The Implications of Urban Planning Deficiencies on Sprawl: Insights from Bamenda, North West Cameroon
AbstractUrban sprawl is one of the most challenging issues facing urban centers in the world today. This phenomenon poses severe impediments to sound urban planning especially in urban areas where the respect of planning development regulations is the exception rather than the role. This paper establishes the link between lapses in the implementation of urban planning regulations and the emergence of sprawl in Bamenda town in a bid to un-earth the problems of urban sprawl borne by such planning deficiencies. Field surveys and observations, analysis of landuse/landcover maps, administration of questionnaires, interviews and on-the-spot appraisals constituted the major sources of data. The findings have uncovered the fact that the town of Bamenda is enshrined with good planning regulations and a master plan to guide development. Irrespective of the existence of these regulations, it was startling to observe that, their implementation was sub-optimal as over 67.58% of the population were not aware of the existence of urban planning laws, 60% lacked a house plan, 73% did not own a land title and 75.32% lacked building permits. In the midst of this, sprawl becomes inevitable. This substantiates the preponderance of residential developments in risky/marginal locations with associated problems like floods and landslides. An all-inclusive collaboration between stakeholders (public and private) in the field of urban planning and management, effective sensitization on the existence of urban planning regulations accompanied by strict implementation and follow up by the competent authorities be given due consideration.Key words: Implications, Urban Sprawl, Urban Planning, Bamenda
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