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Arc Linus O. Asikogu and Ugochi A. Asikogu
It also includes anything from small fronts and back gardens in private residential houses, to the larger and more functional ones like school plays fields, recreation ground, race course,
golf courses, polo grounds, public parks, historical gardens.
The Town and Country Planning act of 1946 of Nigeria took cognizance of the part that open spaces play in the aesthetics and environmental health of a city and established planning authorities in all arts of the country. However, the Act has been replaced by Urban and Regional Planning decree No. 88 of 1992, which provides adequately for open space reservations and their developments well as the promotion of general amenities in Nigerian cities. The Act specifically empowers Planning Authorities to acquire land, if it is compulsory, for the reservation of land for open spaces, preservation of views and prospects and amenities of places and features of national beauty of interest.
Statement of the Problem
avowed intention of the plan to provide one, the strategy for plan implementation have not been adequate to ensure their protection, proper development and maintenance of open space and recreational areas. This has led to total neglect and even destruction of the open spaces, green belts and reserves.
Pressure on urban land has forced land administrators to indiscriminately encroach on public parks, garden and open spaces. There is also an increase in social vices such as crime, juvenile delinquency, restiveness, drug addiction/abuse, immorality, divorce and family disintegration and acrimony. Some of these social vices could be ameliorated if family oriented leisure activities are encouraged.
A better use of leisure time especially by engaging in recreational activities has many advantages such as encouragement of family social interaction, bond and cohesion, which will help in development of the body and mind of the individual. Besides, its facility requirements, is such that adds to the beauty and amenity of the urban environment. It equally encourages exercises that boost energy, remove stress, and improve self-image and mental alertness.
The environmental conditions of the existing nkwobi, ugba and palm-wine joints health-wise are very ridiculous. Dangerous avenues for diseases and epidemic coupled with the fact that sections where the preparation and cooking took place are unhygienic, that clients would tend to vomit if they mistakenly sight these environmentally unsightly kitchens. The unconventional areas left for the city dwellers to resort to recreation, mostly in the evenings are immorality infested that both family men and unmarried could only take their girlfriends to resort and enjoy themselves with its attendant social vices and disease such as HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, drug addiction drunkenness and family disintegration.
Justification for the Study
The body system need not be overworked and constantly under stress. There is usually a time for one to get off the usual routine daily activities that are geared towards the pursuit of wealth. This time-off period from work is a time of leisure in which one engages in recreational activities.
Parks are intended to provide a means of escape from the cramped, confined and controlling circumstances of the streets of the town, in order words, a sense of enlarged freedom (Alexander, 2000).Further, parks will improve physical health by supplying air screened and purified by trees and recently acted upon by sun. This improves mental health by providing an opportunity to escape from conditions requiring vigilance, wariness and activity towards other(s).
A strategically located central park should be advocated along side smaller ones in a decentralized mode to meet neighborhood recreational needs and properly related to the central one.
entirely enclosed small outdoor rooms,. They are also differentiated by the framework of various human activities performed in the space.
WhatCom County Web Services (2006) defined open space as either; any land area zoned for open space by a comprehensive Land Use Plan adopted by a city or country legislative authority, or
In summary, the term open space covers anything from the small front and back gardens
in private residential houses to larger and more functional types such as school playing fields, recreation grounds, race course, golf courses, polo grounds, public parks, botanical gardens, country and regional parks. It also embraces “natural landscapes, such as water areas, rivers, valleys, hills, mountains, lakes, oceans and bays”.
Recreation methods and opportunities under good supervision can help to overcome an individual’s weakness and strengthen him. Again recreation plays a role in crime reduction and prevention. But the true appreciation of the contributions which recreation could make to the quality of the life in the urban environment according to Akintola-Arikawe (1980) seems to be just beginning commanding only a little lip service it receives from public officials.
Researches thus far on the study have restricted its scope to the behavioural pattern of the people with regards to frequency and duration of participation without thorough consideration of the landscape quality between the people and the spaces.
People’s participation in recreation activities makes the provision of parks and gardens more meaningful and satisfying. Their participation are informed by many factors including socio- cultural and economic variables of the people namely: sex, marital status, age, income, level of education, occupation, car ownership.
The amount of time available for leisure, available facilities and other factors relating to the recreational areas as accessibility, landscape quality, marketing and publicity contribute significantly to people’s participation. These factors are; indication of recreation habit of the people and important factor to be considered in making forecasts about changing levels of participation.
It is therefore necessary to collect and analyze such primary social data to form the basis of landscape planning and design. It is important to also consider the significance of people’s traditional way of life (culture) and climatic factor that influence the perception of leisure and recreation. Whether indoor or outdoor, culture and climate do play important roles in open space creation. For instance, tropical climate/vegetation greatly influences the perception of leisure and recreation in this region.
Questionnaires are drafted to cover the needs of the people and the variables obtained as data analysed with lay down parameters to arrive at an ideal solution to the people’s open space perception and recreational needs.
were ascertained as stated in Table I, and Table II.
There is no option to open space recreation which prevents the city from urban sprawl, blightedness, congestion and overcrowding. Open space recreation will to a great extent adds to the aesthetes of the city, boost its economic potentials. Healthy and hygienic environment will engender sustainability. The number of people who do not need recreational activities as recorded in Table II increases as you move away from the elitist environment of the clusters. It is as a result of the low ebb in the provision of recreational facilities within the neghbourhood of the non-elitist clusters. Even though the concept of open spaces is indigenous, the hustle and bustle of life coupled with hard times has drastically eroded the consciousness and importance of recreational activities from their agenda. Concerted efforts should be directed to awaken their consciousness in the need for recreational activities.
Therefore, open spaces should be identified using all the available device such as cadastral, electronic and even satellite imagery to retrieve, redeem and restore existing open spaces and translated architecturally into the much needed recreational facilities.
Open spaces will reduce congestion of buildings, abate road from resonating with buildings, ensure sufficient day- lighting and as well prevent the catastrophic effect of densely built up areas on the people.
To reclaim, redeem and restore, already encroached open spaces provided in a city masterplan, public participation in the way of carrying them along to appreciate the indispensable functions of open spaces is highly needed. In addition, the need for multi-disciplinary approach where several branches of learning, including the social sciences, the professions of architecture, civil engineering, estate management and law for result oriented action
Then, the procurement of materials and construction process immediately the demolitions are carried to forestall the possibility of illegal invasion of redeemed and restored open spaces.
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What COM Country Web Services (2006). Comprehensive land use plan to be adopted by a City or County Legislative Authority.