The state of infrastructure is an essential framework in assessing and indicating the status of any urban system. The efficiency of any form of human avocation, including metropolitan area, largely depends on the provision of efficient infrastructure and services. It can therefore be concluded that the significance of infrastructure in the proper functioning of an area cannot be over-emphasised.
The quality and coverage of infrastructure services have a major impact on living standards and economic growth, yet it is estimated that 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, 1 billion people practice open defecation(nine out of ten in rural areas), 748 million people lack access to improved drinking-water and it is estimated that 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking-water that is faecally contaminated while 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity,
Food, shelter and clothing constitute the most important needs of man. Shelter, though second in the hierarchy is as consequential as food and adequate shelter is necessary for the large entity of human populace that abound on earth.
Shelter implies having a roof over one’s head to serve as protection from harsh weather and attack. Shelter is often construed to mean housing but housing has a broader horizon. Housing comprises immediate accommodation, environment and facilities like roads,water, electricity and a host of other facilities that make living comfortable to the dwellers. Urban infrastructure, apart from being a major pointer of environmental quality, is a critical agent for the socio-economic development of an urban area. It plays an important and indispensable role in the economic, social and environmental aspects of life of an urban setting.
Infrastructures are the basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of a community or society, such as transportation and communications systems, water and power lines, and public institutions including schools, post offices and prisons.
Urban infrastructure covers a wide range of services and facilities, such as water, road, waste disposal, drainage, communication, primary health services, schools and housing. Where urban infrastructure is adequately provided and efficiently managed, productive and profitable land uses are usually attracted towards such area. The uses of these infrastructural facilities compete less with productive uses through better rent offers. This competition for locations with good urban infrastructure usually results in an increase in land and housing values, either sales or rentals.
Infrastructure network is the very socio-economic climate created by the institutions (public or private) that serve as conduits of trade and investment. The roles of infrastructure in the context of integration are transformative, helping to change resources into outputs or to enhance trade by removing barriers. Therefore, an improvement in a country’s infrastructure is one of the key factors affecting the long term growth of such a country. The linkages between infrastructure and economic growth are varied and complex. Infrastructure does not only affect production and consumption directly, it also creates many direct and indirect externalities. It involves large flows of expenditure, thereby creating additional employment.
Equally, infrastructure can have a significant impact on output, income, employment, international trade, and quality of life.