Territoriality in Post-conflict Neighbourhoods: Unravelling the Dynamics of Territorial Marks in Ile-Ife, Nigeria





Territoriality, Territorial Behaviour, Post-conflict neighbourhood, Boundary demarcation, Land dispute


ABSTRACT The pervasiveness of territorial marks in post-conflict neighbourhoods elicited this study. Relying on residents’ perceptions, the study explored the dynamics underpinning residents’ use of territorial marks. Primary data was collected by administering questionnaires to residents of various neighbourhoods within the study area. Physical observations were conducted to identify all residential neighbourhoods and categorised into three homogenous zones. From each homogenous zone, 30 neighbourhoods were purposively selected. In total, 2055 buildings were identified within these selected neighbourhoods. Thereafter, systematic sampling was employed, resulting in the selection of 206 residents living in separate dwelling units. Findings revealed significant territorial behaviour across all socioeconomic classes. Indigenous territorial marks were predominantly used across all income groups as elements used to communicate land ownership. The study concluded that while crime prevention may be correlated with territoriality, however, in post-conflict neighbourhoods, the need to demarcate land boundaries and communicate ownership was more important, as demonstrated in the adoption of indigenous elements as territorial marks. The paper concluded that in these neighbourhoods, territoriality is chiefly a land boundary regulation mechanism. The paper recommends clear-cut land policies in post-conflict communities while advocating for the recognition of indigenous territorial marks in Afro-centric literature.


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Author Biographies

Oluwasegun Odunlade, Research Department, Lagos Business School, Pan Atlantic University, Nigeria

Oluwasegun Odunlade is a Research Assistant at the Management Scholar Academy of the prestigious Lagos Business School. He holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning, with interests in environmental psychology, human-environment interaction and urban economies. His current research activities explore the human use of design elements in meeting sociocultural and economic needs and the implication of this on the wider urban environment. He has contributed to extant literature on sustainable transportation, CPTED strategies, and social inequality. He currently seeks a PhD position that aligns with his areas of interest.

Prof. Albert A. Abegunde , Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria

Professor Albert Abegunde is a seasoned and full professor of Urban and Regional Planning, at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). He has decades of research and teaching experience in Community Participation and Development Planning, Post Disaster Planning and Conflict Mitigation, Urban Land Development and Strategic Planning, across the continents of Africa and Europe. He is the current co-ordinator of Laboratory Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA) in the Faculty of Environmental Design and Management at OAU.


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How to Cite

Odunlade, O., & Abegunde, A. A. (2023). Territoriality in Post-conflict Neighbourhoods: Unravelling the Dynamics of Territorial Marks in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 7(1), 69–85. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2023.v7n1-5