UN-Habitat, Kogi Sign MoU On City Structure Plan

A new global ‘road map’ charted to provide leadership for local authorities to efficiently guide and manage urban development may have won another convert in Nigeria, with senior officials of Kogi State Government reaching an agreement for development of a city structure plan for selected cities and towns.

The New Urban Agenda recognizes that Africa is a rising continent and that its prosperity will be shaped by its cities as the drivers of growth, equity and sustainability. It is expected that the process will contribute to a shared vision for sustainable urban development. Specifically, the agreement signed in Nairobi by Prof. Oyeyinka Oyebanji on behalf of UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director Dr. Aisa Kcyira and Kogi State Deputy Governor Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, will see a development of a city structure plan for selected cities and towns in Kogi state to better integrate physical, spatial and social aspects of the state.

Under the agreement, the parties seek to improve the quality of water and sanitation in major cities of the state as well as developing waste management for the state. The agreement is aimed at improving the understanding of urban law and norms and their relationship to institutional structures leading to empowered local authorities able to efficiently guide and manage urban development.

Further, the MoU will aim at developing safe cities to address social inclusion, improved integration, mobility and connectivity and better service delivery. Finally, the agreement will seek to develop an urban observatory programme to address the state-wide base of urban knowledge to support the government, local authorities, non-governmental organisations and civil society in applying policy-oriented urban indicators, statistics and other urban information.

Recently, Lokoja, the Kogi State capital was one of the ten cities selected by UN-Habitat for its City Resilience Profiling Programme CRPP. Working through partnerships with stakeholders including international agencies such as United Nations Office for Disaster Risk reduction UNISDR, academic and research institutes, private sector actors, and non-governmental organisations, NGOs, the CRPP will develop a comprehensive and integrated urban planning and management approach for profiling and monitoring the resilience of any city, to all plausible hazards.

The programme seeks to develop a model for measuring urban resilience to environmental, social and economic crises. The CRPP will provide forward-looking, multi-sectoral, multi-hazard, multi-stakeholder approach integrating all functional aspects of human settlements to planning and developing urban settlements.

CRPP will be implemented over four years in partnership with primary stakeholders including international agencies, academic and research institutes, private sector actors, NGOs, and representatives from a number of pilot cities. Over the 48-month implementation period, the programme will draw together academia, private and public sectors, city governments and networks, and inter-agency partners to achieve four major objectives:

ONE: Conduct Research on Operational Framework: The research is required to investigate current urban systems thinking, existing risk mapping and mitigation techniques, and develop an urban systems model that is adaptable to any human settlement;

TWO: Carry out Indexing and Profiling: The programme will establishing a set of indicators and standards for calibrating ability of urban systems to withstand crisis and a set of city resilience profiles for pilot cities;

THREE: Develop Tools/Software: The Programme will develop a software interface for urban managers and practitioners to develop their city resilience profiles; and,

FOUR: Establish Global Standards: The Programme will provide guidance on establishing a set of global standards for urban resilience and a new standard framework for monitoring urban systems globally.

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