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Journal of Management and Contemporary Studies (JMACS), Benue State University

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Planning Public Spaces for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria

Irene D. Mngutyo (Dept of Urban and Regional Planning, Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. E-mails:; {Corresponding Author})

Davidson S. A. Alaci Department of urban and Regional Planning, University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. E-mails:;

Abdulfatai 0. Anofi Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Ilorin. P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria. E-mails:;


Crises- and violent conflicts- induced rural-urban migration is now a major factor in the rapid urban growth occurring in many African cities. Consequently, large numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are present in many cities. The situation of these forced migrants has become dire in terms of returning home. Available statistics suggest that, it takes on the average a return period of 17-20 years to places of origin. This implies that city planners have to find alternative solutions in the intermediate term which allows IDPs to integrate faster into their host communities. Against this background, a genre of urban space called public space, specifically parks, squares, gardens and streets have been touted to play a key role in place attachment, social integration, community cohesion, sense of belonging and increased perception of the individuals' rights to the city. This study therefore interrogates how public spaces in Agan, Mbalagh, North bank I and II part of Makurdi have catered for IDPs. Focus group discussions were held with the IDPs. Also, observation of places of agglomeration in the host communities was carried out and questionnaires administered to users of places of relaxation in host communities surrounding the IDP camps. The study discovered that generally residents of Makurdi recreate in hybrid spaces of restaurants and eateries more than in traditional parks and gardens. Therefore, it is suggested, among others, that while considering diverse needs of residents across ages and gender, hybrid of spaces of recreation should be integrated into city planning with unhindered access for IDPs.

Key words: Inclusion; Internally Displaced Persons; Integration; Public Space; Urban design, Management experience, Service Quality, Economic Recession.

* The Secretary, Editorial Board (JMACS), Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria

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