West African uncontrolled settlements and the intra-urban mobility model: A case study of a secondary city, Jos, Nigeria
, PhD thesis, University of Salford.
Turner's (1965,1967,1968) study of Lima's squatter settlements
led to the view that uncontrolled settlements of the Third World cities
are mainly a manifestation of the desires for housing ownership by
people who are well integrated in the city and have experienced some
amount of social mobility.
In his work, Turner (1968) advanced a theoretical model of intraurban
mobility in which rural-urban migration; upward social mobility,
intra-urban mobility and the growth of spontaneous settlements are
inter-related. Within this model, migrants are classified into three
successive groups which corresponds with their level of involvement in
gainful employment namely, 'Bridgeheader' i. e. the newly arrived migrants
who are in search of employment or involved in low paid jobs, 'Consolidators'
i. e. those who have had some urban experience and are"in relatively better
paid jobs; and 'Status Seekers' i. e. the upper class of low income group.
Three housing priorities: - Location, security of tenure and quality of
housing and environment were assigned to those class of migrants.
Upward economic and social mobility from a low paid job to a better
paid jobs, is argued within this model, to be reflected in a housing
priority and expectation about living conditions. Those who move from
lower position in the social hierarchy to a higher position also move
from inner city slums to the suburbs. In other words, social mobility
necessarily entails spatial mobility within the urban. environment.
Security of tenure and improvement of the quality of housing are thus
Consequently, it is recommended that stimulating those spontaneous
activities as opposed to their eradication would benefit enormously
from the resourcefulness of the squatters. Legalisation of land tenure,
provision of infrastructural services and support-for local neighbourhoodorganisation
are some of the essential elements for a more healthy urban
In this study attempt is made to test Turner's model of intraurban
mobility in a regional context of West Africa. The study specifically
examines the validity of the model in relation to a secondary city of
(Jos) Nigeria, and asks whether Turner's model which is based almost
entirely on the migratory characteristics and experience of Latin America
has gone far enough in acknowledging the various dimensions of Third
-World rural-urban migration in which some migrate permanently while others
intend only a temporary migration as well as the varying types of uncontrollecl
subareas that have emerged as a result of these differences.
In most of West Africa, Including Nigeria, rural-urban migration
not only to be temporary in character but is also structured by
kinship relationships. Within this migratory context, migrants do not
strive to consolidate their stay in the city. They prefer cheap rental
accommodation, with a view to consolidating their position in the rural
home towns. Security of tenure does not therefore rank. high in their order
their social mobility does not lead to a spatial mobility.
Within this migratory context, the distinction between permanent and
temporary migrants has more validity and practical application than Turner's
bridgeheader - consolidator dichotomy, since bridgeheaders are likely to
remain bridgeheaders while in the city.
Adopting the proposed distinction between permanent and temporary
migrants provides a lot of insight into the ways in which migrant groups
perceive the city environment and how their perception of the city in
turn affects the development process of their settlement areas. Indeed,
varying migratory characteristics leads to varying housing demands and
housing ambitions in the city of migration. This also leads to variation
in migrants reception areas in the city and thus affords the capacity of
uncontrolled subareas to improve via self help housing. Thus, the
distinction between permanent and temporary migrants provides a lot of
insight into the understanding of why some uncontrolled settlements
might improve through self help housing and why others might not. Most
Importantly, it provides more insights into the policy dimension of the
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