Accepted 25th April, 2017
The fast urbanization/industrialization and population growth in the city of Port Harcourt as well as changes in human activities/ modern lifestyle has brought about demand on Land Use. Sequel to this the demand for infrastructure and different house types have brought about a lot of changes in land cover and land use in Port Harcourt. The methodology used was Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing which provided a cost effective and accurate alternative to understanding landscape dynamics. Digital change detection techniques based on multi-temporal and multi-spectral remotely sensed data was also used. Also a mathematical model using Matlab numerical scheme called ordinary differential equation to complement the relationship of population growth, housing demand and land use in the city of Port Harcourt was used. Objectives of the Study are; To examine the population growth of Port Harcourt since it was created. To examine the housing needs and current land availability. To examine how much land has been used for housing development. The findings of the research showed the Built – Up area had an increase from 16.50% in 1984 to 51.38% in 2014. A lot of development has taken place using up most of the Gallery Forest, Vegetation Area and the Water Bodies. Development of Built – Up area needs to be controlled so that all of the vegetation is not used up because the city needs some vegetation to allow the city breath. From the mathematical model the best –fit parameter value is β1 = 0.00000068338 for the carrying capacity value of 650,000 population size. The model has helped complement the relationship of population growth, housing demand and land use in the city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Some recommendations from the research are; The 1978 Land Use Act should be revised because government does not have control of land as stated on paper. The Rivers State Physical Planning and Development Law No 6 of 2003 should be implemented. Green buildings and Green technologies should be utilized.
Keywords: Population Growth, Land Use change, Housing, Development