Residents’ evaluation of urban renewal projects in selected cities of Southwestern Nigeria
The study examined the socio-economic characteristics of the residents of Abeokuta, Osogbo and Akure; identified and examined residents’ perception of urban renewal projects; examined residents’ level of participation in the urban renewal projects in the study area; and assessed residents’ level of satisfaction with the renewal projects in the study area. This was with a view to providing guidelines that could enhance public participation in urban renewal in the study area. Primary data were collected from residents in urban renewal project of the selected cities in Southwestern Nigeria. The states in Southwestern Nigeria were categorized into three homogeneous groups; namely, Lagos/Ogun, Oyo/Osun and Ondo/Ekiti. One state was randomly selected from each group. These are Ogun, Osun and Ondo States. Thus, selected cities for study are Abeokuta, Osogbo and Akure respectively where urban renewal projects were concentrated. There were seventy-eight political wards in the study area and thirty-one were where urban renewal projects have been executed. This formed the sampled frame. A set of questionnaire targeted the residents and was administered on household heads living in one of every 20 houses in the 31 political wards. A total of 1,665 household heads were therefore selected for questionnaire administration. In-depth interview was employed to obtain qualitative data from community development association leaders in the study area. Records from the Community Development Association register in the selected states showed that there are 130, 121 and 93 of such in Abeokuta, Osogbo and Akure respectively. Leaders of the five percent of associations were systematic selected for in-depth interview. Data collected were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The study revealed that the majority (77.7%) of the respondents had tertiary education, while 7.4% were primary school certificate holders. Majority (59.3%) of the respondents’ claimed that involvement of community leaders in the implementation of urban renewal projects was inadequate, only 3.7% believed that it was adequate. It was also found that the majority (74.0%) of the respondents were perceived tolerable with the adequacy of hospital while 12.6% and 10.1% of the respondents were very tolerable and intolerable respectively. Only 3.7% of the respondents’ opined that adequacy of health institution was intolerable. The majority (66.7%) of the residents were satisfied with the establishment of mega schools, while 11.1% of the respondents were very satisfied with the establishment of such schools in the study area. This is against 15.1% and 7.1% of the respondents who were unsatisfied and very unsatisfied respectively with the establishment of mega schools. Furthermore, it was found that residents’ satisfaction with urban renewal projects was on the average in all the sampled cities, with a relative satisfaction index (RSI) of 3.60. The study also revealed that socio-economic factors (such as income, education status and age) had a lot of influence on residents’ level of satisfaction in the selected cities. The study concluded that the involvement of members of the public in the planning and implementation of urban renewal goes a long way in the acceptability and sustainability of the projects.