Land Use Classifications And Representation

This article focuses on the classification of urban and rural land use. A separate classification systems of rural and urban land uses is necessary particularly in connection with regional planning.

physical planning also referred to as land-use planning, is concerned with the spatial arrangement (organization) of urban and rural land uses for the purpose of creating functionally efficient and aesthetically pleasing physical environment for living, working, circulation and recreation. Before proceeding further, physical planning constitutes a system, being a phenomenon made up of elements and links, then the links connect the elements to foster interactions.
Urban planning attempts to solve the problems of urban growth and decay, precisely, it deals with the future physical form and structure of towns and cities. By physical form is meant their spatial layout pattern of vertical growth. By physical structure is meant the spatial pattern of arrangement of urban land uses as a functional basis. The ultimate aim which urban land-uses attempt to achieve is the creation of functionally efficient physical environment. (Omuta, 1986)

The urban centre comprises the following components of land use. This system of planning was developed from pioneers’ efforts in town planning.
The classification is derived from the uses into which urban lands are put into.
These include:
Residential area
Industrial area
Commercial area
Public area
Semi-public area
Recreational area
Public utilities
Transportation and communication
Primary production
Vacant (open space)
In urban design, zoning system of planning is normally used, zoning allows allocation of different areas of land to different uses in interrelated ways.
Some land use may be placed in juxtaposition, while some may be placed at different directions at certain distances. This pattern of urban design differentiates organic town and city from the modern ones.
RESIDENTIAL AREA: It is a zone where the inhabitants of a settlement reside. It is a place of abode for the inhabitants; commercial areas are normally located very close to residential areas to facilitate buying and selling of goods and services. In some cases, it is usually incorporated into it.
Nowadays, residential areas are given different name such as compound quarters, neighbourhood centre etc. each of these names signifies the area of land, the residential area occupies.
In order to make residential area conducive for human habitation, standard and adequate services and facilities have to be provided. Such facilities and services include water, electricity, telephone, postal and sewage disposal facilities and services etc. An adequate road facilities should be provided to ease circulation and for safety.
Residential areas are classified based on the number of families or households and based on net population density.
Residential classification based on number of families and households.
a. Single-family (or household) dwellings.
b. Two-family (or household) dwellings.
c. Three and four family (or household) dwellings.
d. Five and six family (or household) dwellings.
Density: These are arranged according to income class of inhabitants.
Density Class Persons per net Hectare
High income residential area
(is a place of low density
Designed for high income
Class) 100

Middle income residential area
(is a place designed for middle
Income people) 200

Low income residential area
(a place of high density designed
For low income people) 400

It is an area of business and commerce, where business and commercial activities are concentrated. Its location must be accessible to residential area. If possible, all major roads should converge to the commercial area.

The size of a commercial area depends on locational factors as well as economic demand. It should be noted that a commercial area with twelve shops with adequate car park will require about an hectare of land. Using this as yardstick could help in determining the size of the piece of land required for a commercial area.

Urban designers should try as much as possible to avoid a site with excessive slope in commercial centre design.
The site should be a focal point. Adequate provision must be made for road to ease traffic circulation. There should be adequate provision car park. Like any other urban zone, various facilities and services should be available at commercial centres such as water, electricity, telephone services etc.
Commercial classification based on size and type include:

1. Retail Trade-Specialist stores.
a. Apparel and accessories.
b. Food and liquor stores and markets.
c. Eating and drinking places.
d. Book and stationery stores.
e. Furniture, home finishing and equipment stores.
f. Sporting goods stores.
g. Farm and garden supply stores.
h. Building materials, hardware and farm equipment.
i. Electrical goods stores.
j. Drug stores.
k. Antique, gift and souvenir stores.
l. Jewellery stores.
m. Motor vehicle dealers.
n. Petrol filling station/Gas station.

2. Retail Trade-General Merchandise.
a. Department stores.
b. Supermarkets.
c. Variety stores.
d. Markets
e. Shopping centres.

3. Wholesale Trade
a. Apparel and accessories.
b. Food and beverages.
c. Drugs, chemical and allied products.
d. Motor vehicles and automotive equipment
e. Building materials and hardware.
f. Electrical goods.
g. Machinery, equipment and supplies.

Warehouses (for the various goods)

a. Finance (banking, stockbroking), insurance and real estate establishment.
b. Business services advertising and reporting agencies, news syndicates, private employment agencies, duplicating, mailing and stenographic services.
c. Professional services: medical, legal, engineering architectural, accounting, and auditing etc.
d. Personal services
i. Laundries, photographic studios, beauty and barber shops, miscellaneous repair and service shops, automobile parking spaces and structures, funeral services and crematoria.
ii. Indoor commercial amusement and entertainment service, dance and music halls, schools, art theatre, cinema houses and miscellaneous indoor recreation facilities.
iii. Transient lodging places hotels, motels, and tourists homes etc.

Industrial Area
Manufacturing industries: It is an area where manufacturing of goods take place. It is highly characterized with noise, smoke, dust and other pollutant substances that can embarrass inhabitants of a residential area. Therefore, it is necessary to place the manufacturing industries outside the urban centre where they could not be offensive to inhabitants. The area should be located at a reasonable distance to a residential area. It should not be located at a direction where wind can blow odour and pollutant substances to a residential area.
It should be noted that extractive industry should not be located in an industrial area. It should be located at the source of its raw materials. (Carter. 1981)

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The following should be considered when designing and industrial zone.
i. Industrial zone size depends on the number of inhabitants of the settlement. The figure of 1.5 hectares to 100 inhabitants is adopted in calculating size of industrial estate. 75 to 125 workers per hectare is another formula. The latter is used as relevant density standard adopted for industrial estate design.
ii. The intensity of development and ground coverage could be controlled by application of floor space coverage index, which is 50% of the total area of plot. That is, 50% of the total area of plot is allowed to be built up.
iii. The open space within each plot in industrial area should be landscaped, so as to add more beauty to the environment.
iv. There should be varieties in plot size in order to accommodate various type of factories.
v. All industries with the same characters and the same requirement should be grouped together to have common park, medical centre, recreational facilities, restaurant and other services and facilities. The location of the layout of an industrial estate should take into consideration the existing facilities, and also present and future requirements. Consideration should be given to waste product treatment and management.
vi. Industrial areas of 10 hectares and above should be provided with services centres including post office, telephone exchange, fire brigade station, bank, police post, a small market area, car repairs workshops etc.

Service Industrial Area: This kind of area normally accommodate light service industries that can cater for the need of a neighbourhood centre and its inhabitants. Such facilities provided by service industries include maintenance and repairs required by the community. These include car repairs, bakery laundry etc. Service industries could be grouped or scattered all over the neighbourhood. But it should be made accessible to the inhabitants. However, a neighbourhood of 10,00 inhabitants requires 1 hectare of land service centre. (Okoye, 1995)

Service industrial zone should be located adjacent to the neighbourhood shopping centre along the service road. The surrounding roads should be properly constructed and provided with adequate car park.

It should be noted that the difference between service and manufacturing industries is that the letter can seriously pollute neighbourhood environment and its pollution can cause health hazard. Therefore, it should be located outside the urban area. While the former pollutant substances are less harmful, and so it can be located within and urban area or neighbourhood.

Industrial Classification
– Crafts making
a. Cloth (Spinning, weaving, dyery)
b. Leather crafts
c. Wood and sundry carvings
d. Drum and musical instrument
e. Pottery, ceramics and stoneware
f. Metal crafts

– Light (non manufacturing) industries
a. Apparel and other finished products of fabrics and similar materials
b. Primity, publishing and allied products.
c. Auto-servicing and repairing
d. Electrical servicing and repairing
d. Light engineering: vulcanizing, welding, tyre retreading etc.

– General (manufacturing) Industries.
a. Food and allied products: meat, dairy, fish, fruit, bakery sugar, confectionery etc.
b. Beverage (soft and hot) industries
c. Tobacco products
d. Textile mill products
e. Saw-mill and wood products
f. Furniture and fixtures
g. Paper and allied products
h. Fabricated metals products.
i. Miscellaneous machinery (except electrical)
j. Electrical machinery, equipment and supplies.
k. Miscellaneous transportation equipment: motor vehicles, aircraft, ships and boats, trains, motor cycles and bicycles.
l. Professional, scientific and controlling equipment and instruments.

– Noxious (special) Industries
a. Leather and leather product.
b. Chemicals, pharmaceutical and allied products.
c. Rubber and plastics products.
d. Petroleum refining and kindred industries.
e. Stone, clay and glass products.
f. Primary metals industries.

– Recreational Area
a. This kind of zone is designed for leisure and relaxation. It comprises facilities for sport game, indoor game, religion, politics, education etc. Demand factors for recreational facilities are work pattern, mobility, income and education.

The following are the factors to be considered in recreational zone planning:
i. The existing pattern of land use must be considered.
ii. Resources of specific recreational value such as lake, beach, rock mountain etc should be mapped out.
iii. The extent to which the existing recreational facilities are being used should be identified.
iv. Provision of some recreational facilities depend on the availability of certain particular resources e.g water for summer, rock face for rock climber. And they should be used to the maximum point.
v. All recreational zones must be served with adequate footpaths, and road networks to ease accessibility.
vi. Recreational activities of common interest should be grouped together and provided with full facilities.
vii. Recreational area should be properly landscaped to beautify the environment.

– Recreational Classification.
– Formal outdoor Recreation.
a. Playgrounds: Children’s playgrounds, games and sports fields, and courts etc.
b. Stadia.

– Informal outdoor Recreation
a. Parks.
b. Zoological and botanical gardens.
c. Camping and picnic sites.

– Outdoor water based Recreation.
a. Swimming pools.
b. Bathing beaches.
c. Marinas and boating area.
d. Fishing sites.
e. Acquaria.

– Indoor Recreation: Facilities of all kinds.

Road network is an essential facility that links all landuse areas together. It is the basic means of accessibility to various areas of residential, industrial, and commercial etc.

It also connects centres and facilities utilities that serve the various centres such as electricity, water, drainage, and telephone. Urban road system consists of the following types.
i. Express Road
ii. Ring Road
iii. Primary Road
iv. Secondary Road
v. Distributive Road
vi. Service Road
vii. Cul-de-sac
viii. Side walk
ix. Overhead crossing
x. Bus Bay.

For easy automobile circulation, each class of the road network should be opened to higher order i.e secondary road to primary road and primary road to express road etc.
Proper care must be taken in road design to ensure that there is no conflict between pedestrian and automobile circulation to save lives and materials.
Side walk should be large enough to permit large volume pedestrian movement.
Pedestrian lane should be provided at both sides of the roads, except along express ways of long distances. Minimum width of pedestrian lane in both residential and industrial areas should be 1.8m while commercial areas should be 2.7m. In road curve design, the minimum curve radius should be 30m.

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T-junction minimizes accident and traffic problems, while cross junctions encourage the problem. All roads in urban centres should join each other at right angles or angle 900 junction which should be wide when a road to join another one.

Parking space should be provided, but should not be allowed where it can disturb safe side distance such as junction, curve etc.
– Transportation Classification
a. Motor routes and parks, parking spaces and structures and bus depots.
b. Railroads terminals stations and yards.
c. Airports, airstrip and heliports.
d. Shipping facilities, ports, wharfs, and customs depots etc.

– Communication
a. Radio broadcasting and television stations
b. Telephone facilities
c. Telegraph facilities

– Public Administration Buildings
a. Federal
b. State
c. Local
d. Parastatals

– Socio-Cultural Buildings
a. Community and social centres, public concert and exhibition halls.
b. Cultural facilities: libraries, museums, art galleries etc.

– Special Use
a. Defense (army, navy and air force) areas.
b. Prison yards and reformatories

– Educational Research and scientific Institutions:
a. Pre-school
b. Primary
c. Secondary
d. Tertiary colleges and universities
e. Research institutes

– Health Institutions.
a. General and specialist hospitals, health centres, clinics, dispensaries etc.
b. Mental institutions.
c. Sanatoria, convalescent and nursing homes, homes and institutions for children, old people and the disabled etc.
– Religious Buildings and Institutions.
a. Churches.
b. Mosques.
c. Temples and shrines of traditional religions.
d. Other ecclesiastical institutions.
– Non-profit Community Organisation.
a. Political organisations.
b. Social, civic, cultural and fraternal associations.
c. Labour unions.
d. Professional organisations.
e. Business associations.
f. Charitable organisations.
– Cemeteries.

– Water supply
a. Water works
b. Storage and service reservoirs
c. Other water supply facilities
– Electricity Supply
a. Buildings of electricity agencies or companies
b. Powerline easements (rights of way)
c. Power stations, transformer and other installations.
– Gas Supply
a. Buildings of gas agencies or companies
b. Gas stations and installations.
– Sewerage
Sewerage and sewage disposal works
– Refuse depots, dumps, works and incinerators.
– Open Space (Vacant, Land) Classification
– Vacant Structures (Residential, Industrial Commercial etc)
– Structures under construction (Residential, Industrial, Commercial etc).
– Vacant Land
a. Improved but undeveloped (Residential, Industrial, Commercial).
b. Unimproved (e.g Wetlands, steeps slopes, irregular topography and sites,
derelict land, extensive rock outcrops)
– Surface water areas

The uses of rural land is classified below, especially for the purpose of regional planning.
– Agricultural land use classification
– Croplands
a. Arable farms; grain, tuber etc.
b. Tree crop farms and plantation: fruits, nuts etc.
– Vegetable farms.
– Livestock farms.
a. Grazing lands.
b. Dairy farms.
c. Poultry farms.
d. Other: piggery, rabbitry etc.
2. Forestry Areas.
Forestry Nurseries.
Forest Reserves.
Forest Plantations.

3. Mines and Quarries

4. Fishery Areas
5. Defence lands
6. Recreation Areas
Natural Parks
Nature (wildlife) Reserves

Presentation of land Use Plans
Land use plans are generally presented in maps with the use of different colour notation. Colour notation for different land uses as explained above varies from one institution to the other. In the recent time, most of the institutions of higher learning in Nigeria where Urban and Regional Planning is offered as a course are harmonising this variation along with the specified by the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners. This colour notation is as summarised in table 3.1 below


Different shades of brown could be used to differentiate the densities.

Bright Blue
Different shade of blue could be used to differentiate intensity of use or level of commercial activity

Light Green

Deep Green

Institutional And or public uses
Different shade of Red could be use for purpose of distinction.

It could be left unshaded

The colour should be neatly applied with all sense of graphic; uniform intensity and direction. This could be easily achieved with the aid of computer aided design package.

Land-Use maps are prepared on several scales depending on the degree of details that are required, in other words, all categories and sub-categories of urban land uses do not usually require the same degree of detailed study. For instance, the CBD (Central Business District) and commercial areas require more detailed studies than ordinary residential and outdoor recreation areas. (Udo, 1992)
On small-scale land-use maps, it is the predominant (principal) use of a site, plot, building or structure that is recorded; their minor use or uses are ignored. Urban master plans are examples of generalized land-use maps which show the predominant land uses of the various zones.

This can be referred to as an area outside the edge of an urban centre. In some cases, it shares building with some rural areas.
It is usually very difficult to determine the boundary and limit of an urban fringe. It has unconfirmed land use activities. Most people staying there are daily-paid workers and the inhabitants tend to be lawless. They build all forms and shapes of building which do not conform to any planning laws or regulations.
Some of the reasons for the existence or development of the zone at the outskirts of the cities as advanced in literature are:
1. The area neglects the minimum investments requirement and at the same time meets the immediate needs of the majority of the occupants who actually do not belong to the place.
2. Land in the urban centres are expensive
3. Lack of effective and strict land use control in these areas.

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This is a plan that centres much on zoning regulation of a particular town or district; it may be for a state or a country. As noted by (Mabogunje, 2003)
The idea of master plan or comprehensive plan came when planning was a direct responsibility of municipal engineers. Under the municipal authority, planning was carried out by a quasi-city independent and zoning commission.
This body was controlled by the city engineers.
The then engineers conceived the idea of master plan to achieve and “ideal” city by providing a physical environment which will be much influence on the people, as they held in opinion that master plan should be a determinant of any physical environment. one of the characteristics of master plan of the city engineers was rigidity.
It was never made available for public criticism and participation and that makes it different from the modern day master plan prepared by town planners.
“The modern day master plan can be defined as an official statement of a municipal legislative body which sets forth its major policies concerning the desirable future physical features development. (FHR, 1985)
it also means a detailed, large scale outline of drawings, diagrams and write-up showing the geographical location of a town or a building and specifies how it will be constructed.

The general goals of master plans design are:
1. To control the physical growth and development of a town.
2. To build a town that will be healthy for living and for working.
3. To build a town that will be self-sustaining.

The objectives of master plans include:
a. To prepare drawings that will show the extent of town development
b. To establish the population of the town.
c. To designate different area of the town for residential, commercial, industrial and recreational development.
d. To prepare an efficient and flexible master plan which is capable of accommodating future development of the town.
e. To organise the activity areas like place of work, living and recreation in a well integrated and convenient manner which will be efficiently connected.
f. To make proposal for the provision of socio-infrastructural facilities in the town.

Comprehensive Plan (master plan) is much more than simply lines and colours on a piece of paper. In fact, it is very demanding and complicated exercise requiring exhaustive research and consultation, deep thought and vigorous techniques of analysis and presentation. With this we must avoid the danger of producing a meaningless unrealistic and impracticable plan, a merely academic exercise which ignores real needs and issues. (Omotola, 1982)

Development comprise of a flexible range of component plans which are designed to deal with different degrees of detail, subject matter, time-scale, initiating agencies and aspect of resources. There are essentially four types of component plans ranging from general to the specific and from the long term to the short term. These include:
1. Structure plan
2. District plan
3. Action area plan
4. Subject plan

5. Structure Plan: This is by and large a written document supported by diagrams and sketches based on, but not directly related to the government survey map. Structure plan is for residential, commercial, industrial, major road network and other urban use. it shows the present and future plan, it also spells out the aim and objectives of the plan (it does not involve detailed local survey) as well as describe the existing urban structure, indicate alternative strategies and determine major policies. the structure plan should also identify individual sub-areas, district and action areas where investments are likely to take place in the nearest future.
The structure plan state the order of priority of development of these areas when and where the investment should go. The structure plan thus provide a framework for subsequent local plans and guidance for development control.

6. District Plan: These are comprehensive, broad scale plans to control and set out the implementation and interpretation of the structure plan policies. The district plan is general in nature, recommending for example, primary road alignment and the major land allocation for housing, employment, education, recreation and public buildings. It is a plan that must also be related specifically to the areas of land over which it is being drawn.
For the practicability of a district plan a planner must have an accurate knowledge of all the physical aspects of the district.

7. Action area Plan: These are comprehensive detailed short-term plans for relatively small areas selected for intensive change within a specified period by improvement, development or redevelopment. They should show among other things real specification, drainage and sewerage lines and their reconnection for disposal etc. action area plans provide a detailed basis for development control.

8. Subject Plan: These are detailed, specific plans dealing with limited or particular aspect of planning in all part of the structure plan area.
For example, the provision of primary schools, road junction improvement, drainage or refuse collection, and the setting up of an urban bus service.

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