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A B S T R A C T This study aims at ameliorating the associated challenges emanated from the ineffective planning, management and design of market square as well as appraisal of the interactions among people of diverse ethnicity. Hence, the study explores users’ interactions and activities within three markets square in rural neighborhoods of South-west, Nigeria. The significant relationship between resident’s interactions and the community well-being was explored. Consequently, this study highlights the influence of the market square as a typical neighborhood open space on residents’ well-being. The study’s quantitative approach encircled the purposive structured survey questionnaire data obtained from Yorubas, Hausas, and Ibos respondents (n=382); and analyzed by SPSS statistical package (version 22). Meanwhile, the qualitative data included observation of various activity pattern among the three ethnic groups. The study’s findings revealed that an improvement in the market square quality becomes necessary in order to increase residents’ interactions and well-being. Also, the study elucidates the appropriate link between the built environment, residents’ interactions, and well-being. It is concluded that residents’ well-being is a reflection of an experience manifested within the interplay of individuals and groups’ social interactions. This study of people and place relationships could better equip the professionals in the built environment on the importance of creating a sustainable open space towards improving residents’ well-being and rural community revitalization efforts.

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Residents’ Social Interactions in Market Square and Its Impact on Community Well-Being *Dr.OLUWAGBEMIGA PAUL AGBOOLA1, Dr.MOHD HISYAM RASIDI2, Dr.ISMAIL BIN SAID3, MA.SOLOMON DYACHIA ZAKKA4, MA.ABDUL-WAHAB SHUAIBU5 1, 2, 3Faculty of Built Environment, Department of Landscape Architecture, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Postcode 81310, Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. 4, 5 Faculty of Built Environment, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Postcode 81310, Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia 1E mail: Agbofavour41@yahoo.com , 2E mail:hisyamrasidi@gmail.com3E mail: b-ismail@utm.my, 4E mail: zakkasolomon2008@yahoo.com, 5E mail: abdulwahab.shuaibu@gmail.com A B S T R A C T This study aims at ameliorating the associated challenges emanated from the ineffective planning, management and design of market square as well as appraisal of the interactions among people of diverse ethnicity. Hence, the study explores users’ interactions and activities within three markets square in rural neighborhoods of South-west, Nigeria. The significant relationship between resident’s interactions and the community well-being was explored. Consequently, this study highlights the influence of the market square as a typical neighborhood open space on residents’ well-being. The study’s quantitative approach encircled the purposive structured survey questionnaire data obtained from Yorubas, Hausas, and Ibos respondents (n=382); and analyzed by SPSS statistical package (version 22). Meanwhile, the qualitative data included observation of various activity pattern among the three ethnic groups. The study’s findings revealed that an improvement in the market square quality becomes necessary in order to increase residents’ interactions and well-being. Also, the study elucidates the appropriate link between the built environment, residents’ interactions, and well-being. It is concluded that residents’ well-being is a reflection of an experience manifested within the interplay of individuals and groups’ social interactions. This study of people and place relationships could better equip the professionals in the built environment on the importance of creating a sustainable open space towards improving residents’ well-being and rural community revitalization efforts. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2018) 2(2), 24-32. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.3668 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2017 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction A considerable amount of literature has reinstated the economic significance of markets in rural development through exchange and distribution of commodities and services (Vagale, 1972; Trager Lillian, 1979; Eben-Saleh and Alkalaf, 1999). Aside from the economic significance of markets, markets also encompass human social aspects. The social significance of market is exemplified by Omole, Lukman, & Baki, (2013) in that market acts as a gathering point for the protraction of cultural lineage obligations and responsibilities. Thus, market square acts as a social arena, where social activities, like courtship, visiting friends, and exchange of ideas occur. Other social activities in market square include dancing, dating, and recreational events (Anthonia, 1973). Recently, researchers have shown an increased interest in the exploration of varying degree of social interactions among market Square's users and community residents of both developed and developing countries. However, little efforts have been initiated in exploring the social interactions among diverse ethnic groups in the market square (which is also known as Oja in Yoruba parlance) of such a large and multicultural nation as Nigeria. A host of challenges often time associated with the use of the traditional rural market square, which has been established as an important typical rural neighborhood open space in Nigeria. These challenges as reinstated by Agboola, Rasidi, & Ismail (2016), include inadequate social interactions, contestation over the use, the need for improved facilities and amenities, security and environmental hazards amongst others. Meanwhile, the interactions among diverse ethnics within the markets are often threatened by indigene and settler’s dichotomy and as such have negative impacts on the rural developments efforts. Other constraints in people social interaction within the traditional rural market in Nigeria are traceable to improper developmental issues and inadequate facilities. For instance, the significance of social interaction attributed to non-availability and in some cases management of adequate market’s facilities and amenities. Similarly, haphazard and uncoordinated physical planning has been a cog in the wheel of market’s space utilization and management. A reflection of these could be seen from market’s physical conditions traceable to poor accessibility, sanitary conveniences, inadequate water supply, electricity, and other community facilities. The planning challenges include encroachment on the market boundary, poor landscaping, inefficient refuse disposal system, and other services utilities (Uzuegbunam 2012). This study aimed at proffering solution towards ameliorating the associated social interaction challenges in the market square. Establishing adequate social interactions among diverse market’s users portray identifiable benefits. For instance, a well-equipped and planned market square will impact positively on the users’ well-being and satisfaction. Other significance includes enhancement of peoples’ togetherness and cordial relationship among the diverse ethnics. In this study’s context, well-being is synonymous with a sense of community which refers to the feelings that community residents have towards each other. This depicts belongingness, shared loyalty and neighborliness (McMillan, David & Chavis, 1986). In recent time, enhancement of human well-being remains a vital issue that required attention among professionals in built environment. In view of this, there is a desirous need for proper open spaces’ planning targeting improvement on peoples’ interactions and movement (Southworth & Owens, 1993). It is evident that people’s perception of social interaction has intertwined positively with residents’ sense of community (Lund, 2002; Wood,Frank & Giles-Corti, 2010). For proper understanding and clarity, this research is underpinned by social interactions, cohesion and attachment concepts. These variables are paramount towards achieving the following: (i) creation of enabling an environment for passive social contact among the users (ii) appropriate space for residents’ interactions and community cohesion (Fleming, Baum, & Singer, 1985) and lastly (iii) residents’ attachment to the market (Peters, Elands, & Buijs, 2010). Succinctly, the concepts captured the collective values of the processes and attachments that existed between people and their environment, which leads to community well-being (Davidson & Cotter, 1986 and Nasar & Julian 1995). This research work focused on the level of interactions among the diverse markets’ users and the ability to facilitate the residents’ well-being. Past studies have established that both the social interaction, place attachment can promote well-being (Maloutas & Pantelidou, 2004).

Perspectives

Residents’ Social Interactions in Market Square and Its Impact on Community Well-Being *Dr.OLUWAGBEMIGA PAUL AGBOOLA1, Dr.MOHD HISYAM RASIDI2, Dr.ISMAIL BIN SAID3, MA.SOLOMON DYACHIA ZAKKA4, MA.ABDUL-WAHAB SHUAIBU5 1, 2, 3Faculty of Built Environment, Department of Landscape Architecture, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Postcode 81310, Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. 4, 5 Faculty of Built Environment, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Postcode 81310, Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia 1E mail: Agbofavour41@yahoo.com , 2E mail:hisyamrasidi@gmail.com3E mail: b-ismail@utm.my, 4E mail: zakkasolomon2008@yahoo.com, 5E mail: abdulwahab.shuaibu@gmail.com A B S T R A C T This study aims at ameliorating the associated challenges emanated from the ineffective planning, management and design of market square as well as appraisal of the interactions among people of diverse ethnicity. Hence, the study explores users’ interactions and activities within three markets square in rural neighborhoods of South-west, Nigeria. The significant relationship between resident’s interactions and the community well-being was explored. Consequently, this study highlights the influence of the market square as a typical neighborhood open space on residents’ well-being. The study’s quantitative approach encircled the purposive structured survey questionnaire data obtained from Yorubas, Hausas, and Ibos respondents (n=382); and analyzed by SPSS statistical package (version 22). Meanwhile, the qualitative data included observation of various activity pattern among the three ethnic groups. The study’s findings revealed that an improvement in the market square quality becomes necessary in order to increase residents’ interactions and well-being. Also, the study elucidates the appropriate link between the built environment, residents’ interactions, and well-being. It is concluded that residents’ well-being is a reflection of an experience manifested within the interplay of individuals and groups’ social interactions. This study of people and place relationships could better equip the professionals in the built environment on the importance of creating a sustainable open space towards improving residents’ well-being and rural community revitalization efforts. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2018) 2(2), 24-32. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.3668 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2017 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction A considerable amount of literature has reinstated the economic significance of markets in rural development through exchange and distribution of commodities and services (Vagale, 1972; Trager Lillian, 1979; Eben-Saleh and Alkalaf, 1999). Aside from the economic significance of markets, markets also encompass human social aspects. The social significance of market is exemplified by Omole, Lukman, & Baki, (2013) in that market acts as a gathering point for the protraction of cultural lineage obligations and responsibilities. Thus, market square acts as a social arena, where social activities, like courtship, visiting friends, and exchange of ideas occur. Other social activities in market square include dancing, dating, and recreational events (Anthonia, 1973). Recently, researchers have shown an increased interest in the exploration of varying degree of social interactions among market Square's users and community residents of both developed and developing countries. However, little efforts have been initiated in exploring the social interactions among diverse ethnic groups in the market square (which is also known as Oja in Yoruba parlance) of such a large and multicultural nation as Nigeria. A host of challenges often time associated with the use of the traditional rural market square, which has been established as an important typical rural neighborhood open space in Nigeria. These challenges as reinstated by Agboola, Rasidi, & Ismail (2016), include inadequate social interactions, contestation over the use, the need for improved facilities and amenities, security and environmental hazards amongst others. Meanwhile, the interactions among diverse ethnics within the markets are often threatened by indigene and settler’s dichotomy and as such have negative impacts on the rural developments efforts. Other constraints in people social interaction within the traditional rural market in Nigeria are traceable to improper developmental issues and inadequate facilities. For instance, the significance of social interaction attributed to non-availability and in some cases management of adequate market’s facilities and amenities. Similarly, haphazard and uncoordinated physical planning has been a cog in the wheel of market’s space utilization and management. A reflection of these could be seen from market’s physical conditions traceable to poor accessibility, sanitary conveniences, inadequate water supply, electricity, and other community facilities. The planning challenges include encroachment on the market boundary, poor landscaping, inefficient refuse disposal system, and other services utilities (Uzuegbunam 2012). This study aimed at proffering solution towards ameliorating the associated social interaction challenges in the market square. Establishing adequate social interactions among diverse market’s users portray identifiable benefits. For instance, a well-equipped and planned market square will impact positively on the users’ well-being and satisfaction. Other significance includes enhancement of peoples’ togetherness and cordial relationship among the diverse ethnics. In this study’s context, well-being is synonymous with a sense of community which refers to the feelings that community residents have towards each other. This depicts belongingness, shared loyalty and neighborliness (McMillan, David & Chavis, 1986). In recent time, enhancement of human well-being remains a vital issue that required attention among professionals in built environment. In view of this, there is a desirous need for proper open spaces’ planning targeting improvement on peoples’ interactions and movement (Southworth & Owens, 1993). It is evident that people’s perception of social interaction has intertwined positively with residents’ sense of community (Lund, 2002; Wood,Frank & Giles-Corti, 2010). For proper understanding and clarity, this research is underpinned by social interactions, cohesion and attachment concepts. These variables are paramount towards achieving the following: (i) creation of enabling an environment for passive social contact among the users (ii) appropriate space for residents’ interactions and community cohesion (Fleming, Baum, & Singer, 1985) and lastly (iii) residents’ attachment to the market (Peters, Elands, & Buijs, 2010). Succinctly, the concepts captured the collective values of the processes and attachments that existed between people and their environment, which leads to community well-being (Davidson & Cotter, 1986 and Nasar & Julian 1995). This research work focused on the level of interactions among the diverse markets’ users and the ability to facilitate the residents’ well-being. Past studies have established that both the social interaction, place attachment can promote well-being (Maloutas & Pantelidou, 2004).

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This page is a summary of: Residents’ Social Interactions in Market Square and Its Impact on Community Well-Being, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, October 2017, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs (JCUA), DOI: 10.25034/ijcua.2018.3668.
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