In light of the increasing significance of cities in contributing to national economies, urban planners emphasize that the future of many countries will hinge on the productivity of their urban centers. To ensure sustainable economic growth and recovery, cities must be capable of absorbing, rebounding from, and preparing for future economic shocks. Importantly, this effort should align with green recovery initiatives, channeling both public and private investments toward achieving a climate-neutral economy.
These planners underscore the importance of addressing various dimensions of economic slowdown currently affecting cities. They also stress the value of cities sharing their experiences in countering inflationary pressures and navigating challenging global financial conditions.
The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) calls upon governments at all levels to collaborate with indigenous professional planners in developing physical planning strategies that can address the anticipated challenges facing the country. President Nathaniel Atebije emphasizes the need for proactive measures and political will to make cities engines for economic growth, emphasizing that funding plays a pivotal role in implementing plans and policies.
Atebije further notes that conflicts in some African regions and natural disasters, such as hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, monsoonal winds, and landslides, have negatively impacted the economies of many cities and towns across the continent. In Nigeria, inflationary pressures have also taken a toll on urban economies, making it essential to identify actions cities can take to stimulate economic recovery amid these challenges. As 2023 unfolds, urban economies face particular challenges, accentuating the critical role cities play in shaping the future of their respective nations.