Urban Planning Processes in Lagos

Urban Planning Processes in Lagos

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The publication is the result of a year long research process led by Fabulous Urban, Zurich, with local experts and final year students’ examining the relation between urban policies, urban interventions, the role of governance and the different actors in Lagos. The publication looks at four case studies with  detailed overviews, graphics and analysis   demonstrating that strategic adjustments in the overall politics and policies guiding the urban development of Lagos are needed to reach out to   all Lagos residents  who is at the center of the urban and economic development.

Residents in Lagos are often stunned by developments in their city: new residential estates are springing up without tarred access roads and appropriate drainage canals for flood water. Riverine areas along the lagoon used as fishing ground for the local communities are converted into tank farms attracting hundreds of tankers crossing residential areas. The Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development  has developed model city plans for all the local government areas in Lagos, but they are all too often ignored by economic and political interests. Instead, projects with immense negative social, ecological and economic consequences are imposed on residents and business owners. This study had a closer look at the areas of, housing, slums and informal settlements, urban mobility and transportation, solid waste management and urban mega projects to examine the existing laws, instruments and policies and how they have been applied to the four analyzed case studies. For example the research teams discovered that the development plan for the Lekki Free Zone was designed by the Chinese investors based on Chinese urban planning laws before it was later included into the existing Lekki master plan.  Creator: hbs-Nigeria. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.Another example is the slum regeneration process in Olaleye-Iponri community implemented in two phases. Yet, 31 years after the commencement, there has been no significant improvement for the community. A few housing units have recently been completed and are now sold to prices which are not affordable for the original residents. All the case study reports vigorously ask for the revival of the local government administrations in Lagos which have been sidelined over the recent years for several reasons. The current top-down and ad-hoc approach will most likely fail in providing much needed infrastructure and a livable environment  in times of a global increase in the influx into the cities.

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The landscape of Lagos keeps

The landscape of Lagos keeps changing given the new forms of development that always arise from one governance term to another. However does it truly change in terms of content?
Festac was built in the 1970's and hailed as the the best example of a well-planned and sustainable city in Africa, visiting that same location today affords you the usual view of disintegration and a satellite city built without the proper potential of expansion and continuity in mind. There are underlying problems in Lagos that need to be tackled if not every new addition will still result in the same rotten pie. Shack settlements will cop up, drainage will not be properly planned, transportation links will encourage congestion and so on. The list is endless.

To all these problems, there

To all these problems, there are evident solutions which given a concrete plan. time, funds and the right policies will bring about the desired changes especially that of social inclusions of those economically marginalized.

Our landscape is changing but

Our landscape is changing but in my opinion its for the worse. I say so because, first our planning law is domiciled within the government and needs to be liberated. Also like Ladi, said there was no room for the expansion/extension as what we see in 6th Avenue and beyond is an eyesore. Also we are witnessing vertical development on the Island which goes against the ability of the land to carry such structures. We may start witnessing tremors and vibrations in Lagos sooner than later.

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