Land Evaluation for Sustainable Urban Land Use in the Humid Forest Agroecological Zone of Southwestern Nigeria
Urban sprawl represents one of the major soil-related threats in any given environment. It is ecologically and aesthetically desirable to use land efficiently for sustainable urban development. The process of urban development inevitably affects the ecological balance of any environment. Land evaluation for such development will help to resolve the problems of efficient allocation of lands for the purpose they are best suited. Thus, this study assessed the suitability of an 89 ha of land for urban land use and development, in a forested ecosystem of southwestern Nigeria. This involved semi-detailed soil survey and land evaluation. About 37% of the total area studied belong to Urban Land Use Capability (ULUC) class Ao, possessing negligible physical constraints to urban development and sustained urban use. Fifty-five percent of the land has slight erosion problems by particle movement, therefore belonging to ULUC class Bo, while about 8% (classified as ULUC class Cdw) has high water table with poor drainage and flooding as major physical constraint for development. These are indications that ULUC studies should form part of the basic information for engineering designs and construction, land owners’ and policy makers’ decision making process to enhance environmental stability and sustainability.
Keywords: urban land use; sustainable development; land evaluation, land capability classification