Conflicts Resolution and Urban Development

Urban Development takes many forms and it can share perspectives and practices with urban design. Several methods have been adopted by various countries in trying to tame the raving menace of social conflicts in their urban areas, ethnic and religious conflict is the most prominent form of conflicts in the urban areas.

Due to this, more state and local governments have been created in many countries, but it has not apparently solved the problem of these conflicts (ethnic and religious).

Constitutional and statutory provisions have been made but these social conflicts (ethnic and religious) issues still persist and pose serious challenges to the public.

Conflict is characterised by emotionalised and violent opposition in which the major concern is to overcome the opponent as a means of securing a goal or reward, it is a direct and openly antagonistic struggle of persons or groups for the same object. The aim of conflicts is the defeat, subjugation, or annihilation of the other person as a means of obtaining the goal.

Conflict is affected by the nature of the group and its particular culture. The object of conflict maybe property, power and status, freedom of action and thought, or any other desired value.

When economic interest looms large and there are many people or groups striving for material gain and power, conflict of economic interest may supplement the competitive process.

Various conflicts and crises have led to so many lives being lost, women have lost their husbands in conflicts, the husband lost their wives as a result of the conflict. Husbands and wives have lost their children as a result of conflicts. Entire villages and communities have been internally displaced and communities rendered desolate as a result of ethnic and religious strife.

The Forces that are Shaping the Urban Development

There are two major forces shaping the development of any city in the world. One is the Centrifugal (movement away from the city centre) in nature while the other is Centripetal (movement towards the city centre) force.

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The factors that join the latter force dominate the development of most of the developing world cities while the Centrifugal forces are often associated with cities of the developed world.

In most cases, the two forces may work in the urban system of any nation. This is because while Centrifugal force is operating in a city, it may be centrifugal in another. On another note, both forces may be effective in a city as one area may repel development while others may encourage it.

Urban development will lead to the migration of members of different cultural groups into another culture, and this will lead to them bringing in a culture different from the place they migrated to and values which will condole ways of behaviour that will clash with the norms and values of the receiving culture and therefore, this might lead to various conflicts, since people will be regarded as illegal personalities in their area.

Social Conflicts Types

Culture Conflicts: These can arise because of the interpenetration of rules based on the social attitude of groups towards the various ways in which a person might act under certain circumstances (CONDUCT NORMS). Conflicts of culture when the norms of one culture are migrated or come in contact with those of another.

Differential Conflicts: This is derived from the theory of culture concept in 1939 that said that isolation of or cultural conflict is another part of the group so that its members do not appreciate the value or appreciate its less highly and so tend to endanger it, and a pugnacious resort to a coercion decently applied by those who appreciate the value to those who disregard the value.

Normative Conflict: This term is only to distinguish between the two kinds of culture conflict i.e. the conflict between legal and other norms that arise through the societal growth process and to restrict the term cultural conflict to conflicts arising through the migration of cultural codes.

Suggested ways of finding a resolution to Social Conflicts

Reduction of Social Conflicts: Each side in a conflict assumes that its goals are correct. This sense of rightness permits people to engage in behaviour that might not be acceptable in other situation, because societal and personal conflict can disrupt social bonds.

Ways of reducing Social Conflicts

Conflicts Resolution

Cooptation: This occurs when the ideas of the opposition filter into the mainstream so that there is no longer a need for confrontation.

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Meditation: Meditation is the use of third-party to resolve issues, often occurs in Labour Management conflict within the small group and more recently, in divorce mediation.

Ritualised released of hostility: This is used in some societies and groups to contain conflicts. An anthropologist has reported ritualised neighbouring societies. The hostility is real, but its expression is carefully controlled to keep both lives and reputations.

Regional conflicts in America are often displaced onto athletic teams. North-South football games, for example, become an occasion for waving the Confederate flag or singing the Battle Hymn of the republic.

Termination of Social Conflicts: After social conflicts have been minimised, one can then go further in the last termination of the conflicts. Termination of social conflicts is a social process dependent upon, but not directly deductive from its pursuits. This fermentation belongs neither to war nor to peace. Just as a bridge is different from either bank it connects.

To be sure, the outcome of a conflict is related to the goals of the antagonists and to the means by which it is fought, its duration and intensely will depend on goals and available resources plus the time and effort required to achieve a decision.

But the resolution of the conflict, that is agreement about what makes up a true decision highlights some factors, which are not deducible from its pursuit and must hence be studied separately.

For all except absolute conflict, resolution involves a reciprocal activity and cannot be understood simply as a unilateral imposition of the will of the stronger on the weaker. Therefore, contrary to what common sense might suggest not only the potential victor but also the potential vanquished makes crucial contributions to the resolution.

According to a military man

“war is pressed by the victor, but the piece is made by the vanquished to take the vanquished point of view until the vanquished quits, the war goes on.”

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If both victor and vanquished are to make a contribution to the resolution of their conflict, they must arrive at some agreement. In order to end a conflict, the parties must agree upon rules and norms allowing them to assess their respective power position in the struggle.

Their common interest leads them to accept rules which enhance their mutual dependence on the very pursuit of their antagonistic goals. The parties to the social conflicts may be willing to cease the battle when they recognised that their aims cannot be arraigned or they can be attained only at a price which they are not willing to pay, or, more generally, than the making of peace.

Individuals and groups should institute a model in which they will be modifying interest groups, unification and organisation will lead to resolving divergent dualism.

Doing this will be a way of achieving some kind of unity; even if it will be through the annihilation of one of the conflicting parties. The challenges before the public understand the origin and dimension of these social conflicts harness their positive aspects and find ways of containing their destructive tendencies.

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About the author

I am Adegboyega Tunde Temitayo. A registered Town Planner with the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and Town Planners Registration Council (TOPREC).

I love to think differently and possibly on various Urban and Regional Planning issues to proffer solutions to Urban and Rural Environmental Problems. You can subscribe to my YouTube Channel

As the Chief Editor of Town Planners Diary, I humbly welcome you to this platform which is about enhancing Planning Education through research on various Town Planning and Environmental issues.

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