Many studies on urban work trips in Nigeria have focused on major urban centres like Lagos, Kano and Ibadan which are the main commercial and industrial centres. Studies of urban spatial structure and work trips patterns in medium sized cities and towns like Akure, Ilesa, Ondo and Osogbo in South-Western Nigeria have received little or no attention. The fewness of these studies has made it difficult to have access to adequate and appropriate information and data base for any effective and meaningful planning for urban mobility patterns in this category of cities in Nigeria. This study examines the structure of urban work trips in a traditional but economically, socially and politically dynamic Yoruba town of Ilesa which is the most important town in Ijesa Region in Osun State. A systematic random sampling procedure was employed to administer 1,365 questionnaires (2.5% of the total heads of households in the city) heads of selected households spread across eleven traffic analysis zones. Using descriptive and cartographic techniques with Arc view 3.2, geographical information system (GIS) software, the spatial structure of work trips pattern, origins and destinations of urban residents in Ilesa were clearly discerned. The study concludes that a greater spread of socio-economic facilities would not only enhance accessibility but also reduce the pressure on main transport arteries in the metropolis. It is suggested that a renewal of physical planning of Ilesa and cities of similar sizes in Nigeria would facilitate increase in the mobility of the city dwellers
Key words: Urban spatial structure, work trip pattern, geographical information system (GIS), medium-sized cities, traffic analysis zones, physical planning.
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