers of urbanization process involving the physical structure, historical, sodo-cultural, political, religious and economic development. This can arguably be compared with Patrick Geddes anatomy of a city (Figure 2) based on an analytical triad of geographical (place), historical (work) and metaphysical (folk) aspects (WeIter, 2002).

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4 Modernity, Metamorphosis and the Changing Face of Cities Cities concentrate a lot of people in a small area. It serves as the avenue for commerce and industry. The city attracts a large number of people concentrate because it presents the platfonn to provide food, education, water and energy in a more effident way. In the urban centres, a lot more people can be reached by doing less. The people also have more scope, freedom of choice in tenns of food in the city. Infrastructure and amenities are available in a more efficient way in the city. It affords the opportunity for socializing; there are cultural and educational reasons to have discussions with your own, your group and mates or peers. Cities are political hotbeds, Iiving in the cities affords the opportunity for Timothy Odeyale, Behzad Sodagar & Nick Temple taking part in the political process, where political ideas are hatched and cross­ fertilized. There is not one model how the city must be designed (Weiter, 2002).

Economic activities in many cities of the world are of concern because such activities can be liken to one generation creating problem for another to contend with. Sustainable city should be an enjoyable city. It is a city people can move around easily. Improving public transport will help. Sustainability is a question of balance. It is achieving a sense of balance. City sustainability is a holistic concept that is focussed on successful use of available resources and technology to enhance city's liveability. The source of many problems that plagued the city is not just technical related; hence they cannot be solved by technical ways.

Many of these problems are socio-political problems such as poverty, food shortage and lack of infrastructures. The food problem is not simply a technical one; hence we need to address them in a socio-political-economic ways.

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4.1 Westernization and acculturation impact on the urban form The influence of the colonial era led to the beginning of the acculturation process in African cities (Freund, 2007). Gilbert and Gulger (1994) argued that the incursion of the European into the third world has sometimes led to the destruction of the existing local culture. The built environment is an expression of the very basic desire by man to enhance comfort within the area where he lives, works and recreates. Built environments take their shapes from the very functions they are expected to perform and various activities such as shapes its design. Examples are seen in the location of markets for the sale of food in the African urban centre (Figure 3.). The built environment, whether it is a village or town is a product of the skillful organization of space in order to express in the one instance the peoples' social ideals and in another, humanity's notion of reality. The development ofthe Nigerian built environment can thus be discussed Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development 349 using its traditional architectural pattern as a point of reference because of its cultural influence and practices on the country's landscape. This is epitomized in the people's traditional use of urban space in relation to food production activities usually revealed by three primary - deterministic cultural phenomena.

The first is revealed in the built environment as consists of village/town settlements composed of individual house units and family compounds, their structural and conceptuallayout across the landscape arrange around a market.

This reflects the ideals of corporate life in the visual pattern of the village, village group or in modem terms, the city or metropolis. The second is that traditional spaces are represented as a system of semiotic units which human settlements are composed as the external symbols. Thirdly, traditional management of urban space refers to given processes of transformations in which cultural components are drawn from the immediate social institutions through skillful manipulation and social interaction.

4.2 Traditional house forms and Socio-cultural Continuity

The layout of the family compounds reflects the social status of family life, the central courtyard makes for intensive social continuity among family members, where food are prepared and consumed. In short, urban spaces are planned to assert group needs as weil as foster social cohesion and interaction. Rooms or huts that constitute the basic residential units in any traditional Nigerian compound are often arranged around a central area which may vary in shape, size and characteristics depending on the nature of the elemental units, form of construction adopted, influences of topography, historical influences on the particular culture and individual preferences.

In most traditional compounds such as in chiefly residences, palaces and large extended family units may contain aseries of these courtyards linked together by passages. Such compounds are themselves aggregation of multiple residential units catering for different elementary households of an extended family. No matter the form or the nature of this element of Nigerian traditional dwelling, the fi.lllction tends to be the same, serving group activities of adult and children, visitors and members of the household, male and female.

4.3 Traditional settlement layout and urban morphoJogy

The Nigerian cultural and physical landscape furnishes us with a variety of village and town settlements whose spatial layout and design principles have lessons to teach us on their adaptive potentials for modem sustainable principles.

Many of these villages provide the arable farmland for production of food for the country and many parts of West African countries. Factors behind their layout and spatial schemes are as intriguing as their formal attributes which are predicated on cultural factors of habitation not to speak of the environmental issues that influence their planning (Olayiwola, 2000). Such factors include the following: the ideals of society itself, the pressure of population density, social Timothy Odeyale, Behzad Sodagar & Nick Temple organization, land-use pattern, the nature of available terrains, defense, the need for social and economic associations and religious precepts (see Table I).

4.4 Transformations of a traditional city core One important definer of human settlements in many parts of Africa including Nigeria is the notion of the centre. This may be the geometrie centre of a group settlement physically or conceptually. In many societies, the center occupies strategie importance in the spatial scheme of settlements. For instance, in the radial-concentric shape of the Yoruba town particularly as arefleetion of its social and political organization, the centre is the most strategie for a number of reasons. lt is the magnetic centre ofthe town, which contains the most important unifying symbols, namely: the palace, a playground, and all the important shrines and Oba's market.

These features draw to the centre all the members of the society in connection with rituals and ceremonies associated with it. The same principle applies to other settlement layouts in many parts of Nigeria and sub Sahara Africa. The centre operates as the spatial and structural core of the traditional eity's settlement layouts which constitute its most vital point of soeial interaction. When these corpora te symbols are designed in response to the demands of unique local culture, our towns and eities may begin to assume a unique character of their own.

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