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Designing Urban Real Estate With Climate in Mind

The massive floods that hit Nigeria in 2023 were a major shock, affecting more than 51,000 people and leading to loss of lives and destruction…

The massive floods that hit Nigeria in 2023 were a major shock, affecting more than 51,000 people and leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties. This event has become a turning point in how we think about building cities and homes. Lagos, Taraba, Kogi, Adamawa, Nasarawa, and Enugu states saw some of the worst impacts, showing us how big environmental problems are becoming.

These floods were more than just geohazards– they represented a critical juncture, demanding a transformative approach to urban planning, real estate development, and construction.

The 2022 Kogi and Nasarawa states disasters were a result of heavy rains and the water released from Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam affected over 8,504 families and caused a lot of damage to roads, bridges, and other important structures in many states. What happened is a real example of how climate change is affecting us and it shows us that we need to build our cities in a way that can handle these kinds of environmental changes by adopting new technologies in our planning system to ensure sustainable urban design.

Sustainable urban design today is more than just how things look or work. It is also about using information like population data to build places that not only look good but also meet the needs of the community. Interestingly, new technologies are changing how we plan and design cities. Particularly, there’s a big shift happening because of tools like Geographic Information Systems (GIS), computer-aided design (CAD), and virtual reality (VR). These tools help make detailed 3-D models of cities.

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They allow for a better understanding of how spaces work and help create realistic views of future projects; they are especially important for real estate development in Nigeria. Now, urban planners, real estate developers, architects, and designers can make smarter choices. They can look at everything – how the land is, what the environment is like, and what people in the area need and want. We’re still exploring what all these technologies can do, but they could lead to some exciting changes, especially with the current climate change issues.

In Nigeria, it is becoming really important for urban real estate developers to focus on dealing with climate change. Technologies like GIS can be used to understand and manage environmental risks. With these tools, we can figure out which areas are most likely to flood and what the effects of different weather patterns might be. This knowledge is crucial for building cities that can withstand future challenges.

To make our cities stronger against floods, it is not enough to just pick safe places to build. We also need to include ways to handle floods in the design and building of our urban areas. This means building things higher off the ground, having good systems to get rid of water, and creating parks and gardens that can soak up extra water. While these initial investments may incur higher costs, they ultimately prove to be prudent choices. By implementing these ideas, not only can we mitigate flood damage, but we can also significantly reduce the expenses associated with repairing the aftermath of floods.

Cities around the world, like Amsterdam and Tokyo, have shown us how using geospatial technology (a tool under the GIS category) can really help in managing floods. By looking at what these cities have done and adapting it to fit Nigeria’s specific needs, we can build stronger, more sustainable cities.

The devastating floods experienced in Nigeria in 2023, which resulted in the widespread destruction of homes, farms, and vital structures, underscore the urgency of this endeavor. Prioritizing the enhancement of existing infrastructure, such as buildings and roads, to better withstand floods is crucial in mitigating future risks.

The recent flooding events serve as poignant reminders of the urgent need for action. Utilizing geospatial technology and adopting resilient building practices are not just advisable but imperative for the future of our cities. The decisions we make now in planning and construction will determine our ability to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure the long-term safety and well-being of our communities. The government’s support is pivotal in our efforts to prepare our cities for climate change.

They must enforce policies and allocate resources to provide urban planners and builders with the necessary technology and training. Implementing policies that incentivize or mandate construction of buildings in structures and ways that can withstand climate change will have a substantial impact.

Aside from employing these tools, it is important to engage the community and educate them on the pivotal roles in the success of these initiatives. By involving the community and raising awareness about the perils of climate change and the importance of adopting environmentally sustainable practices, we can garner support for these plans. When people recognize the tangible benefits of these strategies in safeguarding against floods, they are more likely to endorse new regulations for urban development and planning.

Dealing with climate change in our cities goes beyond just building structures and proper road constructions. It requires reevaluating our societal structures, economic systems, and communal living habits. Good city planning must be adaptable and anticipatory of future challenges. In Nigeria, this means changing our construction practices, embracing new technologies, and fostering widespread understanding and readiness for environmental changes.

The urgency to combat climate change cannot be overstated. While its repercussions are global, developing nations, which contribute less to environmental degradation, often bear the brunt of its impacts. Nigeria is already witnessing the consequences of environmental neglect. Immediate action is imperative. By drawing lessons from past events and leveraging cutting-edge technologies, we can fortify our cities to not only enhance livability but also ensure sustainability and environmental stewardship.

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