Urban solid waste challenges and opportunities to promote sustainable developing cities through the fourth industrial revolution technologies

Andrew Ebekozien, Clinton Aigbavboa, Faith Ebekozien Emuchay, Marvelous Aigbedion, Iliye Faith Ogbaini, Andrew Igiebor Awo-Osagie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In less than a decade to Sustainable Development Goals, the urban solid waste (USW) emanating from households, especially in developing countries, calls for concern. Several policies have been suggested and some implemented, but the challenges facing USW management remain, especially in developing nations. Past studies demonstrated that the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies can be used to improve urban public services. The role of 4IR in mitigating the challenges of USW is yet to receive in-depth research in Nigeria. Thus, the study investigated 4IR role regarding mitigating the challenges facing USW. Design/methodology/approach: Seven cities across Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, were used as the study area to achieve the research objectives via a qualitative research design. Thirty-two semi-structured interviews were conducted from selected regulators, households, legislators, ICT experts, NGOs and waste managers. A thematic approach was adopted to analyse the collated data. Findings: Findings group the USW challenges into five categories. The 4IR technologies can be used to manage USW; thus, they create an opportunity to integrate and promote sustainable clean cities. Research limitations/implications: This study is confined to the 4IR role concerning mitigating the encumbrances facing USW in Nigeria and proffered feasible policies to enhance a sustainable healthy environment. Practical implications: Proffered policy solutions will stir policymakers and construction practitioners to think outside the box and offer and better understand how 4IR technologies can be utilised to mitigate those challenges. The outcome will create sustainable clean cities as part of the implication contribution to the body of knowledge. Originality/value: Evidence from the reviewed literature shows a paucity of literature focussed on 4IR roles in mitigating the encumbrances facing USW in Nigeria. Therefore, this study contributes to the existing research work on 4IR concerning its role in enhancing USW in Nigeria and, by extension, to other developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Developing cities
  • Digital technology
  • Fourth industrial revolution
  • Nigeria
  • Urban
  • Waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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