Town Planners under the auspices of Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) joined other professionals around the world in celebrating the World Habitat Day (WHD) in compliance with the United Nations designation of the 1st Monday of every October as World Habitat Day.
The WHD is a day set aside to reflect and create global awareness on State of our Towns and Cities as well as remind each of us of our responsibility for the future of our Cities and the basic Human Right of all to live in a well planned and adequate shelter. The 2013 WHD was the 27th since inception and had the theme; “Urban Mobility” which was aimed at encouraging paradigm shift towards more sustainable modes of transportation by drawing more travelers out of cars and onto trains, bikes paths, and side-walks.
Urban Mobility is an important part of city design as it contributes not only to the live-ability of a city in terms of reduced congestion and pollution, but also the efficient, economic and harmonious movement of people, goods and services.
The National President of the NITP, Tpl. Steve I. Onu, FNITP, Npom, in his message to the commemoration of the day, observed that the unprecedented use of motor vehicles, motor cycles and most recently, the tricycle for movement of people, goods and services within Nigeria is a major source of green house gas emissions which is susceptible to climate change, economic and productive costs for commuters.
He called on the Government to introduce and encourage eco-friendly transportation systems such as light rail, tramp, BRT and bicycle, while urging the Urban Planners to emphasize and create accessibility in their designs that will bring people and places together with adequate space for bikes paths, pedestrian walkways and green cover along the road furnitures.