In 2007, 50% of the world’s population became urban dwellers, this meant that approximately 3.3 billion persons were dwelling in cities across the globe. It is also projected that another 500 million persons will become urban dwellers in another 5 years, and there are further indications that by 2030, about 60% of the world’s population will be urban dwellers (FIG Commission, 2010).
Wealth generation and economic development have birthed a new phenomenon known as megacities, which are urban areas with an average population of 10 million or more persons, and 19 of such cities exist around the world at the moment (FIG Commission, 2010). Postulations have it that by 2020, the number of such mega cities would be about 27. This trend is more prevalent in Asia, as a result of the fact that the world’s economy is tending towards that continent, and it is estimated that 50% of this growth will be in the Asian continent (FIG Commission, 2010).
Urbanization is one concept that is quite complex to define, because it can be approached from the behavioral transformation, structural and demographic transformation standpoints. Behavioral transformation connotes socioeconomic changes, which result in the transformation with respect to the urban way of life (Shodhganga, n.d). Structural transformation on the other hand, relates to the change from an agrarian way of life, to a more industrial way of life as a basic means of livelihood, as well as the construction of buildings and infrastructure (Shodhganga, n.d). The demographic transformation standpoint views urbanization against the backdrop of a rapid growth of the population of an urban area, or a corresponding increase as a result of the growth of a neighboring area (Shodhgan...
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...ion so as to make land available for residential, commercial and industrial accommodation as well as other infrastructure such as roads, etc.
The draining of the wetlands for urban development coupled with poor development control on the part of the planning agencies, gives rise to the prevalence of flash floods in times of heavy rainfall. These flash floods were rarely experienced 15-20 years ago, when the wetlands in the study area were predominantly in their natural states.
1.2 GOAL AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The goal of this study is to assess the environmental impacts of the conversion of wetlands to urban use and the extent to which this contributes to urban flooding in Port Harcourt.
In a bid to achieve the goal of the study, the objectives of the study will be to:
- Examine the extent of conversion of wetlands to urban use within Port Harcourt municipality.
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