The core areas of ancient cities across the globe are known for their historical and cultural significance. Urban decay is one of the key challenges. This study assessed urban decay in the core residential areas of Ota, a rapidly expanding, medium-sized city adjoining Lagos in southwest Nigeria. The study focused on four core residential quarters, namely, Ijana, Oruba, Otun and Osi, where 10% of 1683 identified buildings were systematically selected for sampling. Data were collected on household heads using the questionnaire. The level of respondents’ agreement with indicators of urban decay was measured by relative perception index (RPI), on a 5-point Likert scale. The RPI showed that decreasing opportunity for other means of livelihood (4.79) was the strongest indicator of urban decay while the weakest was decreasing rental value. The RPI also showed that 21indicators were valid measures of urban decay at >3. With a mean perception index (MPI) of 3.99, the study concluded that urban decay in the study area was evident and multidimensional. These findings enhance our understanding of factors necessary for the regeneration of the study area, and therefore, recommended the adoption of an integrated urban regeneration approach to reverse the process of decay.
Key Words: Urban, Decay, Core, Residential, Regeneration