Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 391

Full Length Research Paper

Understanding urban sprawl in the Federal Capital City, Abuja: Towards sustainable urbanization in Nigeria

F. Ujoh1 *, I. D. kwabe2 and O. O. Ifatimehin3  
  1Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria. 2Federal Character Commission, Abuja, Nigeria. 3Department of Geography and Planning, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 June 2009
  •  Published: 31 May 2010



In response to the rapid urban sprawling due to the fast rate of urbanization, there is an increasing need for focused research with a view to develop remediation strategies and methodologies for the effective and sustainable environmental planning in Federal Capital City (FCC), Abuja. This paper specifically focuses on an integrated approach of Remote Sensing (RS) data, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) techniques, and ground data collected by the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) receiver in facilitating urban planning. Data set from Landsat TM, Landsat ETM and Nigeriasat-1 satellite data for 1987, 2001 and 2006, respectively, revealed that the annual rate of urban sprawl was 10.6 km2over a 19-year period (1987 and 2006). In view of the ecological and environmental challenges that accompany such rapid sprawl development, the study recommends measures that would reduce the otherwise rapid rate of urban sprawl in the FCC and to ensure sustainable urbanization.


Key words: Slum settlements, sprawl, ecological and environmental consequences, remote sensing and GIS, sustainability.