Building Sustainability in the Urban Environment: An Integration of Road and Water Transportation Systems in Port Harcourt Metropolis
Asian Journal of Geographical Research, Volume 5, Issue 1,
The apparent disconnect of different modes of transport in the Port Harcourt metropolis is causing difficulty in urban mobility among commuters. The study has assessed the integration of road and water transport systems to build a sustainable urban environment in Port Harcourt metropolis, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study are to identify the road and water infrastructure transport systems in Port Harcourt metropolis and their state of functionality, identify and examine the disconnect existing in the street and water transportation in the study area, identify the challenges facing the integration of road and water transportation in the study, and provide physical planning strategy to achieving the integration of road and water transport systems in the study area. The study adopted a Mixed Methods Research (MMR) approach using a concurrent triangulation research design to obtain the relevant data and information that addressed the study aim and objectives of the study. In addition, the study employed purposive and simple random sampling techniques, including the key informant method. A total of four hundred (400) commuters, fifty (50) each, were interviewed from six (6) major road corridors and two (2) jetties in Port Harcourt City (Aggrey, Trans-Amadi and Olu-Obasanjo Roads) and Obio/Akpor (Akpajo-Elelenwo-Oil Mill, NTA and Agip Roads) and two (2) jetties: Port Harcourt City (Bille/Bonny/Nembe Jetty) and Obio/Akpor (Feltaco Jetty). Some Key informants from the transport sector like the Rivers State Ministry of Transport (RSMT) staff Rivers State Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning (RSMUDPP). Others are staff of the Rivers State Transport Company (RTC), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Rivers State Marine Transport Company, waterways transport operators, and Town Planners were among those interviewed. The study found potential for integrating road and water transport systems in the study area, and some of the infrastructures are obsolete and lack maintenance, thereby impeding interconnectivity and interlinkage between both systems. The study also revealed that government unwillingness to harness and develop the potential poor urban planning and management, and poor urban governance contribute to the disconnect of the road and water transport systems observed, affecting the quality of life and well-being of residents and poor urban sustainability. Thus, to improve the potentials and challenges identified, the study suggested that the government should develop an integrated transportation policy framework to enhance the integration of road and water transport systems. The government should upgrade and rehabilitate roads and water transportation infrastructure to improve intermodal connectivity and linkages for efficiency and effectiveness in the study area. The Public-Private Partnership approach should be developed and adopted in the planning and management of the transport sector in the study area; develop all waterways within the study area through canalisation and channelisation, and the government should adopt sound governance principles to involve all stakeholders of the transport sector.
- road and water transportation systems
- urban environment
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