Many existing and developing urban centres including those in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria are undergoing rapid physical and economic growths, which contribute immensely to urban development. This urban development seems to benefit these centres, it can also, if not appropriately managed, create discrete challenges for them. This paper examined the urban development trends, characteristics and the need for integration of sustainability concepts into the urban development paradigm in Akwa Ibom State. The exploratory research approach was adopted for the study. It examined the concepts of sustainability, urbanization and urban areas; it also looked at urbanization trends in Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State in particular, and considered also the characteristics of urban areas in the state. The work revealed the need for the development of urban areas and integration of urban sustainability concepts into urbanization and urban development processes in the state as there are many benefits derivable. Based on the findings, it is concluded that formulating the necessary urbanization and urban development policies including establishment of statute for effective urban planning and management, the establishment of urban sustainability objectives and appropriate governance system that will serve as a vital prerequisite for developing, enhancing and sustain the transformative potentials embedded in urbanization and urban development.
Key Words: Urban development, Urban sustainability, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria