Characteristics and Planning Challenges of Hilltop Settlements in Jos Metropolis, Nigeria

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John Y. Dung-Gwom
Adamu Samuel Jugu


Jos Metropolis is witnessing rapid urban growth, which in turn puts pressure on development space. From a small mining town of less than 10,000 in 1920, it is now a buzzing state capital of over 1 million people. Hills and valleys that were earmarked in the 1975 and 2009 Master Plansas urban green, parks and conservation corridors are being swamped by low and medium income groups for housing developments resulting into unplanned spatial growth characterized of poor access and lack of basic infrastructure. Settlements on steep slopes and hilltops pose unique planning challenges arising from their topography, costs of construction and extension of social services and public facilities; poor drainage, irregular developments and propensity to environmental hazards. This paper analyzes physical and social characteristics of five sampled hilltop settlements in Jos metropolis. It is recommended that such settlements need special attention not only in terms of their planning but even more so in terms of their management, provision of basic services and infrastructure, integration with other parts of the city. Governments and the planning authorities should provide land for development for the urban poor at desirable locations at subsidized rate as a strategy of prohibiting housing developments on very steep slopes and difficult terrain.


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Dung-GwomJ., & JuguA. (2017). Characteristics and Planning Challenges of Hilltop Settlements in Jos Metropolis, Nigeria. UPLanD - Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design, 2(2), 129-149.


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