The Architecture of Fear

The Architecture of Fear

-

English

Description

In 1993, when some scholars from the University of Ibadan made a proposal to the Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique (IFRA) — French Institute for Research in Africa, to study the increasing spate of urban violence in Africa, it was not anticipated that the scope of the study would increase at such a fast pace in the following years. The Institute agreed to fund the project and an international symposium was organized in Nigeria in 1994, with the aim of focusing attention on the issue of urban violence and determining its impact on the different segments of the society. Since 1994, however, urban violence in Nigeria took on a renewed ferocity with a dramatic increase in the loss of life and property. In Nigeria today, there is little security of life and property; urban residents live in perpetual fear of the morrow. They are wary in the day and terrified at night. One of Nigeria’s foremost scholars of the urban milieu has observed that, despite the existence of the Nigerian Police Force, armed robbers and burglars have the run of our cities. Hired assassins move across the urban domain with impunity. In addition to this pervasive insecurity of life and property is the constant struggle against poverty and deprivation. How have Nigerians reacted to this situation? This research, which is a follow-up to the 1994 Urban Violence Symposium addresses this question.


Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 03 April 2013
Reads 8
EAN13 9791092312065
License: All rights reserved
Language English
Document size 1 MB

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Report a problem
Cover

The Architecture of Fear

Urban Design and Construction Response to Urban Violence in Lagos, Nigeria

Tunde Agbola
  • Publisher: Institut français de recherche en Afrique
  • Year of publication: 1997
  • Published on OpenEdition Books: 3 April 2013
  • Serie: Dynamiques africaines
  • Electronic ISBN: 9791092312065

OpenEdition Books

http://books.openedition.org

Printed version
  • ISBN: 9789782015570
  • Number of pages: xii-140
 
Electronic reference

AGBOLA, Tunde. The Architecture of Fear: Urban Design and Construction Response to Urban Violence in Lagos, Nigeria. New edition [online]. Ibadan: Institut français de recherche en Afrique, 1997 (generated 19 December 2014). Available on the Internet: <http://books.openedition.org/ifra/485>. ISBN: 9791092312065.

This text was automatically generated on 19 December 2014. It is the result of an OCR (optical character recognition) scanning.

© Institut français de recherche en Afrique, 1997

Terms of use:
http://www.openedition.org/6540

Table of contents
  1. List of Tables

  2. Preface

    Tunde Agbola
  3. Acknowledgements

  4. I. Introduction

    1. The Problem
    2. Research Aim and Objectives
    3. Methodology
    4. Field activities and limitations of data
    5. Data Analysis
  5. 2. Urban violence & urban design: Infrastructures in Time and Space

  6. 3. Lagos: A Socio-economic Profile of Selected neighbourhoods

    1. Lagos: The context of the study
    2. A History of the Growth of Lagos
    3. The Socio-economic Profile of Residents
  7. 4. Coping mechanisms

    1. Introduction
    2. Characteristics of Urban Violence in Lagos
    3. Characteristics of Victims of Residential Burglary
    4. Crime Coping Mechanisms of Individual Households
    5. Crime Coping Mechanisms by Neighbourhoods
    6. Violence and Feelings of Insecurity in Lagos
    7. Factors Influencing Feelings of Insecurity in the Residential Neighbourhoods
  8. 5. Public and private security organizations in Lagos

    1. Introduction
    2. Police Intervention in Crime in Lagos
    3. Private Security Companies
    4. Nature of security services and operational strategies
    5. Problems encountered in the discharge of security services
    6. Level of effectiveness
  9. 6. Summary, suggestions and policy recommendations

    1. Introduction
    2. Summary of Findings
    3. Suggestions by Respondents for Reducing Urban Violence
    4. Recommendations
  10. Appendices

    1. Appendix One

      A harvest of assassinations

    2. Appendix Two

      Bomb explosions in Nigeria

    3. Appendix Three

      Survey questionnaire

    4. Appendix Four

    1. Questions for private security companies and agencies

  1. Bibliography

List of Tables

11.1 National comparative crime statistics 1990-1995 .............5

21.2 National crime reports and prosecution ………………….6

31.3 Summary of questionnaire survey on urban violence in Lagos ..10

43.1 Population of Lagos, 1800-1993 ………………………….48

53.2 Population of Greater Lagos, 1952 and 1963 ………………49

63.3 Population of Greater Lagos, 1991 ………………………….50

73.4 Sex of respondents ……………………………………………52

83.5 Age of respondents ……………………………………………53

93.6 Educational attainment and home ownership …………………54

103.7 Occupation of respondents and home ownership …………….54

114.1 Frequency of occurrence of urban violence ………………….57

124.2 Thieves ever broken into house ……………………………….58

134.3 Distribution of residential burglary by house types …………58

144.4 Type and distribution of illégal activities in Lagos ………59

154.5 Methods of attack …………………………………………60

164.6 Loss of life and property ……………………………………61

174.7 Value of property lost to crime …………………………61

184.8 Canonical discriminant function derived from the analysis of incidence of residential burglary ……………..63

194.9 Classification function coefficients for residential burglary in Lagos ……………………………………………..64

204.10 Classification results of discriminant analysis of incidence of Residential burglary 64

214.11 Characteristics of residential burglary in Lagos ………65

224.12 Age of building ………………………………………..66

234.13 Reasons for choice of residential location …………….67

244.14 Materials used for fences ………………………………68

254.15 Height of concrete fences ……………………………..69

264.16 Types of material on top of concrete fences ………….70

274.17 Materials used for burglary proofing ……………………70

284.18 Location of installed burglary proofing in houses ……..71

294.19 Types of security measures in houses …………………..71

304.20 Types of lighting systems ……………………………..72

314.21 Remodelling of residential buildings ………………….73

324.22 Type of home remodelling ……………………………..74

334.23 Cost of installation of security devices ………………75

344.24 Incidence of burglary before and after installation of security devices 76

354.25 Presence of commercial activities between the fence and the road 77

364.26 Use of house …………………………………………..77

374.27 Type of street and différences in behavior between neighbourhood streets 79

384.28 Security and defensive characteristics of neighbourhood streets 80

394.29 Neighbourhood landlords' associations and vigilante groups 81

404.30 Reasons for not joining landlords' associations ……….81

414.31 Suggestions to make streets or neighbourhoods safer ..82

424.32 Differential feelings of insecurity among residential neighbourhoods 83

434.33 Perception of insecurity and willingness to live outside Lagos 84

444.34 Feeling of insecurity and the presence of vigilante groups in différent neighbourhoods 84

454.35 Feeling of insecurity and the level of security measures in houses 85

464.36 Feeling of insecurity and the level of security measures in neighbourhoods 85

474.37 Reasons for the feeling of insecurity in neighbourhoods ... 86

484.38 Reactions of residents to neighbourhood security measures . . 87

494.39 Ten safest residential areas in Lagos ……………………………..87

504.40 The ten most dangerous residential areas in Lagos ……………..89

514.41 Canonical discriminant function derived from the analysis of the feeling of insecurity 92

524.42 Classification function coefficients for feeling of insecurity in Lagos 93

534.43 Classification results of discriminant analysis of feeling of insecurity in Lagos 94

544.44 Factors explaining the feeling of insecurity among Lagos residents 95

555.1 Assessment of police rôle in crime prévention …………………..100

565.2 Response of police to calls during urban violence ………………101

575.3 Method of contacting the police in times of urban violence ……….103

585.4 Reporting of cases of urban violence to the police ……………….103

595.5 Reasons for not reporting incidence of urban violence to the police 103

605.6 Reasons for assessing the police as doing enough to reduce urban violence in Lagos 103

615.7 Reasons for assessing the police as not doing enough to reduce urban violence in Lagos 104

626.1 Suggestions to reduce urban violence in Lagos …………………114

636.2 Suggestions to improve the police services to reduce crime in Lagos 117

646.3 Assessment of the intermittent crack-down on crime in Lagos — Opération Sweep 118

List of Figures

651. Map of metropolitan Lagos …………………………………..46

662. Perception of safety of residential areas in Lagos ……………88

673. Perception of danger of crime in residential areas in Lagos ….90

Preface

Tunde Agbola

1In 1993, when some scholars from the University of Ibadan made a proposal to the Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique (IFRA) — French Institute for Research in Africa, to study the increasing spate of urban violence in Africa, it was not anticipated that the scope of the study would increase at such a fast pace in the following years. The Institute agreed to fund the project and an international symposium was organized in Nigeria in 1994, with the aim of focusing attention on the issue of urban violence and determining its impact on the different segments of the society.

2Since 1994, however, urban violence in Nigeria took on a renewed ferocity with a dramatic increase in the loss of life and property. In Nigeria today, there is little security of life and property; urban residents live in perpetual fear of the morrow. They are wary in the day and terrified at night. One of Nigeria’s foremost scholars of the urban milieu has observed that, despite the existence of the Nigerian Police Force, armed robbers and burglars have the run of our cities. Hired assassins move across the urban domain with impunity. In addition to this pervasive insecurity of life and property is the constant struggle against poverty and deprivation.

3How have Nigerians reacted to this situation? This research, which is a follow-up to the 1994 Urban Violence Symposium addresses this question. Various researchers have responded to other challenges such as violence and children, and violence and women, but none has examined the effects of violence on the physical environment. This pilot study focuses on the architecture offear in Nigeria’s foremost city, Lagos.

4The residents of Lagos, like their counterparts in other cities in Nigeria, have responded in a desperate manner. They often take the law into their own hands and attempt to mete out instant justice to any offender. This study analyses the adjustmen mechanisms of Lagos residents using various elements of the crime prevention method known as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). The time period was six months of intensive research work and the results of the study are presented in this book.

5This challenging research is expected to be replicated in other African cities in order to put the architectural response to urban violence into proper prospective. Urban violence is not likely to abate until all its contributing factors are minimized or considerably reduced. The more Nigeria (and indeed Africa) becomes urbanized, and the more knowledge we have of the nature, context and consequences of this vexing social malaise, the better for the future of Nigerian and African cities, and their citizens.

6Ibadan 1997

Acknowledgements

1In the past, research in urban violence was not given much consideration by urban and regional planners. The eclectic nature of urban violence and the interdisciplinary nature of the social sciences have, however, compelled the much needed cooperation among scholars for a better understanding of the environment in which we live. I, therefore, acknowledge the assistance of my friend, Dr. Jinmi Adisa of the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan for introducing me to the urban violence project of IFRA. This gave me the opportunity of being involved in the organization and planning of the 1994 International Symposium from which I have benefited immensely. During the early part of this programme, I was introduced to Dr. Olawale Albert, who has shown tremendous enthusiasm for the urban violence project, as evidenced in his many publications on the issue. I took advantage of his experience and materials on urban violence during the course of this research, for which I am grateful.

2This research would have been impossible without the intellectual and financial support of the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA), under the dynamic and creative leadership of Professor Georges Hérault, whose tenure has made the Institute a noteworthy name in academic and professional circles. When it became clear, however, that the project could not be completed without additional funding, Professor Hérault kindly sought the assistance of the Coordinator of the Urban Management Programme in Africa, Mr Alioune Badiane. Mr. Badiane has shown rare perception and understanding of the multifaceted problems of African cities. As a member of the Environment Panel of the Urban Management Programme in Africa, I sincerely acknowledge his assistance and I hope this project will strengthen my existing relationship with the UMP.

3This research was undertaken at a crucial time in the history of Lagos. It began when Operation Sweep (a police/military anticrime unit) of the Lagos State Government became operative. This heightened the anxieties as well as the problems of the research team. Lagos has become an environment where people are very suspicious of each other, such that even though female and male researchers were paired together to carry out the household survey, Lagosians found it difficult to trust them. I am grateful, therefore, to the undergraduate students of the Department of Real Estate, University of Lagos, for undertaking this survey, in spite of the hostility, harassment and insults that they had to endure.

4I wish to express my profound gratitude to the two coordinators of the research, Dr Fisayo Olatubara of the Centre for Urban and Regional Planning, University of Ibadan, and Dr Jacob Babarinde of the Department of Real Estate, University of Lagos, for their tireless support during the course of the survey. I also acknowledge the dedication and assistance of the survey supervisors, who were very articulate and always at hand to solve problems.

5I acknowledge my indebtedness to Mr Balogun of the Computing centre of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economie Research (NISER), for the timely analysis of the data, and to Mr Monday Shari for producing the figures, and to the secretary of the Institute for Human Seulement and Environment (IHSE), Miss Jumoke Ogundeji for keying in the report.

6Finally, I want to express my sincere appreciation to my wife, Mrs Eniola Olayinka Agbola and my children, Yeyetunde, Olumide and Bukunmi for their patience during my long absence from home while I was conducting the survey and writing the report. My hope is that we will be able to sleep in our houses with both eyes closed when the policy recommendations of this report become actualized.

I. Introduction

1About a decade ago, on November 4, 1985, the Times International of London reported that crime was prevalent in Nigeria. Lives were no longer safe... the nation was being crippled by an insecurity problem posed by criminals. Prominent Nigerians, whose interests cut across all walks of life, had their lives terminated through gruesome murders. Announcements concerning stolen vehicles were a daily feature on the news. Now, more than ten years later, the situation has become more frightening. Not only is the incidence of violence becoming more frequent, the nature of the crimes, especially armed robbery and murder, have become more heinous. There is daily news of bolder and more sophisticated crimes. Lives and property no longer seem safe anywhere in the country. Both the rich and the poor suffer the same fate, and the whole society appears helpless in the face of urban violence. Everybody seems to live one day at a time in fear of tomorrow.

2Increasing societal sophistication and modernization of the country, the continuing bastardization of the Nigerian economy, widening social and economic inequality and the rising wave of unemployment, especially among young school leavers, have greatly accentuated the wave of violent urban crime in recent times. The implication of all these is that urban violence has spatial and temporal distribution which needs empirical confirmation.

3However, whatever the spatial or temporal distribution of crime, the immediate response of people to this social malaise is fear. Fear has been defined as an emotional reaction to danger (Kaplan and Kaplan, 1978). Fear increases with danger, which in turn increases with violence. The response to fear, is to begin to look for ways of mitigating the incidence of crime and providing protection from it. Cursory observation and daily news reports show that most crimes involving loss of life and property in Nigeria are committed within residential housing units. This is why people’s reactions to urban violence have been more noticeable in the design of residential buildings.

4Over the years, efforts at ensuring safety within residential units have been anchored on building design and construction strategies known as ‘target hardening’. This target hardening, coupled with urban planning and design strategies, falls under the most recent method of crime prevention known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). The objective of this approach is to inhibit crime by creating a residential area that defends itself. It entails the incorporation of physical barriers into building design and construction with a view to increasing the time taken by potential intruders to force their way in, or to outrightly prevent them from gaining entrance. Strategies include using burglar proofing and fences, building high walls, providing natural and artificial surveillance devices and installing alarm systems.

5Looking around Nigerian cities, one will notice the general trend towards the construction of high walls around residential units, which have become so high that they obstruct the visual beauty of such buildings, sometimes concealing them altogether; erection of houses which are intricately shielded with burglary proofing; construction of massive gates and strong locks; installation of lighting facilities at every corner of the residential environment; and a host of other protective devices, all of which give credence to the assertion that city architecture in Nigeria today is governed by the fear of incursion by robbers. The cost of all these measures, whether social, environmental, and/or monetary, and the extent to which they have reduced crime, are ail issues worthy of empirical investigation.

The Problem

6Violence and crime are a huge threat to public safety. They cause great personal suffering, vast material damage, and place an enormous burden on the urban social network. Yet, as Vanderschueren (1996) observed, urban violence has increased worldwide in the last decade at a rate which has largely surpassed that of urbanization. Globally, every five years, 60 per cent of city inhabitants have been victims of one form of crime or the other and over half of these crimes have involved property. Violent crimes such as murder, infanticide, assault, rape, sexual abuse, acts of terrorism, buying and selling of women and children, etc., constitute another 25 to 30 per cent of urban crime. Other forms of urban violence that have been perpetrated in European and Latin American communities, the drug trade and anti-social behaviour (hooliganism) have singly, as well as collectively, increased in the cities, creating a pervasive feeling of insecurity.

7The city is a conducive setting for these types of urban violence and crime, because it provides the anonymity required for individual crime and the space for a specialized and organized underworld. Theft and hooliganism thus become a means of survival if there is a dearth of options, especially in cities which have undergone substantial growth, that has resulted in an unbalanced demographic structure.

8Theoretically, cities do not cause or produce crime or urban violence. According to the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1994), the social discord created by huge contrasts in economic well-being, that is, abject poverty in close juxtaposition with great wealth, and the frustration produced by marginalization and the inability to do anything about it are perhaps the most significant motives for crime and urban violence. Other major causes include: lack of prospects and/or opportunities for upward social mobility; negative socialization; poor education; peer pressure and poor job prospects; absence of strong legal deterrents; general breakdown of family values; lack of social controls within the anonymity of cities, which tend to cancel out community influence in dealing with deviant behaviour; qualitative and quantitative insufficiency of social housing programmes and community amenities; the lack of respect for authority and law; the provocative and poorly protected urban environment, which lacks adequate surveillance or social control facilities; excessive violence in films and videos, and the pervasive influence of the mass...