Journal of Contemporary Urbanology

Effect of Urban Polarization on the Control of Development in Jos, Nigeria

Alexander A. Lohor1, John Y.Dung Gwom2 and Isaac S.Laka3 {Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Jos: -Dept, of Geography and Planning, University of Jos. Emails:; (08037035028), (08036345240)}.


One of the most conspicuous consequences of the recent urban violence in Jos is the massive displacement of households from their homes and the subsequent segregation or poiarisation of the city into predominantly religious domains for the Christians and Muslims. The abrupt manner in which households were displaced coupled with the need for them to immediately find a safe alternative home has resulted into in ternal re-adjustments and the growth of settlements along cultural and religious lines. In the North East of Jos, this has led to the mutilation of some government residential layouts, i.e. the Zinaria, Race Course and the East of Ring Road layouts. This paper examines the effects of a series of communal violence in Jos which took an ethno-religious dimension on the implementation of three government residential layouts in Jos. Primary data for the research was obtained through direct observations, interview with government officials in the relevant agencies and some property owners and 'land vendors' in these areas. Settlement growth in these areas over the past 15 years was analysed using satellite maps downloaded from Google Earth. Results show that intensive plot re-subdioision have occurred leading to densification of the neighbourhoods to accommodate high pressure for housing. Most of the developments do not have building plans approval by the planning authority, the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB), access road network is poor, and there is lack of basic infrastructure. The development of slums along religious lines poses danger of 'exclusion' to those that do not belong, and are likely to become flashpoints of conflicts as well as targets during crisis. Being very close to the University of Jos, the dangers become even more worrying as many of the areas host a sizeable population of students. Policies for the development of mixed/integrated communities are explored.

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